As you may know, I had the privilege of going to the 1C Another Night in Moscow event in 2011. This year, the event resurfaced as Journalists at Play 2013 aboard the USS Hornet.
It was amazing to be allowed to wander around this historic boat. Protip- Only aircraft carriers and submarines are referred to as a boat- everything else is a ship. Go figure… I was tempted to ask permission to come on board, as proper Navy protocol dictates. I remembered I wasn’t IN the Navy and immediately forgot all about it.
David started the evening by mentioning that the other ships in the harbor were owned by Halliburton. He suggested a fun activity where we all went on the flight deck, kneeling down in prayer. Presumably a prize would be given to the first of us to be taken out by a sniper… Oh, those crazy PR guys…
The presentation started with a surprise: the world exclusive announcement of Men of War Assault Squad 2! From the press release:
This new Assault Squad game brings significant game engine and visual improvements as well, with special attention paid to ones that were highly requested by the players. These included items such as advanced multi-core support, advanced shader technology, interface and AI improvements, as well as added camouflage depending on season/map, fully updated inventory items with new graphics and updated vehicles, sound improvements, Steam multiplayer and much more.
I’m pretty excited to see a direct sequel to one of my favorite RTS games of all time, especially since it’s going to have a chance to show itself off visually. I’m just praying they’ve adjusted the difficulty settings down a bit to accommodate new and/or less skilled players. Look for more information as we get closer to launch!
Next up was a lengthy presentation of 1C‘s upcoming post-apocalyptic open world role-player Nuclear Union. I’ll be getting more into this title in the accompanying article. Suffice to say that this game has a lot of potential, and I’m eager to see more of this one as the team adds polish and content. The level of detail is already astounding, and it’s a lot more than a roleplaying version of Metro: Last Light or Fallout in Russia. I’m intrigued by the time jump element (the protagonist as a Cold War pilot somehow transported to alternate 2012), and I like the way the environment is an obstacle as well as something to explore, without resorting to cliched “radiation poisoning.” Also, killer flowers.
You should know that I’ve always been a big fan of flight simulators. I cut my proverbial teeth on Lucasfilm Games’ Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain, and I’ve flown probably hundreds of missions in both the European and Pacific theaters in the Aces series, European Air War, and countless others. For sheer realism, nothing comes close to 1C’s IL-2 Sturmovik games. You can’t possibly imagine how excited I am about IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad, especially after Cliffs of Dover didn’t quite measure up according to the community. From what the team has shown so far, I think I can say that this could very well be one of the finest flight sims ever made. Amazingly, they had input from a YAK fighter pilot who actually flew in the Battle of Stalingrad! I admire the team’s dedication to research and to attempting to correct errors and live up to the high standards set by the fanbase. More information on the title itself, and the newly announced pre-order program can be found in this stand-alone article.
At one point during the night, Dave yelled out “I need to find Ivan right away!” referring to Ivan Van Norman (presenter and contestant on TBS’s King of the Nerds program- Great guy, by the way- I’m still bummed he didn’t win. A fellow attendee and I commented that the last time this was shouted on the Hornet was probably a lot less ironic. (Cold War reference- Look it up.)
I thought it would be clever and attention grabbing to wear my newly acquired 1C shirt to the airport. With it’s faux military patches and Russian symbols, I thought I was being clever and eye grabbing. That’s when I remembered I needed to still go through TSA security before I left Oakland. One of the screening agents scrutinized me with an intensity I wasn’t pleased with while he tried to work out the symbols and writing on the shirt. Fortunately, he found it to be quirky and interesting, rather than “deeply suspicious,” and I was able to get through the checkpoint without incident.
All-in-all, I had a great time and saw some incredible looking games. As always, you’ll get the full scoop as we get closer to launch, and expect full reviews of all three titles!
Thanks again to the incomparable David Tractenberg for his hospitality and for throwing the BEST parties! Haunted aircraft carrier- BEST. IDEA. EVER.