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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Visiting Fatshark, and trying out Lead & Gold

Just got back from visiting Fatshark in Stockholm, where I got the chance to play 2 on 2 in Lead & Gold. It's impressive how far they've managed to get while they've only been working on it for half a year.

It's using GRIN's Diesel engine and is a team multiplayer game, that also have a single player coop mode (guess it's possible to play completely solo aswell). There was four character classes, a big guy with a double barreled shotgun and dynamites, a deputy with a mid-range rifle and the ability to tag people (so everyone on your team gets wallhack on that guy), some guy with a powerful revolver that he could fire rapidly as his specialty, and lastly, my favorite, the lady with a sniper rifle and the ability to put out traps that makes people get stuck and unable to do anything for like 5 seconds or something.

Everyone had a pistol as a secondary weapon, except the revolver guy that only had that weapon. The netcode seemed really reliable, and you hit where you shot at without any bullet latency, but I don't know how it would be with more players or on the consoles.

Player physics were good aswell, and it was easy to navigate around and jump up on things (better too easy than too hard). The game is played in a third person perspective, and each team has a flag in their base, that one team member can bring with him, and it will then act as a respawn point for the rest of the team.

So to prevent the other team from progressing you really needed to take out the flag carrier, and then walk over their flag to return it to their base (I think it auto-returned if no one touched it after a certain amount of time). Didn't really figure out the delay before respawning after you died, but it was mostly around 10 seconds I believe, which worked quite well.

We played four different game modes. The first one was about a sack of gold in the middle of the level, where you need to bring it back to base (like capture the flag with only one flag), and the one carrying it can't run or use any weapons. But he can throw the sack and then fight as usual to later pick it up again.

The sack is always shown as an indication for all players, so everyone knows where it is or if it's on the move. It was about teamplay, to be able to protect the guy carrying the sack, or helping out and ambushing the other team.

Second game mode was about gunpowder kegs that you needed to carry to the designated area and then blow up, while the other team tried to prevent you from doing so. If they shot the keg, it would lit the fuse and it would blow up in 3-5 seconds, so you needed to throw it away quickly, and then return to base to get a new one. After half-time, the teams switched sides.

Third game mode was a combination of the previous two, where one team would use gunpowder kegs to blow their way to the gold sacks (for example, blow up a vault), and then try returning them to base, while the other team would protect the gold. And as the previous game mode, the teams switched sides after half-time.

Fourth game mode was a territorial one, where there were four different areas you could capture, and I believe you got points aslong as you had a captured area, and more points obviously if you captured more. To take over an area, you had to stand in it's proximity until it's been overtaken.

If the other team already owned that area, you first needed to stand there until it became neutral before capturing it (twice the amount of time). I also think that if the enemies started capturing your area, it wouldn't regenerate, and they could continue where they left off if you didn't stand in its proximity to recapture it.

The player could also do dodge rolls, which were a quick roll which was really good if you needed to get away from someones shotgun blast for example. If you loose all your health points, you fall down bleeding and only have a pistol, so you can still shoot at the enemies, but not move.

Unless a teammate comes and revives you, you'll bleed to death after a fixed duration of time. The enemies could also finish you off completely. Reminded me of a combination between Gears of War, and the "last stand" Call of Duty 4 perk.

All in all, I had lots of fun kicking girlie butt (girls vs guys), and I look forward to when it's coming out next year, after it's been polished and bug fixed a little bit more. It will have hard time competing with the bigger titles on the PC (Team Fortress 2, Modern Warfare), but it got great potential for XBLA and PSN.

What I really did miss though was a knife, or some other way to ridicule players that I was able to sneak up on from the behind ;)

Oh, and for some reason they had lots of GRIN mugs in the kitchen.

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