World War 2 Online
a game by Cornered Rat Software
Imagine an online fighting game where as well as being able to be a World War II soldier on either the Allied or Axis side, you can play in any role you like - from piloting a fighter, transport plane or bomber to captaining a spearhead of tanks or battleships, or directing a beachhead landing. All this you'd have thought would only be possible from a top-down view, but it appears that what we thought was years away, could be just a few months away, perhaps even before Team Fortress 2.
Currently nearing the beta stage in development, WWII Online is being coded by Cornered Rat Software, who, apart from online flight sim fans, not many will have heard of. Formerly of Interactive Magic and responsible for the popular Warbirds and Dawn Of Aces series of games, Cornered Rat saw that people were dreaming of online battles of this type and decided to follow the idea through.
In essence, and hopefully in the end, WWII Online will have something for everyone. First-person action fans will be able to happily join up and fight Quake-style. Simulation fans can hop into tanks, planes or boats and bomb, strafe or pound the enemy into submission. Driving fans can race about in a jeep, perhaps even ferry some GIs to the front line and if you're into your RPGs, you can play all day every day and ascend through the ranks to command a squad of human cannon fodder of your own. As a concept it is as simple as you'll find, and with more than 1,000 players in each 'region' - the outcomes in each affecting the others - it has the potential to be the biggest online game ever.
As with all online games, WW2 Online will constantly evolve, but in its first incarnation will be set in France in 1940. You'll be able to team up or go solo for the country of your choice (you'll have to start from scratch if you want to defect), and the higher the rank you are, the more responsibilities you will have. At this stage we don't know whether you'll have some control over your human squadmates, but in terms of resources - which are determined by the AI - you'll be able to distribute weapons, ammo or call for fire support from armour or aircraft. Reach the high echelons of command and you may even affect the production of your country. More importandy, the more stripes or stars on your uniform, the better equipment you'll have access to, and as the war progresses, new vehicles will be made available. As a German pilot for instance, don't expect to be flying jets until 1945.
Historical accuracy will, of course, play a vital role in gameplay. Infantry - unless equipped with bazookas or daring enough with a hand grenade -will have little chance of stopping a troop of panzers. Similarly, as a tank commander, it would be wise to find some trees to hide under if you hear the drone of aircraft above the squeal of your tracks. However, with each arm of the services interconnected and human generals dictating the play, don't be surprised if after blowing up an enemy fuel dump, you're sent off to rescue a downed pilot, unfamiliar with running around in first-person.
2018-11-07 World War 2 Online game added.