Atari targets Enemy in Sight

Publisher takes the wraps off an all-new military-themed shooter from the creator of Hidden & Dangerous and Mafia. First details and screens inside.


Atari has announced Enemy in Sight, an all-new PC shooter that will take place on huge battlefields of some 100 square kilometers in size during a fictitious, near-future war that will span all of Europe. The game is in development at none other than Illusion Softworks, the Czech studio responsible for such games as Vietcong, the Hidden & Dangerous series, and Mafia. Enemy in Sight will feature a goal-oriented single-player campaign--which takes place in deformable environments that can be traversed with drivable vehicles--along with team-based multiplayer modes. Atari executive producer Peter Wyse explains the first details.

GameSpot: Give us a brief overview of Enemy in Sight.

Peter Wyse: The cold war never died. It just went into a deep freeze until global events brought it to a full boil. You are a soldier in today's army. You are called into action to fight a conventional war between Russian and American forces using today's latest technology. You have all of the modern weapons of war at your disposal, from the latest machine guns to the laser-guided missile launchers, from modern tanks to state-of-the-art helicopters.

GS: Tell us about the game's single-player component. Will there be any story-related elements?

PW: You start off as a private in the American Army, called in to duty to fight against Russian forces in European battle theaters. You will start off as basic infantry but will distinguish yourself in battle, and you will find yourself quickly rising through the ranks. Along the way you'll receive training in a variety of different weapons and vehicles. And as the game progresses you'll be advancing the front line from England, on the southwest coast near the town Plymouth, to Germany in the southwest mountainous area near Baden-Baden, and finally to the Czech Republic near the White Carpathians area, nearby Slovakian borders. Along the way you'll discover more about who actually started this war and their reasons for doing so.

GS: Tell us about Enemy in Sight's multiplayer. Will it emphasize team play over lone-wolf tactics?

PW: Modern warfare is about team play and team tactics. We could not build a credible multiplayer game using modern weaponry without building scenarios and battlefields that will rely heavily on team tactics. So there will be scenarios that force players to combine ground, air, and artillery support to strike a target. But we do recognize that going it alone has its own appeal, and for those players that want to test their limits against overwhelming odds, we have created Green Beret mode.

GS: Tell us about the actual gameplay. Could you disclose the modes at this point? Is the game going to be focused on head-to-head deathmatching or on goal-oriented gameplay?

PW: The single-player mode is very objective-oriented, as you'll be defending or attacking key targets, engaging enemies, establishing new frontlines, and collecting intelligence, to name a few of the scenarios. But the multiplayer and quick-play modes support a number of different scenarios and allow you to tailor your gameplay experience to your own flavor and speed. For example, if all you want to do is drive tanks and run through buildings, there will be scenarios that are very tank-centric. We'll announce the specific modes at a later date, but variety of gameplay is not an issue.

GS: Any interesting technical features supported by Enemy in Sight you'd care to share with us?

PW: First of all, we'll be pushing to get as many players into our multiplayer sessions as possible. I'll give you more information on just how many as we get closer to our beta release.

One of the aspects that I love about this game is that the team did enormous amounts of research in order to get it right. Digital terrain models (DTM) and aerial photographs were used to re-create our battlefields so that England feels and looks like the countryside there. The buildings that you see in a small English village are very different than the ones that you find in a village in the Czech Republic. We needed to get this right because you can enter, explore, and destroy any structure and terrain that you see in the game.

The initial accuracy of digital model moves within the range from one to 10 meters. The countryside has roads, watercourses, and, in particular, the buildings that have been created precisely according to real structures, often with perfectly executed interiors. Consistently with reality, whole towns and villages will be created. There will be fewer structures, naturally, since the interiors of the buildings will also be modeled, and it will be made possible to enter them freely.

The basic size of each location is over 100 square kilometers, but this is not all. We do not want to create any countryside boundary, and so the whole model of terrain will be flipped over and mirrored into all sides, which will make the resulting size of the countryside larger than 900 square kilometers (more than 350 square miles)!

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about the game?

PW: Modern weapons and vehicles, battlefields ripped from reality, deformable terrain, the chance to save the free world... We better hurry up and finish this game because I can't wait to play it!

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