Spotlight On - King's Bounty, Death to Spies 3, Off-Road Drive, Theater of War, Captain Blood, Star Wolves 3, and Men of

Take a look at 1C's upcoming lineup of games for the PC and the Xbox 360.

At a recent press event, 1C, the single-largest game company in Russia, revealed its lineup of upcoming PC and console games and gave some updates on its status. In the past year, the studio has cemented its influence over game publishing in Russia by acquiring Softclub, the country's second-largest publisher and leading console game distributor, as well as Snowball, the country's largest video game localization company. The studio then turned us loose to look over its extensive lineup of new and upcoming games for the PC and the Xbox 360.

King's Bounty: Crossworlds


Projected release date: September 2010
Genre: Strategy, Turn-Based
Platform: PC
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Join the armored princess for dozens more hours of turn-based strategy gameplay.

King's Bounty: Crossworlds is the next expansion for 2008's King's Bounty: The Legend, a colorful, fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game inspired by the original King's Bounty (which gave rise to the dearly departed Heroes of Might and Magic series). Crossworlds builds on the explore-and-conquer gameplay of Armored Princess, the previous expansion, with two new campaigns, dozens of new one-off quests, 70 new items (including eight different matched item sets), more than 50 new skills, 13 new spells, and new arena play modes, along with an editor that will be compatible with Armored Princess. 1C estimates that all the new stuff in Crossworlds will offer most players at least 40 more hours of gameplay--to say nothing of what people can put together with the editing tools. Crossworlds will ship this September.

Captain Blood


Projected release date: 2010
Genre: Action Adventure
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
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Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Captain Blood be here! Finally!

Captain Blood is the long-in-development action adventure game that seems to be 1C's PC and Xbox 360 answer to Sony's God of War series. Even though the game has a bright, colorful look to it, it's exceedingly gory--the demonstration video we watched showed the good cap'n gouging out eyeballs, slicing off legs and heads, and grabbing his scurvy pirate enemies by the throat and emptying out the chambers of a musket point-blank into their faces. The demonstration level we watched showed a seemingly younger, slimmer version of our hero with a bandanna tied around his head and a sword blade tied to his wrist, which gave him a distinct resemblance to Ubisoft's more recent versions of the Prince of Persia.

The action sequence we saw took place on the deck of a pirate ship as waves of pirates attacked the captain and were sliced to bits using various button combinations, collapsing in a heap and leaving behind a pile of coins that can presumably be spent elsewhere. The battle climaxed in a boss fight with a giant, thuggish pirate who clambered up from belowdecks and attempted to squash us flat with a huge warhammer. The brute was immune to a frontal attack, so we had to drop his guard by picking up and hurling lit powder kegs at him; each keg would explode and cause him to drop his guard and let us hack away at him. Every so often, a new context-sensitive option would become available in battle--the ropes near the ship's sail rigging would glimmer, indicating that we could use them. By running up to the ropes and pressing the appropriate context button, we triggered a quick-time event that caused the captain to make a daring swing on the ropes toward the brute, kicking him in the face on his way there. While swinging, the pirate boss counterattacked by hurling cutlasses at us. We avoided them by pressing the proper Xbox 360 controller button at the correct time, which caused the dashing young captain to snatch the blade out of thin air and hurl it back. Captain Blood will ship later this year.

Death to Spies 3


Projected release date: Q4 2010
Genre: Action Adventure, Stealth
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
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You there! Spy! Death to you! 3!

Death to Spies 3 is, as the name suggests, the third game in the Death to Spies stealth action series. The new game has a much more modern graphical look reminiscent of recent third-person action games like Splinter Cell: Conviction and Resident Evil 5 with a much-closer camera pulled in tighter on your character. Unlike the previous games, which took place during World War II, Death to Spies takes place during the Cold War era, specifically the early 1960s, and puts you in the role of a Russian spy who must infiltrate various hotspots in the US, Europe, and Cuba.

The demonstration level we played took place in an American police precinct, where a Russian traitor was being held on the third floor. We started off at the entrance, where cops and various civilian employees treated us civilly enough, but blocked off the entrance to the second floor, which was for authorized personnel only. Our mission was to first use a silent takedown on a police officer out of sight of anyone else and then steal his uniform, dispose of the body, and head upstairs. Pretty much any significant action you make in the game will take place with a context-sensitive button press--you have the option to press a button to immediately open any door you come across, or alternately, to first press a button to peek through the keyhole, for instance. While we were able to finally locate a lone cop in an interrogation room and take him down by pressing Y on the Xbox 360 controller and then press B to pick up the body and lug it away, the door suddenly opened, and a couple more cops caught us in the act and immediately opened fire. We weren't able to dump the body and reach for our gun fast enough and got gunned down. 1C has apparently heard the feedback from some players about the previous games in the series being too difficult and has adjusted the third game's difficulty somewhat, but it'll still be a challenge. The game will launch on the PC and the Xbox 360 later this year.

