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Bodycount

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Bodycount developer closing down


Sep 14
// Fraser Brown
In a move that's unlikely to surprise anyone, Codemasters have started the process of closing its Guildford Studio, creator of Bodycount. The UK developer wants to focus on its racing properties and is encouraging the 66 empl...
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Bodycount gets its final developer diary: The Demo


Aug 24
// Liam Fisher
The fourth and final entry in Codemasters' super serious look at its not-so-serious shooter Bodycount has made its way to the public. I don't know what other incentive you need though; they've already used the phrase "kick t...
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Bodycount lets you 'kick the ass out of the world'


Aug 08
// Liam Fisher
Yes, "kick the ass out of the world" is a real thing that Bodycount art director Max Cant has said, and I love it. In part two of the developer diaries for the upcoming shooter, the staff delves into what makes their game wo...
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Bodycount dev: There's room for FPSs beyond Call of Duty


Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
An interesting tidbit came out of a Bodycount interview with Codemasters game director Andy Wilson. "We looked at Bulletstorm and I think it's fair to say that it was a sort of 'acid test' for us," he tells CVG. "Because the...

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Codemaster's Bodycount out August 30


Jun 29
// Nick Chester
This past weekend, Jim Sterling told you Codemasters' Bodycount was coming out in August. Always vague, that Sterling. Here's a proper date, just revealed today, for those in North America: August 30. The first-person shooter...
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Bodycount to be counting bodies this August


Jun 25
// Jim Sterling
Remember Bodycount? It was the spiritual successor to Black, before director Stuart Black left the development team and now who knows what the game's going to be like? It was slated for an early 2011 release date, but it's f...
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Interview: Codemaster's Bodycount returns from obscurity


Jun 01
// Hollie Bennett
At last year's E3, Codemasters announced their new shooter Bodycount. However, since its big unveiling, the game's hardly been seen or heard from until it appeared at Namco Bandai's Level UP event. I interviewed Ga...
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Bodycount dev: Shooters 'need to find their own space'


Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
Speaking with Edge, Bodycount director Andy Wilson voiced what he feels is the one of the main problems with first-person shooters right now. "I think the biggest thing in the FPS genre right now is trying to distance yourse...
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E3 10: Bodycount's debut trailer tells you you're hot


Jun 14
// Samit Sarkar
To go along with our first hands-on look at Codemasters' Bodycount, we've got the game's E3 2010 debut trailer, which you can view above. It exemplifies the game's core tenets: kick-ass shooting, impressive destructibility, ...

Bodycount is 'all about the guns'

