Ground Branch

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: BlackFoot Studios

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'Ground Branch' Announced, Seeks Crowd Funding - Screens

by Rainier on June 14, 2012 @ 6:10 p.m. PDT

Ground Branch is a first-person, realism-oriented online experience that places players in the roles of elite CIA Paramilitary Operators of the Special Activities Division.

BlackFoot Studios is a small self-funded indie studio with original members of Red Storm Entertainment that has embarked on a campaign to create an online multiplayer shooter, cut from the same cloth as the original Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. Where players must think and make deliberate actions as their in game choices have very real consequences.

"Being an original member of RSE was a true pleasure and honor for me. Those 'Classic' realistic tactical games are my personal favorites, and I have always loved making them, just as much as I loved playing them.  This genre is my motivation; my driving force to be in this industry.  Since leaving Red Storm, I have dreamt of one day revisiting that classic style of gameplay that is so close to my heart.  Today is that day," says BlackFoot Studios founder John Sonedecker.

BlackFoot Studios wants to raise $425,000 through its Kickstarter campaign, so if you feel the call, head on over there and pitch in.

The game is being developed by former RSE and Valve Software employees – in conjunction with US Special Operations Veterans - who saw a need to create a new type of online experience, for those who felt disenfranchised by the direction of modern online shooters.  BlackFoot Studios offers a fresh take on the genre, not seen since the original “Ghost Recon” title, released for PC and Mac in 2001, but with the added bonus of removing the class restrictions found in that title. 

Players are encouraged to completely customize their experience, and maintain finite control over their gear and weapon choices (right down to the types of ammo carried, to the accessories mounted on their weapons); the only carrying limitations are those imposed by the actual gear and by physics.  This level of robust customization is entirely unique to the genre, and not only allows teams to develop unique strategies, but helps to cut back on unsightly problems such as teamkilling or harassment when competing for a weapon. There are no unlocks, so every player starts with the ability to use every weapon and every piece of gear in the game.

Players are also able to perform functions not found in other titles such as ammunition & weapon trading and interrupting reload cycles.  The game also features body awareness by offering inertia, a physical sound profile, independent head movement from the torso, body weight and realistic feedback to player actions to increase immersion.  The design relies on realistically-defined rule sets such as bullet lethality (health is not regenerative), and all of the in-game motions and animations are motion captured from actual Operators.

There are a lot of first person shooters out there that focus on fast-paced arcade game play with unrealistic damage models, or action movie-style movement and shooting mechanics. Other games focus on “authentic” representation of gear, but fall far short on gameplay. People who like a more slow- paced, realistic and calculated experience, are mostly left out by mainstream developers. To me, Ground Branch is for those people.

This is truly a ‘Spiritual Successor’ to the original (2001) Ghost Recon by Red Storm Entertainment.

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