Mercenary Ops Interview

By Geneveive Mc Bride and Gareth Von Kallenbach

Recently Genevieve and I got a chance to ask some questions to the creative team of the pending third person shooter Mercenary Ops.

What is the storyline for the game?

Mercenary Ops is set in the near future when powerful corporations have led to the imminent downfall of humanity. With national governments edging towards the brink of collapse, and scientific breakthroughs having opened the eyes of the world to their darkest fears, the earth and its people have fallen into disarray. Due to the ongoing liquidation of government assets, wealth has now been distributed into four global, privatized organizations that hold the only means of employment in a world bent on chaos; and those capable of bearing arms have been hired to wage war on what remains, being paid the highest price to oppose the advancement of those bent on seeing the destruction of their employers.

What types of weapons will be available to players?

There are actually too many weapons to list, but to name a few, there will be weapons like the AK-47, M16 and M4A1 assault rifles; mostly modern day weaponry. Most of these weapons will be readily available to all players, but the stronger, more powerful weapons like the rocket and grenade launcher will be placed throughout the map to incentivize players to push forward to gain competitive and strategic advantages.

What enemies will players face and will there be vehicles that players can use?

Players will be pitted against hordes of AI controlled enemies and mini-bosses in fights for survival as well as bouts against fellow mercenaries in clashes of competitive multiplayer to determine the best mercenaries the world has to offer. As of right now, there will not be any vehicles available for players to use in the game.

What can you tell us about the gaming engine and what it will bring to the table?

Mercenary Ops was created using Unreal Engine 3, which was selected for its cutting-edge graphics, multi-core processor support, optimization for the PC and massive world support. In addition, Mercenary Ops combines the real-time physics of NVIDIA PhysX to provide a truly competitive and dynamic gameplay experience.

What are some of the locales gamers will see in the game?

Maps range from inner city to forest. Players will battle across the globe from China to New York, across various weather conditions, such as snow and storms.

What type of multiplayer will the game offer?

Mercenary Ops offers fast-paced, competitive online multiplayer for up to 16 players. Those interested in gaining power and prestige can faceoff across a number of dynamic maps and in 3 intense, head-to-head game modes: Team Deathmatch, Demolition and Elimination. There will be an in-game ladder and an ELL-based ranking system as well.

Blending action with a detailed plot can always be tricky, how have you attempted to create this in your game?

While there is an overarching storyline in Mercenary Ops, most of the gameplay focuses on a single theme: to be the best mercenary the world has to offer. Like games such as League of Legends or Counter Strike, the story isn’t the focus – the gameplay is.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you see in creating the game, and what are your biggest goals for the game?

The biggest obstacle so far has been map balance. Creating really balanced dynamic maps is a very difficult process, which requires hundreds of hours of testing. Designing maps that work across multiple map modes is also very difficult, so many maps in Mercenary Ops are mode-specific.

What are some of the influences that went into creating the game as I saw some elements all the way from classic Contra to newer games like Mass Effect 3.

We have combined the best tactical gameplay elements found in other third-person shooters like Gears of War, Mass Effect and Ghost Recon with the fast-paced action of online multiplayer titles like Counter-Strike, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and countless others.

How are the controls in the game setup and will players be able to customize them?

The control setup on Mercenary Ops is very similar to any other PC shooter in terms of keyboard controls. Third-person games on the PC can be difficult to those familiar with point-and-click shooters, so we’ve tried to simplify the hotkeys around single keys. For example, the spacebar key is your universal movement key: roll, sprint and take cover.

Check out the trailer and more at the Mercenary Ops Site