Maelstrom takes place on a devastated future Earth where, in the wake of an apocalyptic ecological disaster, the planet is threatened by an alien invasion.
In this savaged world, water has become the most valuable of resources and divided the remaining humans into two factions. Now, they must wage war against the invaders and each other in a desperate struggle for supremacy and survival.
When it launches the game will not just have the action and characters of a science-fiction blockbuster movie, but will also feature a gripping scenario devised by James Swallow, an experienced science fiction screenwriter whose previous credits include Star Trek: Voyager and Doctor Who.
"I'm excited to be a part of the Maelstrom project," says Swallow, "We have a dynamic and compelling plotline, epic scope and strong characters. As the game unfolds, the conflicts between the factions and the characters within them become the flashpoints for player missions, and what begins as a battle to live another day soon becomes a global fight for survival, with the player at the heart of the action."
Says Carl Johnson, Maelstrom's game designer at Codemasters: "The story in Maelstrom is hugely important; it doesn't just set the tone and atmosphere, but it also ties directly into the game mechanics, to give the player a better understanding of each faction and how they play. The story follows the apocalypse that has befallen Earth and provides the player with a greater understanding of the motivations behind each of the game's three factions, the origins of the technology for each side, and the reasons behind the conflict."
Depending on which of the three factions you choose to fight for, it's all-out destructive war as the factions battle for control of the entire planet. Each with unique identities and abilities, Maelstrom's three factions are:
- The Remnants:
- Led by ex-US military General James Buchanan, The Remnants are the underdogs in this bleak future. However, these cunning, low-tech resistance fighters are large in numbers and even more resourceful in their guerrilla battle tactics.
- The Ascension:
- Ascension Industries is headed by Arlan Khan. Commanding total respect, his supporters are highly intelligent and logical, yet ruthless exploiters of future technology such as transforming robotics. However, where they obtained such tech remains unknown...
- The Aliens:
- The mysterious alien invaders are desperate for a new planet to inhabit and take resource from. Masters of Bio-engineering, they range from huge beasts to large swarms of small creatures.
With an exciting mix of strategy and third-person action-packed missions set in totally destructible and stunningly realised environments, Maelstrom will launch Q3 2006, exclusively for PC. Prepare to be caught in the maelstrom of war with more online at www.codemasters.co.uk/maelstrom
50 Years And Counting – the events leading to The Maelstrom:
In the span of a single generation, Earth will become a desolate wasteland, ravaged by an ecological apocalypse and fought over by the survivors of and war.
In the space of fifty years, Earth changed from a planet on cusp of a challenging future to a world a breath away from lifelessness. The survivors gave this time of chaos and madness a name; drawing on a word from an ancient language that describes a storm so terrible it could tear open the world. They called it The Maelstrom.
As the first decade of the Millennium came to a close, the rise of franchise terrorism and global paranoia led to a fortress mentality across the globe. Threatened from without by fanatical aggressors and from within by populations angered by the erosion of their personal freedoms, the leading governments of the world saw their power beginning to crumble, to be usurped by huge multi-national corporations.
Obsidian – a huge asteroid – crashed into the North Pacific with the impact of a dozen nuclear warheads, and triggered the Earth's weather system and ecology to completely collapse. First there were storms that measured off the conventional scales for hurricanes; then surge tides and earthquakes. It was if the planet itself was rising in anger against humanity.
A full-blown ecological cataclysm hits the planet as the damage done to the environment came back tenfold. Rising sea levels and flooding turned cities like Tokyo and Sydney into vast lakes, leaving the national governments powerless to combat this unstoppable force.
The fundamentalist terrorists who had plagued the early years of the 2000's attacked once more. This was the excuse the corporations needed, and many of them unveiled their own military forces, deploying troops and agents to hunt down and wipe out the bands of fanatics. As wars raged on the doomed planet only a few of the conglomerates survived, among them the powerful Ascension Industries. They seemed destined to make the planet their own.
Mass rioting in Europe, America and Russia. Pushed to the brink of despair by years of warfare, poverty and tyranny, the common people rose up in hundreds of isolated pockets of insurrection. It was no great rebellion, not some calculated revolution designed to shatter the old order – it was simply rage and hate, gone beyond breaking point. Soon the planet fell into a state of anarchy as open combat boiled over in every city, on every continent.
Against the backdrop of a failing ecosystem, humanity crashed back into its ancient tribal ways, fighting and killing to survive. The governments finally disintegrated and at last someone, somewhere pushed the button that unleashed salvos of missile strikes. Cities were vaporised in the nuclear infernos and civilisation fell.
The Maelstrom had struck.
For another eight years, the small wars flared and died like guttering embers in a fire, until there were no more battles to fight and precious few resources to fight over. It was only the Ascension, thanks to the foresight of its master Arlan Khan, who were spared the brunt of the global uprising. While they went to ground and made ready to weather the storm, Khan's rivals around the world caught the full fury of it, and were ripped apart.
From the ruins of this apocalypse emerged the survivors, the few who had the cunning or the intelligence to wear the passing of the Maelstrom. They hoped to rebuild, to start anew – but the seeds of conflict lay deep, and the old lines of battle had never been erased. In the ashes, the fight for freedom would be re-ignited; only this time, whomever was the victor would decide the future of mankind.
The time is now. The war is just beginning...
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