Men of War: Assault Squad


Projected release date: Q3 2010
Genre: Strategy, Real-Time Tactical
Platform: PC
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Assault Squad, rally on my mark and move out. Wait, no! Don't go there!

Assault Squad is one of 1C's new Men of War games, and unlike the previous games in the series, it will be much more of a skirmish/multiplayer game than a full-on single-player campaign odyssey. Like the previous Men of War games, Assault Squad will be a tactical strategy game in which you'll control a squad of infantry soldiers who start their mission fully equipped with various weapons, ammo, medkits, and grenades (rather than mining gold and building a base to supply yourself). Assault Squad's multiplayer will support up to 16 players and will let you choose different hero characters with different abilities and statistics.

The single-player skirmish we played took place at the Battle of Carentan in Normandy, France, and required our team of American soldiers to clear a path for the Allies into enemy-occupied territory. Just like in the previous Men of War games, we were able to band-select our troops and give them group orders, as well as give individual orders to single units, and select specific move orders to automatically acquire cover in the world behind derelict vehicles, burned-out houses, and other environmental objects. The challenging mission started us off at the southern perimeter of the level and required us to cut through close to a dozen enemy encampments, each one more deeply entrenched than the last (some with mounted machine guns, to boot). Assault Squad seems like it will be the game for hardcore Men of War fans looking for challenging missions and head-to-head play online. The game is scheduled for release this fall.

Men of War: Vietnam


Projected release date: Q3 2010
Genre: Strategy, Real-Time Tactical
Platform: PC
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Love the smell of napalm in the morning? The Men of War series has just the thing for you.

And while Assault Squad will be the skirmish/multiplayer game for skirmish/multiplayer fans, Men of War: Vietnam will be the next game for single-player campaign enthusiasts and will take place, as the name suggests, in the Vietnam War. This new game will have two lengthy single-player campaigns told from both sides of the war (the American army and the Viet Cong) and will feature historically authentic weaponry and armor, as well as new jungle terrain maps re-creating historical battles at key locations, such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Mekong Delta.

The brief demonstration level we played took place in a North Vietnamese jungle and tasked us with clearing the area of hostile threats. While our soldiers were as responsive to our real-time strategy-style orders as in any Men of War game, we noticed that in some cases, they automatically took a prone stance in high grass and foliage--which makes sense, since this new kind of light cover obscures more than it protects from incoming fire. We moved our squad, which included assault troops, a heavy gunner with a tripod-mounted M-60, and a sniper, along the riverbank to make contact with what appeared to be a small group of peaceful farmers digging ditches with mortar-looking things peeking out of them (most likely the rare and endangered mortar plant, we figured)…purely for farming purposes, of course. It was only when we brought in our troops for a closer look and the farmers all pulled out their AK-47s and opened fire on us that we started to suspect that they might have an ulterior motive. After a frantic, close-quarters battle around the mortar pits, we pacified the guerrilla warriors and escaped with the entire squad intact, but wounded. Jungle warfare will definitely add a new twist to the Men of War series, since it can be difficult to key in to small squads of enemies in the brush, particularly when they're fanning out (and that's despite the game's zoomed-out overhead view). Men of War: Vietnam will be out this fall.

Theater of War 2: Korea


Projected release date: Q4 2010
Genre: Strategy, Real-Time
Platform: PC
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The Theater of War series returns with a new conflict: the Korean War.

The Theater of War real-time tactical series returns for a new engagement based on the Korean War that took place during the 1950s. The game will feature two campaigns told from the perspectives of either the American forces or the North Korean military and will take place on large-scale battlefields between armies of infantry, light vehicles, tanks, and artillery.

The demonstration level we played took place in the Gangwondo-pukto province, and we played as the North Korean forces. Prior to starting the contest, we were sent to an army loadout screen that lets you choose your troops and even outfit each squad with specific weapons, ammo types, and other items, and you can also choose what type of forces to bring in as reinforcements to call in later in the battle. Once we chose our loadout, we were able to prepare for battle with a deliberation phase that let us place our various infantry, vehicles, and cannon within a certain, limited range of our starting area. After carting our artillery up atop the nearest hill to maximize our firing range and line of sight, and placing our infantry in forested cover to ambush our foes, we began the battle, which started against a small force of US troops with a few infantry companies and a few tanks, which we blasted to smithereens with some concentrated artillery fire and mopped up with our tanks. Theater of War 2: Korea will be released at the end of the year.

Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory


Projected release date: 2010
Genre: Sci-Fi Strategy/Role-Playing
Platform: PC
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"You should know by now, pal. When you push a Star Wolf…he pushes back!"

Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory will be the next addition to the Star Wolves sci-fi strategy/role-playing series. This stand-alone expansion will feature some 110 new star systems to explore, offering what 1C estimates to be close to 80 hours of new gameplay. In the game, you'll play as a lone mercenary in control of a mothership that not only can be upgraded with various types of weapons and shielding, but also houses up to six different fighter ships, each of which can be outfitted with different weapon and armor systems and piloted by a different space jockey with different skills and specializations.

Though you start the game with a single character who is a pilot with his own skills (and can gain experience levels to unlock skills along a massive, four-way skill tree that includes piloting, gunner skills, missile usage, and miscellaneous ship systems), you can eventually recruit a whole squadron of mercs, each with its own fighter ship and unique skills and specializations. Combat won't require any active piloting--instead, victory will come from smart, strategic choices of each fighter's weapon and defense systems before stepping into battle. Once you've engaged the enemy, you can simply click to select your fighters and assign them targets, similar to giving move and attack orders in a traditional real-time strategy game. You'll also start the game more or less in neutral standing with the game's many factions, though after performing some of the game's many missions, your standing with them will change over time--some will be more friendly, and others will become hostile. Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory will be released later this year.

Off-Road Drive


Projected release date: Q4 2010
Genre: Driving, Off-Road
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
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Get ready to get muddy. And get set to get…more muddy.

The Unreal Engine 3-powered Off-Road Drive is 1C's entry into console-style off-road racing games. The game lets you race on various off-road tracks with various course hazards, such as steep-grade hills, mud patches, pools of deep water, and ground that crumbles beneath your wheels. The developer has attempted to make the world seem extremely realistic by causing what 1C describes as permanent deformation to the track area once you pass over it--should you cut deep lines through a mud patch, they'll be there on your next lap for you to deal with.

We took an early version of the Xbox 360 game for a test-drive. The camera is zoomed in pretty closely on your vehicle, so you don't have a great deal of forward or peripheral vision. In addition, the track we raced on twisted and turned very tightly, so despite the fact that the speed and braking seemed pretty forgiving, we were never able to just continuously floor it for fear of tripping up over constantly varying terrain grades (which may eventually cause your car to flip, at which point you must wait a moment and then restart at your previous checkpoint, usually sacrificing your place in the race). As much as we might have wanted to lean on the right trigger button to keep the pedal to the metal, at various turns we dealt with hazards like deep water and crumbling grades, which required us to tap the B button to switch to low gear. We also dealt with deep mud patches, which occasionally required us to block our vehicle's axis differentials by pressing right on the D pad and tapping the B button to torque our way out of a jam, though when you get absolutely stuck, you can use a winch to pull yourself out. Off-Road Drive will ship out at the end of this year.

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Discussion

42 comments
Shadow_Sev
Shadow_Sev

Yes of course 1C don't care about publishers and the other idiots that think they can pressure game companies, since 1C is a huge ass company that creates business software suites etc. So they can basically do whatever they want to. I love them since they sell their games at great prices.

Skyflier
Skyflier

No mention of Storm of War? I'd count the days if I knew the release date!

sirmilad
sirmilad

I like 1C company because distribute game for microsoft platforms(pc&xbox360)

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@vadagar1 they are dead if you look to the U.S. STALKER sold more units on PC than Bioshock did on PC worldwide, but what game does the U.S. media and U.S. gamers think is the biggest hit? And since when have you ever seen a European title getting 90%+ like the big U.S. titles? STALKER was always marked down because it had bugs so it got mid 80's, then Call of Pripyat came out, had no bugs, the reviewers recognised this and guess what? It still got in the mid 80's! Conversely, look at Dragon Age, the only fantasy RPG to ever not allow Oblivion/Morrowind/Wizardry/Ultima/Baldur's Gate style exploring and yet it still got lauded as an 'old-fashioned RPG' - well, I would love to know another cRPG that had forced fast travel! So good luck 1C - you going to be fighting a biased U.S. marketplace!

