Sep 2, 2009

Battleground Europe the next level

As a long time subscriber to Battleground Europe I have always had high hopes for this game and truly believed that it was only a matter of time until the guys at Cornered Rat Software pulled something off that had everyone salivating, even those skeptics over at secret off topic, although I doubt you’d ever appease some of the more fervent haters of the game.

The next version of Battleground Europe (formally World War II Online) is currently in closed beta and the guys in Texas must have been itching to give the low down on this update as many titbits came tumbling out of their Twitter account and on personal blogs with Toto & Granik working on the graphics and models for the next version since the turn of the year and some juice features being added like Rag Doll effects and a basic weather system.

Axis squad using coverWith the main features being given quite a bit of airing from, I thought I would look at some of the finer details, gleaned from the screenshots that CRS put on their website as teasers.

The first one is of an Axis squad using a wall for cover, something that we don’t have much of in the game currently, cover and concealment are two entirely different things, bushes give concealment where by a bush can hide you it doesn’t protect you if a passing infantry decides to put some bullets into your location.  The wall in the picture will give cover and concealment, this will increase hiding places for advancing and defending infantry, it will also give artillery and tanks the ability to protect themselves as I can only guess that the walls are indestructible.

Allied units use height to their advantageThe windmill has always been a bit part player in the game.  The ability as an infantryman to get some height either for recon or for those quick shots is always important.  Previously to gain access to the windmills upper level you were required to use a clipping technique where by you lie on the floor and shuffle up the side of the building.

Having a height advantage over your enemy is something that you crave as a sniper and a such the windmill will now hopefully give you some cover as well as a good vantage point.

Someone is getting wet

Weather was always the needle in the side of Battleground Europe, every day was sunny and bright and having weather even in the basic format will hopefully bring a whole new dimension to the game for infantry, allowing them improved concealment while traversing fields undetected, for tankers using the darker light setting to conceal themselves in a hedge row, or the pilots to use altitude and cloud cover to escape the enemy.

Breaks in the cloud for high altitude bombingWith a standard ceiling on the cloud you will still see the bombers flying high above the canopy and CRS have taken into account that the factories will have breaks in the cloud to allow altitude bombing, although the guys who actually do the bombing are that good that they could probably work of instruments.

The question is, is this all that CRS have up their collective sleeves?  Or can we expect more  to slowly but surely come out over the next few weeks?

I hope that there are more changes on the way, we already know from the Twitter feed that the graphic guys have worked tirelessly to get rid of all the 2D models that blighted the landscape, they’ve improved the textures on buildings and on the ground, making the game look better.

From the pictures and videos we can see the shadows on the infantry are now better than the radial circle that we used to have, CRS are also using their Entertainment Software Rating of Mature to full effect with rag doll and blood decals hitting walls and floors alike.

Depending on performance (which has always been the bane of WWIIOL) the game will hopefully start to reach out to a wider audience and hopefully CRS will markit the game to the maximum of their ability.

2 Comments

  • Some nice pics there Sres. :)

    I love the idea that we will be able to use walls and such to provide cover. Looking at the pics, it seems that the rag doll effect allows a lot more death positions, which adds a bit of realism over the "face down" all the time current status.

    I am looking forward to the update but I do have one major concern.

    I know many of my squad play the game on older PC's which at the current graphic levels, run the game fine.

    While the new graphics may help appeal to a wider market they may also push some long time players out of the game.

    I also hope that CRS only play with graphics and resist the temptation to appeal to the masses and make the game easier. I love the fact that the game has a steep learning curve, it puts off players from the small scale online games such as CoD and CS.

    I'm still learning every time I play. :)

  • I've been subbed since 2003 and I still don't know how to do most of the stuff in game. Planes, boats and tanks are a mystery to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpPIBvZEwuc

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