GDC 2012 Day 2: Tactical Intervention
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
GDC 2012 was filled with quite a few surprises. One of the most notable ones though came from the OG Planet nestled in the Korea booth towards the back of the main hall. 2012 seems like a popular year for releasing F2P online FPS games so I was a bit skeptical when I heard OG Planet was throwing their hand into the ring as well with Tactical Intervention. I have to say though after watching 20 minutes of gameplay, I think this game might be able to go the distance.
Maps and Modes
The majority of the maps take place in modern western urban environments. The main idea is the same as Counterstrike; the terrorists are up to no good and the counter terrorist group needs to put them in their place. A simple concept but when combined with the awesome looking game modes OG Planet has in store it really comes together well.
The first game mode I came across is a crowded mall filled with hostages running around everywhere that you are penalized for killing. Players will be able to hide inside convenience stores and storage closets, or within the shirt racks of major shopping centers to get the jump on their competition.
The next mode takes a step outside the box and actually has the counter terrorist group escorting a diplomat carrying an important briefcase full of information. The terrorists must eliminate this threat before the time limit is reached in order to succeed. This mode takes place on a crowded freeway and players will be forced to drive the diplomat to safety as terrorists and counter terrorists alike hijack cars and do all they can to prevent each other from reaching their goal. It gets really wild when you bring in the helicopter and start raining bullets from the sky as cars explode left and right.
The third game mode they had on display was still in the very earliest stages of design but looked like a hell of a lot of fun. The terrorists have a car bomb that they must drive under a moving airplane taking off from a runway while the counter terrorists attempt to stop them. Players will have to drive their vehicles maneuvering around fast moving aircraft while having a high speed shoot out with each other. It’s really something you have to see to believe.
The Environment and Realism
While the game modes might seem new and refreshing, the high production value of the game carries over well into the detail they put into designing the game’s environments. If you shoot into a line of shirts hanging on a wall, you’ll actually see the fabric get torn up by bullets. If you shoot the windows of a moving car they will explode glass everywhere. If you shoot out the tires, the car will lose control, and players will have to get out and change the tire before the car is operational again. Heck if you’re a crack shot and can deliver a series of shots to the gas tank, the entire vehicle will explode.
The environment isn’t just there to react to the player but also as a tool to help you through certain situations. For instance, one of the weapons shown during the demo was a fire flash grenade that can set a part of the map ablaze with intense high reaching flames for a few moments. This is ideal for cutting off an opponent’s escape or buying time for your team to regroup. But a crafty player with a sharp eye can grab a fire extinguisher off the wall and put out the flames early!
Players will also be able to use other environment props like riot police shields to tank heavy fire while providing cover for the rest of their team to infiltrate a room. And when you no longer need to provide cover you can throw the shield as a projectile at an enemy combatant to disorient them while you open fire. Another way to use the environment is as a weapon! Say your foes are hunkered down inside a room camping your team and it’s suicide to merely open the door and walk into their hold out? Simply place an explosive on the door and watch as the door is blown off its hinges, damaging any unfortunate soul unlucky enough to get hit by the flying scrap metal as it soars across the room!
There was a lot of information to take in during the short demo but two unique features really stuck out to me. The first of which was the fact that you can actually have a pet in an FPS game! The demo explained the various uses and commands you can give your police dog such as guard duty. Have no one to watch your back? Simply station your hound on your flank and he will start barking if any enemies start sneaking up behind you. The dogs are also useful for causing mayhem by sending them in to attack in opponent just before your team starts opening fire. The controls seemed simple and intuitive and should be easily accessible without taking players too far out of the normal FPS frame of mind.
Another side note I found cool is that players can heal each other. Teamwork is extremely important in this game so going rambo and getting cut off from the rest of your squad is the fastest way to lose a match in Tactical Intervention. Although they aren’t really dedicated classes in the game, you can choose to pimp out a few weapon types to carry an advantage in what you’re proficient with into battle. Silencers, scopes, and faster reloading are all among the possibilities of upgrades.
By far the part of the game that looks the most entertaining though is the vehicles. One player is responsible for driving their vehicle while other players can call shotgun or hop in the backseat (max 4 players to one car). Players that aren’t driving can actually duck in and out of the windows to take pop shots at opposing vehicles. The same control mechanics are in operation with helicopters! Players can sit in the open back end of the chopper shooting down at opponents. When the right time strikes, they can even grab onto bungee ropes and drop down to the surface to join the fight.
It’s hard to name off all the little nuances that make this game so interesting so I’ll conclude with this last one. Players can choose to lean their character to peak around corners without exposing their whole body. This helps prevent the typical instant death associated with campers. But if you’re sure there is a camper down a hallway and you absolutely have to get through, you can activate something called blind firing. In this mode you reach around the corner or over a ledge with only your arms and open fire. It comes at a heavy price to your accuracy but the safety it provides makes this feature very valuable in the right situation. Also combined with the third person view you can get a pretty good look at what’s down the hallway without much risk.
Unlike many of the games shown at GDC, Tactical Intervention is right around the corner so expect closed beta as soon as the end of March! In fact if you hurry before Wednesday the 14th you can get in this weekend! Just visit our forums here and follow the instructions to enter!