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Agree totally about Space Rangers 2 - game of the 00's, if you ask me! But in general, looks like gamers will have to look East rather than West for PC gaming type games now. I suppose we have got used to it with STALKER and The Witcher, etc! Only problem is how many will get English translations and how easy will they be to get in a world where retailers only stock the Bioshock's, Mass effect's and Fallout 3's of this world?! What we need is 1C starting a worldwide mail order business selling direct. They could offer free shipping out of the extra profit they would make for selling direct!

vadagar1
vadagar1

wohaa I thought PC games are dead, I was wrong can't wait, looks like some good game years coming our way.

k_oldsoul
k_oldsoul

Space rangers is nice.lately i understood how to play it,it need better music...it gives me a headic

tindrli
tindrli

Just dont forget about one of the BEST games of all times .. SPACE RANGERS 2

Manram010
Manram010

lots coming up specifically for pc owners

iamian87
iamian87

King's Bounty is awesome, oh how I long for a new Heroes of Might and Magic game though.

-S0ul-
-S0ul-

damn, Captain Blood looks fokkin awesome. I love teh pirates hopefully this is gonna be a blast.

gamerminds
gamerminds

WOw strong list. No doubt Men of Valor will refresh my past feelings.

nightharvest
nightharvest

A rather under-rated company, I will always have a close look at what 1C dish up. They seem to be either unconcerned or not subject to publishing pressures, which leave us with gaming worlds of considerable detail and stability.

EricScionti
EricScionti

Death to Spies 3, Men of War, and Theater of War will all be awesome. I wish more games would take place in the Korean War. Maybe do an alternative version of history where WW3 starts and the USSR and China get fully involved. That would be sick.

RyuRanVII
RyuRanVII

I can hardly wait for King's Bounty: Crossworlds, Men of War: Vietnam and Death to Spies 3.

s8man888
s8man888

The error of writing Men of Valor instead of Men of War is still shown on the PC homepage.

TheClown24
TheClown24

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

k_oldsoul
k_oldsoul

I Love Men of War,it was missing skirmish and now it looks like they are covering it...but sadly there won't be any building....at least machine gun nest and trench would be nice!!.
one of the cool things about the game is the destructable enviroment..u can drive a tank through a building to suprise u opponet.

Starwolves always have bugs..it could have been a nice game.

threater of war remminds me of sudden strike.except it is too much realistic.

IBEX333
IBEX333

1C is one of those few companies left out there that actually puts effort in their games and tries to do something new... innovation... detail... such a rare thing nowadays. I love the Men of War series, and I am looking forward to the next games in the series.

Xx_Hopeless_xX
Xx_Hopeless_xX

I'm excited about Captain Blood...i hope it turns out good..

NyataLimax
NyataLimax

My respects to the guys who published Cryostasis The Sleep of Reason in 2009. You guys rock and I'll keep an eye on you for future releases. Also if you read this please get the English release of White Gold War in Paradise and Precursors. I'll buy them both no matter the reviews.

ME_BOT
ME_BOT

looks looks a pretty pathetic line up to me

high344
high344

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

high344
high344

that's very unfortunate

green_dominator
green_dominator

Who the hello is 1C? I've never heard of them or any game on this list.......

sentencer
sentencer

More King's Bounty and Star Wolves... doesn't get much better than that!

Dorgoth12
Dorgoth12

this company is gonna be in the green easily enough with all these awesome games

lewuz
lewuz

Death to Spies 3! Can't wait! First two games were great. :)

pidow
pidow

Some might be worth playing

GreyViper
GreyViper

Nice Star Wolves and Kings Bounty, will definitely go to my must buy list. Hope there is something coming from Fantasy Wars/Elven Legacy to. But my biggest question is WHERE IS ENGLISH DISCIPLES 3???

DeathSoul96
DeathSoul96

Death to Spies is a russian serial, really famous in eastern europe... My parrents watch it =__=

flyin_panda
flyin_panda

yay, Death to Spies, love those games.

pudgexd
pudgexd

Too many shooters out there recently , nice to see non-shooters games.

Brazucass
Brazucass

I loved Starwolves 1, didnt even know about the two sequels :D

iceeman
iceeman

nice, i will buy all of these for pc.

RussianRAGE
RussianRAGE

Nothing eye catching for my taste. :(

zaheer2020
zaheer2020

Great..looking forward for kings bounty

kilirm
kilirm

Holy hell yeah king's bounty.