Enemy Front: A Return to the ’90s WW2 FPS
Recent years have exhausted all fresh ideas in the modern warfare FPS genre, so City Interactive is looking to revisit the previous generation’s popular FPS game era: WW2. But rather than beat a dead horse, the developer hopes to set its new IP, Enemy Front, apart from the WW2 games that have been done to death. Based on what I saw at E3 2012, they may be on to something.
Set to be released in the first half of 2013, Enemy Front seeks to capture the feel of a soldier caught behind enemy lines. The protagonist’s character will be fleshed out in a later phase of development — the game is currently in pre-alpha — but for the time being, he’s just “Joe America, saving the day.”
The game will take players to locations in France, Poland, and Germany, all rendered in CryEngine 3. The developers wanted to tell the story of the smaller, more intimate battles of WW2 — the kind you’ve seen in Saving Private Ryan and Inglourious Basterds.
The live gameplay demonstration showed “Joe America” shooting his way through a war-torn rural setting, which felt refreshing compared to both modern shooters and WW2 games of the past. Best of all, there appeared to be no “rails” — the level design did not feel linear. This, coupled with the solo experience of being caught behind enemy lines, reminded me of ’90s era FPS titles and filled me with warm feelings of nostalgia. Well, a ’90 FPS with regenerating health instead of health packs.
In order to retain that feeling of being caught behind enemy lines, City Interactive explained how there’s no Commanding Officer, there’s no sergeant, there’s no captain barking orders into your ear as you play. There are no cooperatives — there are no people helping you out. While there will occasionally be friendlies, the focus of the majority of the game is on your solo experience.
In order to help capture that visceral experience of being in a war zone, Enemy Front has a minimalistic HUD tucked away in the bottom-right corner of the screen that displays the direction the enemies, objectives, ammunition and health.
Enemy Front’s arsenal will boast over 25 weapons, which include secondary weapons like hand grenades and throwing knives. The game will have a multiplayer component, but the developers could not offer any details at this point.
City Interactive seems to be on the right track with this one. If development continues in the right direction, Enemy Front could breath new life into WW2 shooters.