Valve and Activision have today announced that they've entered into a strategic partnership that grants Activision exclusive worldwide publishing rights to the developer's upcoming games. The first Valve game to be released through Activision will be Day of Defeat, a Half-Life-powered first-person shooter set in World War II.
"Activision has been a pioneering games publisher since the days of the Atari 2600, and the company has never been more influential than it is today," said Gabe Newell, cofounder and managing director of Valve. "It's an honor to enter this new partnership and have the opportunity to take Day of Defeat, an ambitious product born of the mod community, to gamers around the world in a great retail offering."
Set in Western Europe in 1944, Day of Defeat is a multiplayer first-person shooter in which players can take part in large Axis-vs.-Allies battles as snipers, infantrymen, machine gunners, riflemen, or sergeants. The game originally debuted as a mod and will benefit from a number of improvements before its retail release. The final version of the game will feature 15 multiplayer maps (10 of which are brand new), new character models, improved textures, and a new particle effects system, and it will also allow players to enlist with the previously absent British Allied squad should they wish to do so.
We recently had a chance to sit down and play the new version of the game. Though it's fast-paced, it includes a number of realistic details that differentiate the game from a more traditional arcade-style shooter. For instance, you can crouch and lie prone on the battlefield, which you'll need to do on maps with sparse cover. You also can't fire while jumping, since you'll briefly bring your gun down to your side as you jump, so hopping over sandbags and bunkers where enemy soldiers may be lurking can be a risky proposition. While Day of Defeat may not look quite as spectacular as graphical showcase games such as Unreal Tournament 2003 and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, highly detailed graphics aren't really the point of Day of Defeat. Like Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat's system requirements are relatively modest and are much more accomodating for a wide range of computers than more-demanding games.
We'll bring you more information on Day of Defeat and other Valve games included in today's agreement as soon as it becomes available.