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Bodycount: The New Black? Sam's avatar
Back In Black
Codemasters are back in Black. Stuart Black that is, who has today been announced as the Creative Director of a new "genre defining" FPS game from the Guildford based studio. Arriving amid an self-proclaimed orgy of bullets and destruction in Q1 of 2011, Bodycount will have players working for an organisation known only as the 'Network' and tasked with eliminating enemy 'Targets'. It probably goes without saying that the game will support multiplayer action on a single console and online for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Bodycount will utilise Codemaster's EGO engine, traditionally featured in the developer's array of driving simulators, which will allow players to "shred" the environment with bullets and allow complete destruction of the game world. Stuart Black's last game, the eponymously named 'Black' was released by Criterion on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in early 2006, receiving a good reception from a number of publications. It is now also available on the Xbox 360 as part of the Originals downloads service.

Will Bodycount strike a body blow to traditional first-person shooters or are Codemasters counting their chickens before they're hatched?

Editor Opinions
Sam's avatar

At the very end of the 'About Game' section for Bodycount on the Codemasters website, there is a sentence stating that the genre defining game will 'put the fun back into the FPS'. It's strange that, because after my recent experiences with Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, I wasn't aware that the fun had gone anywhere in the first place.

My initial feelings after first reading the press release was that Codemasters could do with getting a few of the actual developers to oversee their public relations, as the statement is crammed full of cringe worthy marketing speech. Ludicrous terms such as "best-in-class gunplay" or "places the gamer at the heart of the action" have little meaning, especially when the game they describe appears to have very few, if any, unique features. Surely a "genre defining" game needs to bring something new to the table?

There are already plenty of games with physics engines that prevent AI character from hiding behind indestructible buildings (Red Faction: Guerilla, Mercenaries 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 just to name a few) so I'm not sure why Codemasters feel Bodycount sports a "new kind of gameplay", but I have to say that the ability to do it with bullets alone interests me. Traditionally, heavy explosives or an oversized hammer have been necessary to dismantle structures of any decent size, but being able to chip away at buildings with bullets has a certain visceral charm that if implemented correctly, could save Bodycount from being another run-of-the-mill FPS, much like Black was.

As always, it's hard to make any predictions from a couple of screenshots and a lingo heavy press release, so I'll be waiting with baited breath to see which side of the knife Bodycount falls.

Tags: bodycount, codemasters, fps, ps3, q1-2011, sam, stuart-black, xbox360