GZ Interview: On the Battlefield with Mercenary Wars’ Michael Min; Exclusive Screens Inside

On the Battlefield
with Mercenary Wars’ Michael Min; Exclusive Screens Inside

By
Louis Bedigian

“Mercenary Wars is set in the
very near future, and all of the current weapons are based around real guns. We
will be releasing weapons with unique skins and modifications along the line,
but they will all be very realistic and believable.”

Free-to-play video games are all the
rage these days, but none of them have been able to make a significant impact
with gamers expecting a 60-dollar shooter experience. Could that change with
Mercenary Wars
, a new free-to-play shooter from Uforia? Time will
tell. But as the developers continue to make refinements to the game, which is
currently in open beta, they are dedicated to expanding Mercenary Wars as much
as possible.

"Mercenary Wars is set in the very
near future, and all of the current weapons are based around real guns," said
Creative Director Michael Min. "We will be releasing weapons with unique skins
and modifications along the line, but they will all be very realistic and
believable. There are currently 19 guns available, and we are working night and
day to develop many more!"



An exclusive look at Mercenary Wars.

As we’re all aware, there are a
lot of first-person shooters out there. Mercenary Wars hopes to differentiate
itself with features like an artificial intelligence system that’s being called
"innovative." Talk about this … what about it makes it innovative? We know the
basics from the fact sheet ("Computer controlled ‘bots’ can be used in several
ways ranging from practice to enhancing game play"). Was that fact sheet
statement actually referring to the AI, or something else?

Michael Min: You are correct,
the “Bots” and “AI” are one in the same, and Mercenary Wars is one of the few
free-to-play FPS games to offer them. We are currently developing a new system
that integrates them in a large “Faction” war, but that system has not been
implemented yet, unfortunately.

Equipment and clothing items are
also being offered – what can you tell us about them? How varied are the
clothes, and how many enhancements can be made with the equipment?

MM: Most of the current
equipment and clothing are military-based, although we will be adding more “fun”
items in the future. The armor that you see during the Open Beta will only
affect how much damage you can take, but we will be adding stats and
enhancements to those in the near future.

We are also working on creating an
Upgrade System. You will be able to upgrade everything on your gun such as the
magazine clip, stocks, scopes, silencers, etc.

Talk about the audio
communications tool.

MM: Ah, that is basically
built-in microphone support so you can chat with your teammates. I believe we
are the only free-to-play FPS game to offer built-in support.


Mercenary Wars is a shooter that
you plan to upgrade, or at least enhance, with new modes of play every couple
months. Tell us about one of the modes you plan to add.

MM: We’re currently working
on a Capture the Flag mode, along with a few other fun modes that I
unfortunately cannot share yet.

Since Mercenary Wars is a
free-to-play shooter, will the new modes be released for free as well? Or are
the upgrades a part of how you plan to make money?

MM: All the new modes, maps,
and updates will be free to everyone. Our model centers on selling items such as
guns with special skins, clothing, character models…basically things to allow
the player to customize the look of their character. There will be slight stat
upgrades in the cash items, but nothing that will break the balance in the game.
That aspect is so important to first person shooters.

What are the different character
types/races?

MM: Although you will only
get to experience a few of the characters during the open beta, we are already
working on more than 10 characters, and while I can’t get into too many details,
they are a diverse bunch to say the least.

The ranking system features 50+
different ranks. How will this play into the multiplayer aspect of the game? Do
you get anything special (other than bragging rights) for achieving certain
ranks?

MM: Your ranking determines
what equipment you are able to purchase and use. As you rise in rank, you will
unlock new weapons and armor. All the rankings and stats are tracked via our
Website, so they make for good bragging rights as well.


Mercenary Wars is being hyped
with a unique stat system that can be used to upgrade and customize your
character. That might be different for an FPS, but aren’t stats and upgrades
pretty common in most games these days? What’s different about the way Mercenary
Wars uses them?

MM: Mercenary Wars features
multiple characters, with each one being customizable to suit a different play
style. You can make one a run and gunner specializing in SMGs, another is a
sniper specialist, and you can switch between them during rounds. So there is
strategy involved in not only in creating the characters and equipping them, but
choosing the right character for the right environment as well.

It’s hard to say for sure, but
thus far the environments appear to be pretty standard: lots of buildings,
indoor and outdoor exploration, many corners to peek over, etc. What more can we
expect from them?

MM: Yes, the current maps are
all pretty standard environmentally-speaking. We tried to focus more on solid
map design more than anything else. One thing they do feature is dynamic
lighting, so you can do things like shoot out lights in rooms, and wait for your
enemies in the dark. You will see some different types of maps and locales as we
release new modes though.