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Gamescom

gamescom 2017: 1C Company line-up – Part 1

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On day one of the expo we che­cked out the line-up of one of Rus­si­as big­gest video game deve­lo­pers and dis­tri­bu­tors, 1C Com­pa­ny. The­se are our impres­si­ons.

In Euro­pe the name 1C Com­pa­ny isn’t of the most known. The com­pa­ny is resi­ding in Moscow sin­ce 1991 and uses the brand Soft­Club Com­pa­ny to publish trans­la­ted ver­si­on of half of all Wes­tern-deve­lo­ped video games. It is also con­ti­ne­ous­ly working on their own busi­ness soft­ware sui­te. Short­ly it will expan­ded upon by a tax modul which will com­pe­te with Ger­man Buhl pro­duct WISO.

In Wes­tern ter­ri­to­ries 1C Com­pa­ny gai­ned popu­la­ri­ty through its video game deve­lop­ment branch in Pra­gue. In May we review­ed their Nor­we­gi­an hor­ror adven­ture Through the Woods and deemed it an enter­tai­ning hor­ror short trip. 1C Com­pa­ny shows off half a dozen games on games­com apart from the PS4 and Xbox One ver­si­ons of Through the Woods. Here’s a short break­down of some of them:

For rough­ly three years you can purcha­se IL-2 Stur­mo­vik: Batt­le of Sta­lin­grad on the on the offi­ci­al web­site and on Steam. The game gets regu­lar updates (a sheer 169 so far!) and at their booth we are able to play the next add-on after Batt­le of Moscow dub­bed Batt­le of Kuban with Ocu­lus Rift. Each mis­si­on can be play­ed with a dif­fe­rent air­craft. We start eit­her from ground or right in the air. In the demons­tra­ti­on we start fly­ing eit­her way and the dif­fi­cult task is to keep the vehi­cle in the air.

We take seat in the ico­nic Bri­tish figh­ter Spit­fire Mk.VB and in Ger­man dou­ble-motor bom­ber HS 129 B-2. While the first is meant for clo­se-com­bat in dog­fights, the lat­ter is desi­gned to take out tar­gets on the ground such as artil­le­ry and in the B-2 we can free­ly switch bet­ween the view of pilot, gun­ner and bom­ber. Sym­pa­the­tic Build Engi­neer And­rey Dineev exp­lains that the team went into meti­cu­lous detail work to rebuild the old machi­nes.

We con­trol­led the two air­crafts with a joy­stick inclu­ding thrott­le. Kee­ping the air­craft afloat is easier than we expec­ted, con­si­de­ring we’re fly­ing such a World War II pla­ne with all of its pecu­lia­ri­ties. You should avo­id hec­tic direc­tio­n­al chan­ges or the Spit­fire will spi­ral down in the Black Sea or Sea of Azov. Rather quick­ly we get a feel for the pla­ne and cha­se down figh­ter pilots that only fly down a cer­tain path. As new­co­mers that task is tough enough as it is but we are told that the dif­fi­cul­ty can be free­ly depen­ding on the play­ers exper­ti­se. When we fly right behind an ene­my air­craft we can shoot off indi­vi­du­al parts of it or set them on fire. Unli­ke modern flight games like Ace Com­bat it is impos­si­ble to extin­guish big fires. For the­se repairs or to restock ammu­ni­ti­on you have to land on the base. Smal­ler fires can be extin­guis­hed by per­forming ris­ky maneu­vers.

The­re is not­hing like sit­ting in this loud ricke­ty old air­craft and having a look around in VR. As soon as the ene­my damages our motor, there’s dirt spray­ed all over our front win­dow. Once we activa­te the advan­ced mode, we can have a look around out­si­de of the air­craft. That is actual­ly pret­ty unrea­listic but helps you fly and let’s you check out the detail­ed air­pla­ne models. Envi­ron­ments are most­ly blur­ry car­pets of pixels on the ground of flight simu­la­tors but in this game they put some effort to make it a litt­le more plea­sing to fly just above the ground, espe­ci­al­ly the water looks bet­ter than anti­ci­pa­ted. The most important thing is that the flight con­trols are – even as a bom­ber – tight and newb-fri­end­ly and even with hec­tic maneu­vers we didn’t get sick. Expe­ri­en­ced pilots can use a lot of the real-time cock­pit cali­bra­ti­ons.