Jun 14 // Samit Sarkar
Bodycount (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed]) Developer: Codemasters Guildford Publisher: Codemasters To be released: Spring 2011 The first description of Bodycount that Black gave me was that it’s a “very pure, very focused shooter”; the next was that “it’s all about the guns, and the effect that [they] have on the world when you squeeze the trigger.” In that sense, this game aims for realism: for every bullet you fire, you will see a response -- if you don’t hit an enemy, the bullet will leave a noticeable mark on the environment. In fact, most of your surroundings are destructible. Why not all? “We could shred the whole world if we wanted to,” said Black, “but you don’t want to, because there’s not a lot of gameplay in that.” Bodycount is certainly a linear game, but it allows the player to tailor the gameplay experience to his style. You always have a silenced pistol at your side, and you can carry two additional weapons. So you can choose how you want to proceed at certain points -- perhaps stealthy, using the pistol, or maybe loud and guns blazing, tearing up the environment as you go. Either way, staying in cover (which is destructible, of course) during firefights is essential for survival. Bodycount has a cover system that’s reminiscent of Killzone 2. There’s no iron sights view in this game; instead, clicking in the right stick simply zooms in on your reticle, and the left trigger puts you in cover. From there, you have full control of your movement with the left stick -- you can lean in either direction, or peek out from behind cover. Black explained to me that he’s tired of shooters that take themselves seriously, which is why Bodycount is a bombastic, over-the-top experience that’s grounded in reality, but not constrained by it -- a “stylized, balletic orgy of shooting and shredding [the environment],” as he put it. He named a number of personal inspirations, and explained their relevance to the game. Bodycount gets its “sense of outrageousness” from the work of Garth Ennis; a “retro-modern,” “glossy” feel from Lady Gaga, whom Black described as having a “seventies vibe,” but with a “modern twist”; and a plot filled with ambiguity, mystery, and strong character arcs from J.J. Abrams. These influences combine to make Bodycount a “glossy techno-thriller” that has a “toehold in reality,” but takes liberties with it without getting into sci-fi or fantasy territory. You play as Jackson Delgado, a young hotshot who’s full of himself; he’s used to getting himself into sticky situations, but he always has the wherewithal to get himself out of them. He’s recruited by the Network, a “super-secret Illuminati-type” shadow organization whose operatives work against other networks designated as “targets” -- Black described these individuals as “neo-Nazi nutjobs, serious fruitcakes that need to [be] put down; definitely evil scumbags,” but he slyly noted that that doesn’t necessarily mean the Network are good guys. Upon accepting your mission, you’re drugged into unconsciousness; the next time you open your eyes, you’re thousands of feet above a battlefield in Africa, hurtling toward the ground. Sounds nuts, doesn’t it? This storytelling approach creates parity between the player character and the player’s experience -- in other words, you know just as much as Delgado does about what’s going on. You’re a mere combat asset for the Network; Delgado is guided by a sexy operative, Jane, who refers to him only as “John Doe,” or “John” (Black pointed out the connotations of this nomenclature: prostitutes refer to their customers as “johns”). Jane works for a handler, a posh English gentleman who seems warm, “but you can tell he’s lying because his lips are moving.” Your main target is a “fierce femme fatale,” and the two of you will meet a few times throughout the game. The way you behave with her will affect certain parts of the game -- while major plot points won’t change, the people you encounter (and where you encounter them) can. The name of the game is “overt assassination” -- as opposed to covert -- “in global conflict zones,” and Africa is where you begin. There, the local militia is fighting it out against a larger military force, and you get dropped -- literally -- right in the thick of it. In this “asymmetrical warfare,” as Black called it, you take on groups of four to eight enemies who behave as squads with distinct classes. So fighting them entails some strategy on your part -- for example, you might want to seek out the Medic and deal with him first, so the remaining soldiers won’t get healed, or you could get rid of the Scavenger so he doesn’t scoop up the intel that’s rightfully yours. Intel is the currency and “score” of Bodycount. Collecting it lets you upgrade Jackson and his weapons, and it also unlocks other content. You’re going to have to work for it, though. On the African battlefront, you can simply let the two sides take each other out, but you only earn intel if you do the killing yourself. Accordingly, you can figure out tactics to maximize intel drops, but there isn’t necessarily one best way to do that; Black wants gamers to be able to personalize their experience. Black played through the Africa demo himself and then handed the controller to me. I’d consider myself pretty good at shooters, but I was hampered by the inability in the pre-alpha build to invert the y-axis, so I’m glad I got to see Black show me how the game’s supposed to look. The game’s wide color palette struck me immediately. It’s not your average brown current-gen shooter; instead, since the Africa segment takes place in a shantytown, the environment contains a variety of greens (makeshift housing) and grays (concrete structures). But the first thing I noticed, even before the colors, was the gunplay. Just as Black had promised, the shooting in Bodycount is terrific, providing an array of sensory input to process -- a satisfying punch in terms of feel; a bright muzzle flash; and a thunderous report from the barrel. That’s not to mention the bullet impact effects, which Black heralded as “best-in-class” while cautioning their half-done state: I thought the destruction in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was impressive, but much more of the environment in Bodycount can be torn apart, and you don’t even need explosives to do it. Bits of wood and chunks of concrete were flying everywhere during battles, and the detritus was strewn about the ground after fights concluded. The objective in this particular area was a monolithic structure in the distance, a nigh-impenetrable building that, once taken for the Network, would reduce the influence of the enemy in this area of the world. But in order to get to it, I had to fight my way through groups of African soldiers, all the while receiving strange, innuendo-laced guidance and tactical support from Jane. “Good morning, John. Welcome to the Network. Please be aware that you are in a hostile zone... and that you are hot,” she said in my ear, as I came upon the first battleground. Bodycount’s combat is where its arcade nature surfaces. Kill an enemy, and a bright red orb of intel pops out of him; dispatching multiple soldiers in a row adds to your multiplier, so racking up streaks of kills gives you more intel. Soon, I encountered my first Psycho Tank, a behemoth with a .50-caliber machine gun who requires some ingenuity to take down. My cover was disintegrating quickly in a hail of bullets, so upon being reminded by Black that I could “rip the shit out of those environments,” I blew a hole in the wall of a nearby building -- using bullets alone -- and flanked the slow-moving gunner. I had to stop at that point, but I wanted to keep playing. Bodycount is looking solid already, even though the enemies in the version I played weren’t yet imbued with class-specific squad behavior. But what I saw was very promising, and with the intrigue offered the game’s unique storytelling method, I’m already interested in it as more than just a shooter. According to Black, Bodycount will be out in the first half of 2011.
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Codemasters’ Stuart Black is a man who likes his videogame guns, and he’s so passionate about them that he wants to impart his affection for virtual weapons to you. He wants you to understand the feeling of firing...

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Bodycount co-op: missions, but director wanted campaign


Jun 07
// Samit Sarkar
Bodycount creative director Stuart Black is a self-professed "big fan" of co-op, and he badly wanted to have the game's entire campaign playable cooperatively. But the story had other ideas: It became really obvious -- a...
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Bodycount director Black: Killzone 2 was 'a bit poo'


Jun 04
// Samit Sarkar
Stuart Black, the creative director of Bodycount, is a guy who speaks his mind; if he's passionate about something, you're going to hear about it. While extolling the virtues of Bodycount at a demo on Tuesday, he mention...
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Bodycount's Black: Focus on shooting, not bullet points


Jun 04
// Samit Sarkar
Codemasters' Stuart Black, the creative director of Bodycount, feels that too many shooters suffer from shooting that's, well, not all that good. Why? Because, he asserted, those games prioritize back-of-the-box bullet points...

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