The World War 2 setting for shooters has been used, abused, and been put to rest by a few developers. There is one man, though, that thinks that he can bring some much needed life into the often depressing setting with the aid of rock and roll.
Stuart Black, now working for City Interactive (Crime Lab: Body of Evidence review, Sniper: Ghost Warrior), is committed to creating a WW2-based shooter that is more about the action, rather than the setting. In an interview with Gamespot, Black lays out his outline for his game:
"We want to get away from the usual, reverential treatment. If I hear one more trumpet refrain over a somber front end or see another Thompson machine gun, I'm going to put my pad through the screen. We want to invoke the spirit of films like The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, The Guns of Navarone, and a bit of Inglourious Basterds. One of my favorite war movies of all time is Peckinpah's Cross of Iron. The ending of that movie is genius, forced by necessity as it happens, but genius none the less."
"That's what we're after. More rock and roll, spray and pray, slo-mo death, and glory, wrapped in a progressive metagame that you don't usually see in a shooter."
The films Black references are definitely not historically accurate in anyway whatsoever, but that's what made them great. If Black is evoking the kind of feel and "charm" those films embody, he might be on to something with his game's design. One thing holding him back, however, is the less than stellar reviews City Interactive's titles have received in the past. Black further explains:
"In talking with City Interactive I was struck by their passion and commitment to gaming and, most importantly, their ability to look honestly at the successes and failings of their titles."
"I think it's plain to see, in their investment in CryEngine 3 and their desire to improve their design capacity, that they're serious in their commitment to gaming and improving the quality of their titles."
"The bottom line is, they care. I hope I can help them in raising the bar and be a part of making City Interactive a globally recognized hallmark of quality games."
No doubt, CryEngine 3 is powerful, pretty, and perfectly capable of rendering a shooter to high specifications. It will be interesting to see if Black and his team can pull off his vision.
While WW2 shooters may have overstayed their welcome, there have certainly been a good number of titles in the genre that have made their mark and raised the bar for newcomers. Black doesn't seem to really want to compete with them, rather, he would prefer to create a game that would have no comparison at all.
There has been no announcement on what the name of the game will be, its expected release date, or what platforms it will support. However, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC would all be good guesses.