History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided Interview (con't)
FiringSquad: The game will feature hand-to-hand combat as well. How will this be handled?
Chris Owen: This will be handled in a similar fashion to other FPS games. The player has a button to perform a melee attack. The actual attack varies depending on the type of weapon the player is currently using. The player can throw punches, use the butt of his weapon, or use a bayonet if there is one on the weapon. The player can also perform combo hits by repeatedly tapping the melee button. As melee combat was incredibly important during the civil war, we tried to keep it as fluid as possible.
FiringSquad: Will the game feature any multiplayer modes?
Chris Owen: No.
FiringSquad: What other gameplay features do you consider to be important?
Chris Owen: The thing that sticks out in my mind is the variety of gameplay objectives from level to level. In one level, you need to be stealthy in order to invade an enemy camp and sabotage a hot air balloon. In other levels, you need to blow up train bridges or sniper towers. There’s even one point where you have to use cannons to fight off an oncoming column of enemy soldiers. The game definitely offers a lot of variety.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the graphical features in the game?
Chris Owen: We consider the graphics for the game to be stunning and well-rounded. Most important, we wanted to make sure the weapons and environments looked great. We paid special attention to surface properties so that metal looks like metal and reflects light as you would expect it to. The same goes for other surface properties like wood, skin, cloth, and so forth. And, as the weapons are authentic to the period, we took the extra time needed to create high quality reload and firing animations for each.
For the environments, we do a lot of real-time lighting effects which vary from level to level depending on what is needed. For example, in some levels the player will be walking through heavily forested areas where light beams shine through. In other areas, there are explosions and fires which have to look authentic to draw the player into the world. The levels also include a lot of ground detail, including dynamically-generated grass. Also of note, the smoke effects are top notch, which is important considering the use of firearms and artillery from the time period.
Mesh morphing was also an important feature for us. It’s important not only for the in-game cut scenes, but also to show the emotion and intensity of the soldiers during battles. Additionally, this gave us the ability to animate water and other objects like flags.
Then, there are some other smaller touches that aren’t noticeable unless you’re looking for them. For example, the game features HDR lighting which simulates the human eye adjusting to varying lighting conditions, such as moving from a dark area to a light area in the environment.
FiringSquad: Will there be a playable demo of the game released?
Chris Owen: Unfortunately we do not have a demo available. We will have a trailer available through Xbox Live.
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Chris Owen: The game has been completed and will be released on November 7.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided?
Chris Owen: This game is not your typical FPS military shooter. In Civil War – A Nation Divided, you’re in a world where ammo does not unload as quickly or accurately as in modern military games. Because of this, each shot is a strategic action. Don’t let this fool you though. There are plenty of intense battles, and moments where you will get to unload your aggression with the Gatling gun. Regardless of the battle, however, you always need to be thinking about the best time to reload your weapon and where to take cover when you need it. With frequent close range fighting, melee becomes a necessity – more so than for other games in the genre. In short, due to the nature of the game’s context, Civil War – A Nation Divided has developed its own unique flavor as an FPS military game.
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