– Gamescom 2012 – Exclusive presentation of District 187
We had the pleasure of sitting down with the very colourful and very excitable Jon-Enée Merriex, Producer at CJ Games Global, to have a talk about District 187. The game itself is a free-to-play MMOFPS with a gang warfare theme where you can choose the side of the SWAT or the Gangsters.
The theme is continued with the game modes, trying to tie them in to the story so that they at least make some sense, for example the typical “Capture the Flag” takes on a bank heist theme where the gangsters are trying to take month (the flag) back to their truck whilst the SWAT team are defending and keeping it in the safe. Similarly a “Kill the King” game where players must kill the opposing teams NPC AI lead “King” take the forms of a Gangster Mob Boss v’s the Chief of Police.
The game will have a full clan ranking system where clans can fight against each other in ranked or unranked matches, but as well as the standard game modes there is a larger metagame system called “Street Fights”. Taking place Monday to Thursday it is here where the clan system really excels and clans can fight over a city map which is broken down into nine different districts, each of which has multiple maps to a district. Controlling a district gives the clan a unique bonus; owning the Business District will give the owners real cash currency to spend in the shop, owning the Slums will boost the owner’s melee weapon attacks, it’s an interesting feature that should have people coming back to the game time and time again. It’s possible to own many districts at once, but being able to keep hold of them all will be a challenge in itself as other clans go against you.
The character progression is XP based on your win/loss in the matches and overall there are 15 character levels/ranks that can be progressed through, however, it is only the first 10 ranks that are determined by XP. From rank 11 to 14 your position is determined by how well you do in game and your overall stats, kill-death ratio, etc. and these ranks are filled by the top 1000 players. Rank 15 is available to only two players at a time, though these can be held by two players of the same faction.
Something the team have cleverly put in place is a free-play server, where you can play for fun and your win/losses don’t go against your overall ranking; the reasoning behind this server is that don’t want to stop friends being able to play with each other where high ranked players are too worried to play alongside their newbie friends who might get them killed.
Another server available, and also sticking with the new player experience, is the training server accessible only to players under rank 6. Simple rule changes and mechanics such as larger targets for model heads so that players can get headshots a little easier, or the lower recoil on some weapons to make aiming easier should all help new players ease themselves into the game.
There are currently 15 weapons available in the game (though more will be added during the first six month), which are all full modifiable by adding silencers, scopes, flashlights and decal to re-skin a weapon, all of which add both functional and cosmetic changes to the weapons. All the weapons are free to all player’s, the games micro-transactions offer such things as new costumes, avatars, nickname changes and XP and gold boosts while playing.
Getting the chance to play the game it was pretty easy to pick up, the 1 v 1 I played against Jon didn’t really boast the complexity of the other features available, but it played well enough and was enjoyable. Initially showing no mercy Jon almost instantly took me out with a sniper rifle headshot to which I simply yelled “Hacks!” as he laughed mercilessly. He went a little easy on me for the next few rounds while I found my feet and made the mistake of trying to backstab him with my knife presuming it was a one hit kill (… it’s not). We ran around for a good ten minutes while we talked more about the game until I realised it was probably time we moved on and so declared the next kill was a winner take all, to which he agreed right as I rounded a corner and saw him at the other end of the street. Exchanging long range fire with each other, getting a few minor hits, I quickly threw a grenade to meet my devious opponent and took much enjoyment to his squeal of horror as he panicked and was subsequently blown to pieces. Victory was mine.
Beta will begin for District 187: Sin Streets around September 18.