Yesterday, we got the chance to take a look at Codemasters’ upcoming third-person action-shooter, Damnation. Set for release sometime in late 2008 / early 2009 on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 platforms, the game is shaping up very well and keeps with the recent Codemasters’ trend of designing games without user-interfaces (save for showing an icon of the currently selected weapon and ammo count) in order to increase the cinematic quality of the game as well as immersion. There is also no mini-map, the game relying on careful level design to give the player a ‘sense’ of where to go next.
The game is set in an alternate history where the American Civil War has spanned for 8 decades. The technology seen in the game has been designed as modern equivalents of older tech seen during the war. Damage is all shown on the screen through a visual de-saturation effect. The more damaged you are, the more the screen loses its color. The game will support 2-player drop-in/drop-out coop through the campaign as well as some as yet unannounced multi-player modes.
Gameplay has been said to be a cross between Prince of Persia and Gears of War. While the similarities seem to exist between the titles in terms of navigating the landscape and freneticism, Damnation does not feature a cover system but does allow the player to fire (when it makes sense) while climbing/scaling objects. In the demo we saw, the dev sent the protagonist hurling himself through a window in a very cool combat roll. The levels are vast, spanning many kilometers. The level we saw had the player slide down an electrical cable strewn over a vast chasm. The level of detail adjusted very well and the gameplay was smooth and without any stutters.
The player has the ability to enter a mode called ‘spirit vision’, in which they can see other character’s auras through walls and other terrain. This is said to make multiplayer matches very interesting, with the focus on constantly moving to keep your opponents off-guard. In the single-player/co-op campaign, it will help the player locate the position of enemy snipers and other hidden baddies.
We will bring you more information on this title when it becomes available (probably at Leipzig).