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PRESS RELEASE - 26th February 2002

Witness soldier heroism and cowardice in World War II*, Codemasters’ real-time strategy blockbuster coming to PC

Codemasters’ forthcoming real-time strategy epic – World War II (working title) - will feature an original system dubbed Frontline that gives individual soldiers and units the potential to display everything from heroism to confidence, despair and cowardice, thanks to a new morale-based system.

Codemasters Studio Head Jonathan Smith says: “World War II* was about much more than abstract ‘units’ moving around in textbook tactical formations. It was about heroism, and panic, and courage, and fear – about soldiers performing extraordinary actions in extraordinary circumstances. The Frontline system creates a game where real human emotions are just as important as strategy.”

Adds Bitmap Brothers’ Managing Director Mike Montgomery: “With the Frontline system, this game will be the first action-RTS to deliver a true recreation of the battlefield experience; the first to portray the psychology of warfare, rather than the sterile theory of ‘wargaming’.”

Designed by The Bitmap Brothers, the game’s developers, the Frontline system creates a graphical onscreen representation of the player’s units’ morale, health and vision within the game. It is accurate enough for the player to use as a point of reference for all of his allied units, wherever they are in the field.

A unit’s morale changes in real-time and is vitally important to its effectiveness. All units whether singularly – such as a sniper – or grouped together have a morale state, which directly affects their combat accuracy and response time to situations.

If a morale is exceptionally high, the combat effectiveness will be raised substantially and make it easier to achieve current objectives. If an individual’s morale peaks, there is a chance that they will perform a heroic act, such as putting a grenade through an enemy bunker or pillbox.

If morale is particularly low, the unit’s combat effectiveness when fighting will drop accordingly. In the worst case scenario units will freeze in combat. However, a player can bolster morale by bringing battle-weary units back from the front lines or sending in reinforcements to help out.

Due to be published this autumn for PC, World War II* will capture the heroism of World War II’s most significant battles, including Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge. With a range of Allied forces at their control, players will attempt to drive the Axis forces deep back inside their own territory. The game is currently in development at The Bitmap Brothers’ studio in east London.

* World War II is a working title.

To see the screenshots, please go here.

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