Bodycount • Page 2

Abacus not included.

Other enemy classes of note include Commanders, who orchestrate their henchmen by bellowing instructions. Swapping their eyeballs with a couple of lead nuggets seems to work a treat when it comes to shutting them up and throwing their men into disarray. As part of the drive to make Bodycount a more arcade-style shooting experience, Wilson and his team have injected a series of power-ups into the all out action mix. Kill an enemy and they drop Intel - the game's currency. These blue orbs pop out of cadavers and are then sucked up as you pass by.

Accumulate enough Intel and you can call upon one of four power-ups: airstrikes, armour bonuses, weapon upgrades and an enhanced mini-map that betrays the enemy's whereabouts. "This isn't a simulation it's a game, and we want Bodycount to have a defined reward system," explains Wilson.

"There are three ways you can accumulate Intel. Killing lots of enemies, killing them in skilful ways or killing a specialised unit while they're performing their tasks, like taking out a medic while they're healing someone.

"The power-ups can be upgraded over a number of stages. The enhanced mini map upgrade first lets you see enemy locations, then distinguish between classes and finally see enemies through walls. The level one airstrike involves just one bomber, but this increases to two then three as you upgrade the ability."

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Destroy everything. Kill everyone.

All of this carnage would feel pretty hollow without a satisfyingly developed backdrop and story. According to Wilson and art director Max Cant, Bodycount has the potential to take us on a global journey that's packed with just as much intrigue as destruction.

"You're an ex forces guy who's been recruited into an organisation called The Network which goes into conflict zones around the world and mops up the problems the United Nations can't be bothered with," begins Wilson.

"As you progress you find there's more to the civil conflicts that are erupting around the world than meets the eye and you slowly uncover an advanced and vicious organisation hell-bent on causing conflict throughout the world and imprinting its own ideology on it."

Cant picks up the thread. "The game is set in the near future against the backdrop of a world that's coming to the end of its natural life cycle. It's not post apocalyptic like Mad Max - rather it's a world that's coming to the end of strip-mining resources from third-world countries, and people are getting savvier to how governments operate.

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Hiding behind degradable cover won't keep you safe for long.

"We're really trying to make the environment tell its own stories so that you feel totally immersed in it. So you may pass a bus that's been rammed through an industrial compound's gate, which suggests a riot or local uprising took place recently."

What Bodycount may lack in gritty realism and tightly scripted thrills, it seems to be making up for with intelligent level design, an impressively destructible environment and a clever blend of real world, near future intrigue and arcade-style action.

Granted, it may not possess the bells and whistles of a Black Ops. But if total obliteration of absolutely everything gets your trigger finger itching, then Bodycount is definitely a game you should keep in your crosshairs.

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