I of the Enemy is in the genre of Command and Conquer, and other third-person, overhead perspective (isometric) games, but with a very surprising twist - if you survive! IOE contains many of the same elements of the industry standard titles, but has moved the emphasis away from gathering, mining, and building, and concentrated more on interesting tactical problems where the player has more of an opportunity to employ solutions of which we as designers might not have thought. Reinforcements arrive according to an Order-of-Battle (which may not be reliable, poor intelligence) via either a temporal gate (alliance), or port facilities at which shuttles arrive from orbiting transporters (Unath).
There has been an effort to keep the number of units on the board smaller than in other games of this type, so that more emphasis may be placed on maneuver. This makes it more important for the player to achieve favorable match-ups, rather than just waiting for overwhelming numerical superiority. There is also an emphasis on mission types where the goal is not just simply the annihilation of the opposing side (ie convoys, delaying actions, reconnaissance), and others where annihilation is not possible and victory is measured in terms of delay and inconvenience inflicted on the enemy.
The player is a Lokob (luh-kobe) officer, the Commander of Armies, in charge of his race's contingent, which is part of a larger alliance of nations put together by the Y'dray (ee-dray) in an attempt to stem the onslaught of the evil Unath (oo-nath). The Lokob are minor partners in this alliance and are viewed with some disdain by the Y'dray, who are technologically advanced and have a pretty massive superiority complex.
The Unath are formidable enemies who are said to have invaded the star system in a quest to maintain supplies of a chemical which is the basis for their technology, and is found in the bodies of all of the alliance races. Needless to say, you don't want to be taken prisoner. So the Lokob put up with their second-class citizen status within the alliance because victory over the Unath seems only possible with the help of the Y-dray and their technology.
Mystifyingly as the game progresses, the player will begin to have reason to question the Y'dray's motives, their account of how the war began, and the true nature of their enemy, the Unath. Battles in which the Lokob supposedly took heavy casualties will be found to have never taken place. Evidence will be found that the Y'dray have been executing Unath prisoners.
Finally, the Lokob will realize that the only way to discover the truth is to make contact with the Unath. When this is done at about the mid-point of the single-player campaign, the player will discover that "Unath" is really a word that was literally translated from some partially obscured symbols on a wrecked Unath ship. If all of the symbols had been visible and correctly translated, the word would have been "United Earth".
It's here that the alliance half of the campaign ends with the player realizing that he has been fighting US Marines (or whatever localized foreign unit has the same emotional appeal), and that HE (or I) has been the "Enemy". At this point, the Lokob will leave the alliance and join with the Humans to fight their real enemy, the Y'dray. The Human half of the campaign unfolds with the player discovering the truth about many things including the start of the war, and the origins of the Y'dray.
Key Game features:
- Proven design concepts combine to produce a unique experience of innovative gameplay which has been key to drive the development cycle
- At retail pitched very competitively in the mid-price range, but for a brand new game, offering the consumer an exciting challenge at a value for money price
- Minimum spec PC Win95/98/ME/2000/XP, 64 MB of RAM, 15 MB or 120 MB of HD (depending on the type of installation), 8 X CD ROM drive, DirectX 7 or later, Winsock 2.0 (multi-player game), GameSpy handling multi-player tie-up
- Main impetus for completion of Scitech's MGL 5.0 innovative graphics library which has unique features
- Constantly animated sprites and multiple team identity colors
- Each unit is named by the player or is automatic
- Each unit advances in experience and morale rating
- Units may be carried from one scenario to the next
- Extensive use of indirect fire (artillery) to discourage fixed defenses
- Localized in key languages - TBA
- Single or up to 8 players over internet or LAN
- 25 exciting missions with a variety of plot twists throughout
- Realistic facets of combat including order of battle when reinforcements arrive, description of enemy capability can be wrong (bad intelligence), indirect fire weapons targeted by spotter units
- 3 planets with vastly different terrain set the challenges - Ackinaen, Elyea and Gha'adath
- Fog of war and map editor
- Ian McNeice plays IOE's Colonel Yereg Verkkal (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in Dune and Children of Dune, plus Ace Ventura etc), as well as other professional actors, on voice-overs
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