Spotlight On - Red Orchestra 2, Royal Quest, Star Wolves 3

We take updated looks at new and upcoming games from Russian publisher 1C.

Russia's largest game publisher, 1C, recently held a press event to show off its lineup of upcoming PC and console games. We've already brought you hands-on impressions of Men of War: Vietnam and Off-Road Drive. And now, here are our impressions of the rest.

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad


Projected release date: August 30, 2011
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC
Show Me All Screenshots for This Game

Red Orchestra 2 will offer a full single-player campaign.

We got our first chance to try out the single-player game in Red Orchestra 2, which will populate the game's multiplayer maps with computer-controlled bot characters on both sides of the conflict. As the game's name implies, it will take place in Stalingrad, the site of some of the bloodiest and costliest battles of World War II. The game's campaign will include a handful of missions for both the Germans and the Russians (you'll actually skip around between both sides, rather than play one side all the way through). And between each mission, you'll receive your orders in the form of a short cinematic sequence in which your army's commanding general will brief you on your objectives and the importance of your efforts in the larger war effort. In the actual single-player game, you'll play as one of the soldiers in the game's usual three fireteam squads (rifle, assault, or machine gunners). But you will have the ability to give simple orders to your remaining fireteams by mousing over locations in the world and then pulling up a radial menu to give simple commands like "attack," "move," and "reinforce." Given the way that you'll spawn in as a member of one of the three teams and how each team, if not given high-level tactical orders (or individually micromanaged down to a single man) will act autonomously, developer Tripwire Interactive is confident that no single-player match will ever play out the same way twice.

We played through a mission as the Russian army and found ourselves doing our best to pincer enemy forces into one location by sending the second fireteam to a single flank, sending the third team to the opposite flank, and then charging in with our current team. In Red Orchestra 2, just like in the original game, gunfire is usually lethal, and wounded soldiers may be able to take a few potshots before fading out of consciousness, but in the single-player game, after you die, you respawn as a different member of one of your fireteams. In effect, the number of squaddies you have surviving is effectively your store of extra lives, and as you complete each of the multiple objectives on any Red Orchestra 2 map, your faction will reinforce with fresh squadmates that will fill out each fireteam's ranks. Tripwire was eager to point out that the game is a PC exclusive, and it will come with a server browser, support for dedicated servers, and also ship with a modification software development kit. As a matter of fact, the mod SDK has already been available to members of the Red Orchestra fan community for about eight months, so hopefully there will be plenty of interesting mods available for it when the game launches later this year.

Royal Quest


Projected release date: 2012
Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, Free-to-Play
Platform: PC
Show Me All Screenshots for This Game

Anyone up for a royal quest?

Royal Quest is a free-to-play fantasy online role-playing game from Katauri Interactive, the developer of Kings Bounty: The Legend and that game's subsequent expansions. Publisher 1C suggests that this new free-to-play game will continue to emphasize what Katauri considers most important: colorful fantasy adventures with detailed artwork. At the 1C event, we watched a video trailer for the game that showed a party of human characters interacting with a great many different monsters, some of which were immediately recognizable as familiar fantasy archetypes (orcs, dragons, and the like), and some of which were recognizable because of their resemblance to critters we've seen in other games. These included a giant bird mount with a strong resemblance to Final Fantasy's chocobos and a slithering monster that looked a heck of a lot like Starcraft's hydralisks. In any case, once we got a chance to sit down with the game, we found it to be in a very early state, and because we started with a low-level fighter character, we didn't have a ton of options.

Our fighter began his career inside a stony castle keep--a safe house with merchants and quest-giving characters--and we visited a merchant to purchase an egg to hatch our first mount, a creature that resembled a small raptor dinosaur. Then we ventured outside the castle to take on our first challenge, a patch of killer venus fly traps that sprayed giant soap-bubble-like projectiles at us. The gameplay seemed to resemble the kind of mouse-driven, hack-and-slash stuff you may have seen in other free-to-play online games from Asia and Europe, complete with a hotkey bank at the bottom of the screen to house your character's abilities. We're told that the details on the game's "cash-op," the in-game store that lets you buy in-game items with real money out of pocket, haven't been finalized. But if nothing else, you'll be able to purchase new apparel for your characters. You character can join one of four base classes (fighter, rogue, priest, wizard) but can later change class to a more-advanced profession. Royal Quest is tentatively scheduled to launch in April 2012 in Russia, with a worldwide launch to follow later that year.

Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory


Projected release date: 2011
Genre: Sci-Fi Strategy/Role-Playing Game
Platform: PC
Show Me All Screenshots for This Game

"You should know by now, pal. When you push a Star Wolf…he pushes back!"

We got our hands on Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory and went through character creation and customization. This space-exploration role-playing game will let you play as a hotshot starship pilot who, with the help of his three wingmen, must fight for truth, justice, and peace throughout the galaxy--or something along those lines. At the start of the game, you customize your character by choosing to specialize in a specific skill line, such as piloting, gunnery, or missiles by spending what will ultimately be dozens of points to specialize in skills like ship handling, ship speed, ship repair, and various weapon proficiencies. You do the same with your three wingmen (or to be more precise, two wingmen and one wingwoman) and then start the game aboard your character's mothership. This is a large, slow vessel, which, like each of your pilot's fighter ships, is customizable with different slots for weapon emplacements, as well as engine and shield improvements. At the outset of the campaign, you must follow a friendly pilot into hostile space, pursuing space bandits who are attacking a nearby space station. Star Wolves 3 takes place in fully 3D space with X-, Y-, and Z-axis movement and camera controls that let you scroll and zoom around your fleet in three dimensions. But thankfully, the game has a minimap to go with its larger star map and its many-icon-having game interface in the lower corner of the screen. Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory will be released later this year.

Written By

Want the latest news about Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad?

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Discussion

2 comments
Norwegicus
Norwegicus

I stay clear of any thing with the 1C logo. Bought a few games and they are all unfinished, ugly, bugged and just utter crap. Let russian games stay in russia. Its not up to standards. 1C buy cheap and sell at regular prices. And the developers hardly ever bother to patch and fix the games.

guilhem_r
guilhem_r

Royal Quest is interesting. Kings Bounty was well received and indeed boasted a rich visual style. So seeing the same dev trying its hand at a more straightforward genre, and being able to experience the result for free, looks promising.