The Stalin Subway E3 2005 Preshow Report

You're on a mission to save Stalin (and all of Mother Russia) in Buka's historical first-person shooter.

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The locale is Moscow. The year is 1952. Joseph Stalin is in his 30th year in power as the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, and even at the ripe old age of 72, Stalin wields enough clout to keep his enemies, both inside and outside the government, in check. Still, as anti-Stalin sentiment grows, a faction toils in secrecy to take down the Communist icon. To do so, they plan to detonate a secret weapon during the Bolshevik Assembly. That's the setting where you'll find yourself in Buka Entertainment's upcoming first-person shooter for the PC, The Stalin Subway.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

In it, you'll play as KGB officer Gleb Suvorov, racing to prevent the explosion that would take out the Assembly, Stalin, and a massive number of innocent civilians as well. As you do so, you'll explore the darkest secrets of 1950s underground Moscow; secret military subway lines, suburban catacombs, and even the secret bunker of Stalin himself. Aboveground, you'll be creeping and shooting your way through more familiar locales, including the Moscow State University construction site, the MGB building at Lubyanka Street, and, of course, the Kremlin.

The Stalin Subway will combine traditional first-person shooting action with some stealth-based gameplay. On the stealth side, a variety of mission types should keep things moving. In some missions you'll be chased by the bad guys, looking for opportunities to create obstacles to hold your enemies at bay; in others, you'll be faced with missions that are strictly time-based--take too long and it's game over.

When it gets down to bang-bang time, you'll be firing realistic weaponry of the era, including specialized weapons such as the PTRS-41 antitank rifle and RKG-3 grenades, along with flamethrowers and Molotov cocktails (naturally). The game's physics engine promises to allow for different bullet penetration abilities for each weapon. Other items you'll be using on your way to saving Communism will be explosives, medkits, bandages, and stimulators. Certain items and areas will be destructible and interactive--in some areas you'll be setting fires to progress to the next stage; in others, you might be flooding a room with water.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The developer of The Stalin Subway, GS Software, is emphasizing the facial features of the game's non-player characters, which look pretty realistic and will react to their environment or to your character's actions. From what we've seen of the game so far, we're actually more impressed with the textures of the environments than the look of the NPCs, but then again, we've not seen the game in motion yet. The game's multiplayer mode will feature deathmatch and "special team scenarios" and of course realistic Moscow environments to blast your way through.

The Stalin Subway's combination historical fiction plotline and modern FPS gameplay sets it apart from the typical sci-fi or military shooters that dominate the market today. Just how well those elements will combine in the game remains to be seen.

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