Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cross Gaming: hype or the real deal?

Ben Mattes has a good post on The Crossing, an FPS from Arkane Studios coming to the PC.

The Crossing is a HL2-engine based shooter, and it's very pretty. I'd best sum up the story as "Guys with guns are no match against the medieval knights that continue to live as part of a secret society, and who have kick-ass swords and a frikkin' grappling hook!"

Apart from the pretty visuals and the oh-where-was-that-when-I-needed-it-in-HL2 grappling hook, they have one very unique thing they are trying to do, which they've deemed "Cross-play". Singleplayer meets multiplayer.

The idea is that individual players playing through the single player game, rather than playing against a hoarde of dumb AI players, will be plowing through hoards of human players that have logged on to play the multiplayer game. For those logging in to play multiplayer, the single-player players will appear to be grossly overpowered, hard to take-down enemies that you will need to use squad tactics to try and beat. The hoards of enemies for the single player *can* be AI-driven, and multiplayer players can 'take over' their bodies a la Agent Smith.

From the 1up interview:

"Skirmish maps have two contexts: either populated by skirmish players only -- the multiplayer people -- or populated by both skirmish players and story players, the "Elites." When there are no Elites around, the skirmish players play a team deathmatch game that can include various rules, such as land conquest or flag conquest. Meanwhile, the Elite players are playing their story maps -- in co-op, usually -- once they're supposed to join a skirmish map, as part of their story."

It's a really compelling idea. Not sure they'll be able to pull it off. I hope they can though!

Trailer here:

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