The expan­si­on Batt­le of Kuban offers a fresh cam­pai­gn, the above men­ti­ons two pla­nes (Pre­mi­um Edi­ti­on only!) aswell as eight addii­to­nal pla­nes, a Quick Mis­si­on Buil­der, more sin­gle play­er mis­si­ons, the mul­ti­play­er mode and play­er-con­trol­led tanks. You can play your own sce­n­a­ri­os off- and online. It isn’t clear if you can sha­re them, but it would make sen­se. We couldn’t dri­ve the tanks but 1C says the game­play is simi­li­ar to World of Tanks.

If you own the base game you can enter the Beta branch via “Pro­per­ties” in your Steam Libra­ry and jump right into the Hs 129 B-2 to fly over Kuban. You can purcha­se Batt­le of Kuban in its beta sta­te on the offi­ci­al web­site pri­ced at 70 US-Dol­lar and you get an addi­tio­nal code for Steam. The final ver­si­on will launch until the end of the year. Enthu­si­asts look for­ward to the expan­si­on and can alrea­dy try out one of the new pla­nes and the map for free.

 

1C Publi­shing Mana­ger Jan Ole­jník descri­bes Fall of Light as a mix of Dark Souls and ICO. The­re are wor­se inspi­ra­ti­ons than the­se games. We awa­ke in a sin­nis­ter world and our daugh­ter is the last beacon of light. To lift the curtain of eter­nal darkness from the world we have to reach an arte­fact. We jour­ney hand-in-hand through gra­vey­ards and dark alley­ways. While we have to phy­si­cal­ly hold Y to gui­de our daugh­ter, we per­form light and hard attacks with the shoul­der but­tons. Addi­tio­nal­ly we can lock onto enemies with a press into the stick – use­ful in this dark world as the ene­my is mar­ked by a red ring -, block ene­my attacks with scat­te­red shields and dodge hits. Our stami­na is indi­ca­ted by a white bar and you should keep an eye on it sin­ce you con­su­me it every time you attack.

As in Dark Souls you can and should always keep the shield in front of you, if you equip a one-han­ded wea­pon. The lock-on doesn’t work ide­al. Eit­her the sys­tem choo­ses a distant ene­my ins­tead of the one attacking you at the moment or you fail to cir­cle around the ene­my is the com­bat intends. A Bat­man-style com­bat sys­tem could have lowe­red the dif­fi­cul­ty that’s why the deve­lo­per pro­bab­ly cho­se this one. We hope the actu­al game offers the play­er more of a feel for pro­gres­si­on than the demo. There’ll be a total of six com­bat styles and seven wea­pon clas­ses inclu­ded.

The sto­ry is being told in scat­te­red notes. So you can eit­her rush through the game and take like five hours or you find every pie­ce of info and lis­ten to every cha­rac­ter and take almost dou­ble of the time. The ending could also dif­fer depen­ding on how tho­rough­ly you explo­re the atmo­s­phe­ric game world. There’ll also be boss fights and NPCs (non-play­er-cha­rac­ters) that are eit­her fri­end­ly or indif­fe­rent towards the play­er.

Fall of Light is a game to keep an eye on. With some fine-tuning it could be a sleep­ter hit. We look for­ward to check it out in the end of Sep­tem­ber exclu­si­ve­ly on the PC.

Haim­rik, who lends the game its tit­le, awakes in a typi­cal fan­ta­sy world full of dra­gons and sorce­ry. Ins­tead of joi­ning a group of hob­bits or dwar­ves, he brings words to life to fight eli­te gene­rals cal­led the Word War­ri­ors. Not the fres­hest of ide­as, sin­ce a cer­tain game of SEGA or Episto­ry had a simi­li­ar approach, you say? The game­play of Haim­rik dif­fers wild­ly from the named games sin­ce you don’t actual­ly type in the words. The sto­ry is incor­po­ra­ted in the game world and you inter­act with sin­gu­lar words. In the demo we spawn a torch, some gun­pow­der and a bar­rel to crea­te TNT and blow up the enemies that pre­vious­ly bar­ri­ca­ded our pro­gress.

Not only the game­play is refres­hing, the art style is also some­thing note­wor­thy. Land­s­capes might be dis­play­ed in the same color but effec­ts are dis­play­ed in a color­ful man­ner. While cha­rac­ters have a cer­tain fun­ny feel to them, the game can also be pret­ty bloo­dy. All of that turns Haim­rik into a play­a­ble matu­re comic.

The first book is released in the end of Sep­tem­ber on PC. All the addi­tio­nal chap­ters will be added on later free of char­ge, like Dae­a­da­lic did with Ken Follett’s The Pil­lars of the World.

from left: Rene Hinz (Fan­club Maga­zin), And­rey Dineev (Build Engi­neer at 1C Game Stu­di­os), Patrick Olli­vi­er (XTgamer.de)
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