Bodycount, explosions and guns
There's a reason why I've developed an interest in Bodycount. No, it's not because it's your typical, generic shooter: I might be a COD fanboy but that doesn't mean I fall head over heals for every FPS I come across.
I'm keen on Bodycount because it is said to be a spiritual successor to 'Black', that extremely solid and explosive shooter on PlayStation 2 and Xbox that nobody played. Bodycount's made by members of the same development team and videos showcase a game decisively reminiscent of that memorable shooter from last decade.
The two games share more in common that you initially might think. Both games came later in a generation, buried beneath a hoard of "blockbuster" and "AAA" first-person shooters.
They're also both intensely dependent on destructible environments and your ability to use that aesthetic to your advantage.
With so many great shooters coming to consoles and PC in the coming months, should we even bother with the team's second console effort? I think you should, and here's why.
Black's 'spiritual successor'
Codemaster's in-house developer, Guildford Studio, is made up of team members once part of other popular studios. Making up much of the team are ex-Criterion Games members, the developer responsible for last generation's Black.
The game shares obvious similarities in destruction, style, pacing and weaponry, so you can rest assured you're in for a very action-packed Bodycount experience. If you're looking for good, ol' fashioned gun pron, Bodycount will be right up your alley.
Guildford has responded to comments regarding Bodycount's similarities to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, suggesting that the team's focus on destruction counters the effort put into vehicles in the aforementioned. The team has spent considerable time and effort into perfecting the game's destructive elements, as they form an important part of the game's progressive flow and combat.
The nature of the game dictates intense and constant action -- the story follows a former American soldier now part of a faction called 'The Network', tasked with bringing down evil African warlords and other Network-esque organisations -- and the tight environments and shanty towns make the world an influential factor in the heat of battle.
The objective of obliterating other faction leaders, similar to The Network's own, gives Bodycount a decisive arcadey feel: fueled by a constant bombardment of enemies and bullets, progression is initiated by the carnage you cause on the battlefield.
The game won't stick to a deep, emotional plot, instead pitting you up against relentless enemies in a shooting experience best described as 'ballsy'.
Enemy class system
You'll be free to approach every mission at your own pace, but the game relies on a very rigid class system that dictates tactic and patience on your end. You will need to figure out how to approach each key class, as taking out an enemy of interest will restrict the opposing faction considerably. For example, take out an enemy medic and enemies around you will weaken.
The Bodycount ticker
This continues on from the game's distinctive arcadey feel. Bodycount keeps track of each kill, with the core objective of working up as good a combo as possible. The skill level of that combo is dependent on how creative you are with your kills, so you'll need to take the time to aim in for that illusive headshot. The ticker will unlock new skills and abilities, including kill rewards such as Predator Drones and air strikes.
With just over a week until Bodycount is released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, there's still so much more promised to be in the game that we are yet to see. The game's co-op and multplayer modes remain a mystery, although this is somewhat of a similar tactic employed in the lead-up to Black's release. Granted, the games have different publishers, but that's an indication that a lack of information doesn't necessarily allude to a lack of quality. Going by what's been said about the game's demo, as well as what's on show in the trailers, Bodycount is a FPS you should be looking into, leading into a FPS season of epic proportions.