A little less Private Ryan, a little more Inglourious Basterds
“We wanted to get back to a bit more of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit. To do that, we wanted to get you off the front lines, stop being a grunt, and doing the same old Normandy-to-Berlin run.”
—Stuart Black, creative director, Enemy Front
When asked how City Interactive’s WWII first-person shooter, Enemy Front, would differ from WWII games we’ve seen in the past, Stuart Black, veteran of Black and Viking: Battle for Asgard, talked candidly about just wanting to kick ass and take names—and he’s made a few design decisions in order to ensure just that. As insinuated in the quote, the path your characters will take through Nazi-occupied Europe doesn’t end on Berlin’s doorstep. Instead, you’ll start in Dunkirk sneaking behind enemy lines during an Allied retreat, move on to Poland to help the resistance and assault a Hitler think tank, and then take on a secret base in Norway at the game’s climax, wreaking havoc on the Nazi war machine all along the way.
Black’s story is also moving away from the drama and relationships of soldiers in a unit serving on the front lines. Plenty of war movies served as inspiration for this game—but Saving Private Ryan wasn’t one of them. Instead, your character’s an old-school badass in the vein of vintage Clint Eastwood. Just one man taking down entire platoons of Nazis all by himself…and getting the hot French chick in the end after doing it.
But it wouldn’t be a Stuart Black game if you didn’t get great feedback on the chaos you’re creating. Destructible environments—filled with tons of exploding barrels, of course—and different, more obscure weapons than you’d typically see in a WWII shooter will help make this a bang-up confrontation of the Axis versus the Allies. And, yeah, even though we all know how WWII ends, Enemy Front looks to bring fresh experiences to our grandfathers’ war. All I know is that with all the “future war” games currently in vogue, it’s nice to see a developer remember their roots—and remind us of them as well.