Codemasters’ new arcade shooter IP guns its way to retail ahead of the Q4 rush. MCV takes a look at its unique 'shredding' mechanics.
2011 will perhaps be remembered as the year that put the fun back into first-person shooters. Bulletstorm and Duke Nukem Forever snubbed realism in favour of ballsy and amusing FPS action, with both performing well at retail.
Codemasters, meanwhile, has already carved a niche in the FPS market with its tactically-focused Operation Flashpoint series. Now the developer-publisher is offering something new.
Bodycount is all about big guns, classic arcade-style shooting and colourful, destructible environments – as opposed to the browns and greys of traditional war shooters. It uses ‘shredding’ technology that lets players tear apart not only their enemies but the in-game world, too. Throw in co-op and competitive multiplayer modes and you have a complete FPS package.
“We wanted Bodycount to feel like we’d crammed an ‘80s action movie into your console, so that everything was dialled up to 11 and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face,” says Codemasters’ brand manager Richard Gittins.
Let the bodies hit the floor
Players must hunt down ‘The Target’ in Bodycount – shadowy enemies who attempt to manipulate world events. Gamers are asked to destroy them using grenades, mines, airstrikes, rifles, shotguns and fictional weapons taken from The Target themselves.
Players can also use a cover mechanic to hide, move and aim at the same time. Codemasters says it’s this type of innovation that presents gamers with a fresh spin on the FPS genre, and one that will resonate well with them.
And with this year’s biggest shooters not out until November, Bodycount certainly has a strong chance to do so.
'Bodycount doesn't pretend to be Call of Duty'
“It can be a challenge launching new IP but the game has come on tremendously. It’s going back to that arcade route. I also think it’s a good time for Bodycount to come out before all the monster marketing campaigns and fighting for No.1.
"Bodycount gives people something different and it doesn’t pretend to go up against the Call of Dutys. It’s almost like it does what it says on the box. Shoot loads of bodies. Count them.”
Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters, VP of publishing, EMEA
Codemasters says Bodycount has to be played and its marketing plan reflects that. A downloadable demo will be promoted through online ads and social media, alongside trade marketing.
The game was the brainchild of Stuart Black, co-creator of EA’s 2006 aptly-named FPS Black which was well-received by the press. Fans of Black will be eagerly anticipating Bodycount.
Bodycount uses the EGO game engine which has been used in other successful Codemasters titles including Race Driver: Grid, Dirt 3 and the upcoming racer F1 2011.