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Digital Jesters signs Chaos League for UK

League-al wrangling.

Britsoft publisher Digital Jesters has signed the UK publishing rights to PC-based future sports title Chaos League from French developer Cyanide, and aims to release it in June 2004 priced £29.99, or so we were told last week. Screensheeeeeeeoooorrrts.

Although future sports have obviously been done in the past - and some would say done to death - DJs and Cyanide are both confident that they can offer a new and interesting take on the genre. Theirs is an American Football-style game that handles like a real-time strategy title, where pads and helmets are stressed to their very limits by commands like "stamp", "facial kick", "ball of fire" and all manner of other moves. Hrm - Blood Bowl, anyone?

Up in the sky, the manager will be able to behave like a monster on and off the pitch, mixing his training and trading of players with a healthy amount of doping, corruption, hooliganism, trap setting and other underhanded approaches. Even magic, which can be used in both attack and defence. Sorry: DE-FENSE!

We're not just dealing with puny humans here either - each nine-player team will consist of creatures from any of ten races, each with its own style of play and strategic approach, and every player has the capacity to grow in skill and magical proficiency with repeated play. You can also nurture them as they go, mentally scarring them with your aggressive managerial approach or gently encouraging them instead.

All of which sounds worth a look if nothing else, especially with the promise of online multiplayer modes backed up by the usual array of options; one-off matches ("friendlies" is probably a stretch), knock-out competition and a persistent online league structure.

"Chaos League is a game that has had our internal testers playing well into the night, and that's obviously a good sign," DJs director Terry Malham said last week. Those doubting Cyanide's ability to knock out a strategic sports sim would also do well to note that Digital Jesters is currently gearing up to publish another of its titles, Pro Rugby Manager, so if oval ball antics with no-rules are your thing, Chaos might just be in your League. Sorry.