Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: HD Interactive
Developer: Mithis Interactive
Release Date: Q2 2006
I’ll say this much about Joint Task Force: they managed to hold my interest in the busy Nvidia booth with a "lets get ready to RUMBLE!!!" type announcer barking incessantly 10’ away.
JTF is a contemporary real-time-strategy game based on today’s warfare in several theatres: Middle East, Bosnia, the Balkans, Columbia, Somalia, and Afghanistan. It very much follows along the lines of Codename: Panzers where you have a pre-determined amount of forces with which to complete your goals. Your "fame" rating — how the media views your war efforts — determines how much funding you get to buy reinforcements. If you kill civilians or destroy buildings, your funding will go down. Kill lots of Bad People without losing too many Good People gives you more coin.
You’ll have the usual gamut of modern-day weapons and vehicles — tanks, choppers, hummers and the like — and one thing I found impressive was that if you group a bunch of different unit types together, they’ll all move at the speed of the slowest unit. No more having the armor racing ahead while the lowly grunt is still slogging along. Your troops can also gain XP and level, and all vehicles can have various weapons mounted on them. Infantry will also flee destroyed tanks and capture enemy vehicles, including civilian cars. As the game was being shown, he drove around in a captured pickup truck.
Another area I was impressed with is the graphics; the game definitely passes the "stuff blows up good" test. For instance, after your tanks are done pummeling a building, the collapsing animation looked just like a building imploding. Of course, the other explosions are appropriately Hollywood-y. The choppers hovered realistically and sounded authentic. When you enter a mosque, the view changes to reveal the highly detailed interior. You’ll also witness a dynamic weather system so you can fight at night, in the snow, sleet and while driving (none of which will stop the mail from being on time).
What’s also interesting is you’ll have a radius coming off selected units that shows how far its various weapons will reach. Line of sight really matters here, as every object is "real" and can be hidden behind.
They are also planning on embracing the mod community. The level editor will ship with the game, and HD is promising that it’ll be very easy to create a map. All units will be moddable; you can change their stats while in-game, but if you know 3dMax or Maya, you’ll be able to make new ones. One item they aren’t sure of is whether or not you’ll be able to create your own campaigns.
Multiplayer will be faction-based and accommodate four to eight players in competitive multiplayer and two to four players in co-operative mode.
Joint Task Force is due for release in Q2 of next year. Personally, I’m looking forward to this one, and I'm usually not a big strategy fan.
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