Combat freedom in Frontlines: Fuel of War game preview


for cover. Battlefi eld 2 fl ung you whooping from it. Frontlines: Fuel of War wants to pitch you somewhere in between. “Our aim is to balance fast-paced cinematic intensity with strategy,” says Kaos Studios lead designer Frank DeLise, conjuring visions of chess meeting Black Hawk Down. “Players choose how to take on objectives—go stealthy and fi nd new ways to sneak using different roles and recon equipment, or choose a heavy loadout and run a full-guns offensive.”Kaos is keeping mum on special multiplayer modes, but promises Frontlines will stand apart from what DeLise calls “the typical bot matches found in most multiplayer games.”

West versus East in a near-future squabble over oil, role-based combat specialties, working in foot squads or flinging vehicle fi re—sound kinda like the same-ol’ thing? Frontlines’ hook: “Each theater is roughly an hour of gameplay streamed in with no loading,” DeLise explains. “The theaters themselves have front lines with a series of spreadout, nonlinear objectives that you must achieve to move that front forward.” Whisking you between war theaters from Afghanistan to Moscow, Frontlines lets you pick missions and objectives your way. Snipe the enemy team holed up on the far hill, fl ing grenades at the nearby command HQ, or just recon the whole shindig—you tap your squad bots (in single-player), you mark the targets.

“Capture objectives and you get new abilities, like equipment, weapons, and vehicles, which you’ll then use to grab the next objective,” says DeLise, explaining how you’ll refi ne your soldier
class by choosing loadouts and roles. “The loadout is your weapon choice plus secondary
elements like smoke grenades and proximity mines. Your role, on the other hand, adds equipment such as remote-controlled drones—for recon—or base defenses.” DeLise says roles
improve according to use and yield access to new abilities. A drone specialist might start with a passive recon drone and upgrade to one capable of assaults later in the game. And while role-playing combat ops aren’t exactly news, the team hopes a few of Frontlines’ 60 next-gen
weapons and vehicles will knock the socks off conventional shooter tactics.

In the end, DeLise wants Frontlines to convey a broad range of emotions and playing styles.
“It’ll always feel like you’re in a much bigger battle with lots of allies around you, fighting and
changing their strategy based on the objectives you’ve achieved,” he says. “Your squadmates
will react like real soldiers, yelling for help and pointing out threats using a contextual battlechatter system that brings the war to life.” And, with a little luck, it’ll bring a well-worn genre to life, too.

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