By all accounts, I should've been much more aware of Takedown: Red Sabre before checking it out at E3 2013. Styled very much in the trappings of games such as Rainbow Six and SWAT, the game is centered on tactical action. Unlike those games, you aren't an elite counterterrorism unit, but rather are part of a private military contractor whose services are provided to the highest bidder. This means that you may be asked to rescue some hostages, but you may also be called in to wipe some hard drives and assassinate someone at a client's rival company.
Regardless of your objectives, your approach remains the same. The game is heavily rooted in realism, where just one shot can put someone on the floor. The title doesn't have a health system, either apparent to the player or behind the scenes. Instead, there's an overall lethality system where a kill shot depends on the caliber of the round and where a person is hit. Some shots can be taken and allow you to soldier on, but fighting while wounded can have penalties, such as reduced accuracy when firing your weapon.
Bullets also have a penetration model. Again, this depends on the caliber of the round as well as the material of the object that it hits, as rounds can go through some objects. This wasn't shown in our hands-off demo, but the idea is that you must be selective about your cover depending on the opposing forces' weapons. Even some strong materials can be penetrated if the round goes through a thinner portion of it, such as the corner of an otherwise solid concrete block.
The physical presence of your weapon is also represented in-game. Weapons can clip against doorways or other objects, making the selection of the proper weapon much more important. Long rifles may be great for laying down some firepower in open areas, but they'll be cumbersome to use in close quarters. As you lean, weapons can collide with objects, which would make the handling of your weapon an important part of the game.
All weapons and equipment are available at the start of the game, as the idea is that an elite PMC wouldn't still be clawing his way to the top. Weapons can be customized with different modifications, such as swapping out optics or attaching silencers. The game is set to launch with six scenarios, which can be completed cooperatively with up to six players. Scenarios can have different insertion points to shake things up, and enemy placement is always randomized. Scenarios are also set up in non-linear ways, so subsequent playthroughs will yield different experiences.
Takedown: Red Sabre is currently slated to launch on the PC and the Xbox 360 in the fall of 2013. People who contribute the game's Kickstarter will get in on the action a little earlier than the rest, although details on that will be announced later. With ex-Zipper people on the development team as well as people who had worked on previous greats in the genre, such as Rainbow Six and SWAT, Takedown: Red Sabre has a lot of the creative energy behind it. Genre fans should keep an eye out for this title when it launches later this year.
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