Shadow Company exclusive presentation

We sat down with Hoon Bang, Marketing Associate of Nexon Europe for a presentation and chance to play Shadow Company: The Mercenary War, the new free-to-play MMOFPS from South Korea-based developer Doobic Studios. The game has a loose story focused on the future where large corporations rule and hire Mercenaries to do their bidding. Designed with full motion capture action to bring realistic movement and developed using the Unreal Engine 3 to bring that console quality to the game, the client sits at a moderate 2GB.

The game boasts a “Battle Squad” mode where four teams can play against each other on one map, with 6 people per team that gives an impressive 24 players per map. One of the other game modes is called “Black Money”, your typical bag drop game where a money bag drops from the sky and both teams fight to get it. Grabbing the bag is done by being close enough to it and then it is a case of keeping hold of it for a minute, once the minute is up the team wins, but if you die it will be dropped to the ground for someone else to collect. In 24 man four way team matches with everyone chasing one bag this creates a high intensity match.

As you play you gain in game currency to extend your inventory but also XP for leveling up your character. Players are able to customize their characters abilities to reflect the type of player they are and their own fighting style with a variety of available combat skills, each with their own level requirement, such as cluster bombs, camouflage, shields, auto turrets and many more, there is a wide variety of choice to try out different combinations and tactics. One of the more interesting combat skills we were shown was “Newbie Support”, clear from the title this is typically for those who are new to the game and yet to find their feet, when a player with this skill is killed twice in a row then they are given buffs to help them survive, if they get killed a third time then they become invulnerable for a small amount of time.

As well as the combat skills there are passive skills that all players will have access to including Marathoner, Tumbling and Sliding, this last one as seen in the game demo we thought was particularly interesting and will create a nice alternative to having to only jump over obstructions. Players are also able to resurrect their fallen comrades unless finished off with a headshot… brutal.

The player characters and their abilities are modifiable and even the weapons can be broken down into their various component to create totally new weapons, all of which gives players the chance to create completely unique characters that both looks and feels how they want them to. The customization option is where Nexon are looking to make their money, extra skins and vanity type clothing is the main focus of the paid element of the game but avoiding selling big advantages, all the game will be fully accessible by those who do not wish to pay to play.

One of the unique aspects of Shadow Company is that some of the maps will be localized unique maps where players will be playing on maps that they can identify with e.g. well known European areas for the European players. Of the maps we’ve seen so far there were:

· Urban Forge – Brooklyn Seaport

· Desert Savage – Egypt

· Rage Rooftop – Seoul

· Haunted Hound – Baltimore

· Wizard Wand – Southern Italy

We asked the question as to whether they felt the players would be disappointed if they didn’t have access to a map that they may like the look of, Bang told us that they wanted players to be able to identify with the areas but went on to say “.. but maybe if the users really want to play that map then we can make it available for free.

Outside of the game players are able to log into the X Files Achievement portal to check up on their achievements, stats, kill-death ratio and character profiles along with what weapons you have and the ones you haven’t used.

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