Killzone developer Guerrilla's "other game" has been unveiled this week. Eidos now looks set to publish ShellShock: Nam '67, which is due out on PS2, Xbox and PC this June, and claims to be the first game to depict the true horrors of the Vietnam War. Quite some claim given the number of alternatives - Vietcong, Men of Valor, Battlefield Vietnam, etc.
As you'd imagine, you start off controlling a rookie soldier on his first tour of duty, as he suffers his way through napalm bombardments of civilian villages, the VC's gruesome booby traps, the permanent threat of invisible foes and ambushes, and regularly traipses past dead GIs hanging from their tangled parachute cords.
Like Vietcong you have a squad, but this is not a squad-based shooter - it's more of a "war is hell" sim, with the emphasis firmly on hell. Missions range from traditional large-scale battlefield encounters with the North Vietnamese army to jungle skirmishes and even stealth-based offerings like a VC General's assassination.
As you progress, you'll move up the ziggurat until you're a Special Forces sonofabitch, on a tour of duty that stretches from the wetlands of Southern Vietnam to the mountain borders of the North, through jungles, villages, tunnel systems and everything else you've seen in Platoon, Apocalypse Now and the like.
However it's more than your average linear shooter, says Guerrilla, and a C&VG preview reports that the game centres around a central hub area where the soldiers relax with drugs, booze and hookers between battles, which should at least cement the game's 18 certificate at the very least.
ShellShock also contains horrific footage from the war, which is shown between missions, a bit like the World War II FPS series Medal of Honor, except without the honour, the medals, or any of the heroics. Guerrilla obviously feels that the Vietnam games we've seen so far have been a bit too light and fluffy, and aims to redress the balance by petrifying our danglies in the pursuit of gory authenticity.
ShellShock: Nam '67 is being developed in Amsterdam alongside Killzone, with PS2 as the lead platform, and is said to run on a modified version of the Killzone engine, which means it should dole out some gloriously detailed units and do a good job with the unenviable task of creating a realistic jungle environment. As you can see from these screenshots, the developer is certainly making progress.
Meanwhile, Killzone development continues unabated, and some of our more excitable colleagues continue to project its coming as the most significant event in PS2 gaming since some Scottish bloke woke up one morning and thought "What if you could do all that GTA crap in 3D?" We should get more from both titles at this year's E3.