Bodycount - Hands-on Preview
- Posted August 8th, 2011 at 18:21 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 1 Comments
It can be really disheartening when you try your level best only to be slapped in the face with the news that you simply aren’t good enough. In Bodycount, Codemaster’s latest first-person shooter, that was ever apparent as we ended our first ever mass slaughter of hundreds of local militia by earning a measly Grade “D” in the end of level rankings. Needless to say, this didn’t feel reward enough considering our confident gung-ho approach and willingness to tackle some ferocious A.I. head on. There is, however, a good lesson to be learned from our mistaken view that Bodycount is a game that merely involves aiming, firing and running like you've got a stick of dynamite down your pants. Consequently, you soon learn that the over-powering urge to roar like a lion and run-and-gun your way through a pack of heavily-armed goons leads inevitably to disappointment come the end of level score.
The chaos that unfolds in Bodycount actually tricks you into panicking, creating an overwhelming sense of urgency that grips you as you dash through a storm of bullets and leap over tossed grenades and through falling debris. Stop to take a breath for one moment though and you quickly realise that there's a lot more strategy involved than first meets the eye, especially if you harbour any dreams of becoming a grade “A” killing machine. Judging from our initial hands-on time with Bodycount, it does appear that it is just as much about taking up good positioning, or tossing down a mine in the right place to take out half-a-dozen unsuspecting enemies, as it is pure, unadulterated, gun-in-hand FPS action. The scoring system triggers that competitive gamer inside and when you're aiming for top of the leaderboard, Codie’s shooter becomes just as much about skill as it does wanton destruction and chaos.
There's so much more to Bodycount than just bringing buildings crumbling to the ground with a well-placed grenade, or knocking enemies 10-feet back with a blast from your shotgun -- it’s also about gaining multipliers, collecting orbs and racking up skill-shots. Though there's little time to think before the next wave of enemies descends, success is also down to how well you use the innovative new cover system to your advantage as you attempt to take out some very smart A.I that changes its behaviour swiftly based on your actions. Yes, causing mayhem is a lot of fun, but Bodycount also looks to be far more tactically challenging than we first gave it credit for; and this cover system actually becomes an integral part of the gameplay.
By introducing a fresh new take on the “lean-and-peek” cover system now adopted in many first-person shooters Codemasters has taken a big risk with Bodycount, but if our initial look at three of the game’s preview levels is anything to go by it may well just pay off. In some ways this new cover mechanic reminds us of the original Rainbow Six games on consoles, where you could camp just to the right-hand side of a window so that you couldn’t be seen and then lean and peek to the left every few seconds or so to take down anyone stupid enough to rush across an open courtyard. The risk of someone running up behind you was always there, but you were unlikely to get hit from in front unless you peeked for too long.
In essence, the cover system in Bodycount does work rather like that, rooting you to the spot and allowing you to peek left, right and over objects without sticking to your cover spot. It differs in two main areas though which makes it feel markedly different to anything before. As you press the left trigger you zoom into the action which gives you more accuracy and precision over your shots, but you're also rooted to the spot so become instantly more vulnerable. Furthermore, Codemasters has ... (continued on next page)
- 11:49pm EDT - August 8th, 2011
Looks cool. Will be adding this one to the BIG-budget PS3 entertainment expense for the fall. Can't wait.