Bethesda Softworks, publisher of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, has announced a new free-to-play, third-person online action game named BattleCry on their blog. The game will be the first release by Bethesda-owned developer BattleCry Studios.
According to information from the game’s official site, BattleCry is set in an alternate reality where the nations of the world came together to ban guns with the “Black Powder Treaty” following World War I, leading to the “Pansophic Revolution – a golden age of industrial manufacturing and design.” Subsequent wars have been decided by teams of elite combatants fighting with a plethora of familiar and unorthodox weaponry.
Similar to Valve’s Team Fortress 2, BattleCry will utilize a class-based system for deciding what abilities and weapons a player is able to utilize. The game’s two factions, the Royal Marines and the Cossacks, both have access to the Enforcer, Brawler, Duelist, and Gadgeteer classes. In addition, the Royal Marines employ Archers while the Cossacks utilize “Tech Archers,” though it does not appear that there is any meaningful difference in gameplay between the two. As a player fights with a specific class, they gain access to a greater variety of weapons and abilities for it.
After choosing a class, players will face off in 32-person battles in a variety of gameplay modes. According to BattleCry Executive Producer Rich Vogel, the game’s combat is designed to combine “greatest elements of single-player action” with “the rock-solid tenets of competitive design” and includes such elements as melee combo attacks, active dodging, and class-specific special abilities based on a resource called Adrenaline.
In an article on PCGamer magazine’s website, Evan Lahti, who has already had a chance to play BattleCry at a press demo, commented that the game’s visual style, which is under the direction of Viktor Antonov, formerly an employee of Valve, and combat both feel similar to its inspiration, Team Fortress 2. Lahti’s criticism for the game centered on a feeling that combat came down primarily to “numbers and attrition” and a lack of a “sense of a frontline or progress to our matches” due to the construction of the maps and agility of the characters, although two of the five playable classes as well as several of the game modes and maps were not available in the demo, which may have contributed to the lack of coherent-feeling combat.
BattleCry Studios still has some time to iron out the flaws in their design, however. The game isn’t slated for beta testing until 2015, with no official launch date yet announced.
You can check out the BattleCry trailer below.