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Developed by: Singularity
Release Date: ?
In this day and age of big name companies and mega buck development budgets (**cough**Ion Storm**cough**), it's nice to see independent developers coming up with products that look and feel just as good as the "professionals'" products. Remember, mighty id Software didn't start off big either; they were a bunch of garage hobbyists to start out, and so will the next big phenomenon. Indeed, the industry is starting to recognize the talents of the independent developers by celebrating them at the Game Developers' Conference. Fire and Darkness took top honors at the Independent Games Festival at this year's GDC. Fire and Darkness will be joining a new breed of RTS, featuring a true 3D environment, and of course, high tech vehicles and weapons. With its clean graphics and polished look, it's amazing to find out that F&D is Singularity's first project - nothing else they've done came close to the scale or scope that a full fledged game entails. Perhaps even more astounding: all the developers at Singularity are college freshmen or high school seniors. When they land a publisher, this team won't even be able to celebrate with a round of drinks! Legally, anyway ;)
A ravaged base
I said, Eye Candy
Sporting a fresh new engine, Fire and Darkness above all else, is visually impressive. You'll see colored lighting effects, volumetric fog, and shadows under the aircraft, all of which contribute to a lively and stunning battlefield experience. What struck me the most is the fact that missiles are a popular weapon for all the vehicles. Viewing the non interactive demo you can see how quickly the sky can fill with missiles and rockets. After watching all those projectiles twisting and turning in the sky, the first three words that popped into my head were "cool," "cool," and "cool." The rocket fire didn't quite look like those old Robotech/Macross anime, but still fun to watch. I also found it interesting that the missiles don't always hit - if your AI pilots turned tightly and at the right time, they could shake the missile lock. I was impressed that such an early build of the software was able to keep track of all those objects without so much as a hitch. Running a Celeron 300A and a Voodoo2, my machine isn't exactly a monster either.
A bomber makes a run over a factory as a SAM site defends