Eternal Silence (video game)
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|Developer(s)||Crankshaft Games, Ignition-Point Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||Beta 1.0 / September 23, 2006|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, Space combat simulator|
Eternal Silence is a Half-Life 2 modification blending FPS and space combat genres in a team based multiplayer game. The first public release, beta 1.0, was released on September 23, 2006. It was originally developed as a mod of Battlefield 1942, then converted to the Source engine. The latest version, Eternal Silence 3.6.1, was released on April 27, 2011. The game takes place in a distant future, after the destruction of Earth, where two factions, the United Terran Forces (UTF) and the Neo Galactic Militia (NGM) fight a deep space war.
Eternal Silence currently has five gameplay modes, with the most significant being Hardcore mode. It has changed with every release since Beta 1.0. The final gameplay in Eternal Silence 3.0 splits the game into multiple phases. Each team begins with a capital ship at full health. These ships are bombarding each other with large AI-controlled weapons. The goal of the players is to destroy the enemy capital ship before their own is destroyed. Each capital ship has a small fleet of corvettes which protect it and serve as secondary objectives.
The game begins in the Strike phase. During this phase both teams have unlimited time to destroy the opposing team's corvettes. The hangars are locked at this point, so players can only battle in space. Bombers are most effective at taking out corvettes, with the other classes of ships serving as escort or intercept fighters. The first team to destroy the enemy corvettes moves on to the Attack phase, with the other team goes to the Defend phase.
During the Attack phase, the enemy team's hangar becomes unlocked. This allows for boardings to take place, typically using the Gunship. The team on the Attack phase has 5 minutes to successfully land and capture a subsystem. Once a subsystem has been captured, the timer is frozen until the defenders can push the attackers off their ship. Most subsystems have a function, when disabled, hurts the defending team. Capturing Shields will disable the shields of the ship, making it take more damage. Capturing Weapons will disable the ship's turrets, stop it from firing at the other capital ship, and nearby fighters outside will not receive extra munitions. The Hangar has no function, but serves as a forward spawn point near the fighters. Some NGM ships have a capturable Flight Deck; it does not have any function, and when captured does not stop the timer but stops the game from changing phases.
During the Defend phase, your hangar is unlocked and you have to defend your ship for 5 minutes. The attackers are taking additional damage during this time so a successful defense will give your team an advantage. Once the defense timer expires, the defenders receive new Corvettes and the game moves back to the Strike phase. If the enemy corvettes have been destroyed during this phase, the game skips directly to the Attack phase, with the full 5 minute timer.
This cycle continues until one team captures all the subsystems, resulting in an instant win, or either of the Capital Ships explode by taking too much damage. Players can also opt to bomb the capital ship directly to end the game faster.
Forces from rebellious nations on Earth and colonies from around the solar system united to rebel against the Sol Central Government, the meta-nation of Earth. These armies coagulated to form the Terra Liberation Front, “Liberators.” In response to several guerrilla attacks by the TLF, the SCG sovereignties formed a highly powerful military called the United Terran Forces.
The UTF commenced a ruthless bombardment against the rebellious nations and colonies, leaving only the Liberator forces which had embarked to space intact. This led to one final, desperate assault staged by the Liberation Front on the UTF forces stationed around Earth. In a drastic move of revenge, the last remnants of the Terra Liberation Front utterly destroyed Earth with a weapon of mass destruction with power beyond anyone’s expectation. Indeed, from a point of view, Earth had been liberated from her oppressors.
The weary survivors, victors only in a hollow sense, set forth to the nearest habitable system: Alpha. On their backs rested the burden to rebuild human civilization from a small colony on a hostile planet named Neo Terra. The voyage cost the UTF 60% of the ships and crews lost due to damage from the battle, lack of supplies, and space collisions. After their arrival, UTF forces carved out a desperate, harsh lifestyle on Neo Terra, barely having enough resources to last through the generations. Their military chain of command served them well in their predicament, helping them through. Ultimately, it evolved into a lifestyle, forming a new basis for how their society worked.
Nearly five decades ago, a small UTF exploration vessel homed in on an odd, but somewhat readable signal. At the source, they found a large, lush, and curiously inhabitable planet. Bewildered scientists studied it and reported their findings. Research team after research team rushed to the planet, soon uncovering the mysterious source of the terraformed planet. Standing by silently in a high orbit was the Surrogate, a gigantic ship capable of transforming a hostile planet into a nurturing environment. After boarding the ship, the teams found three gigantic libraries. The first library contained books and files on the history of humankind on planet Earth. Complementing this find was the second library, the literature library, which offered myriads of books written during Earth's greatest times of learning. The most important find, however, lay in the third library. Scientists and genetic engineers were astounded when they found a library of DNA records of hundreds of thousands of species from Earth.
After these momentous findings, the UTF government rushed to keep them secret, for they feared the concepts held within the old texts that preached government controlled by the people. However, the information leaked out and spread rapidly across the settlements of the UTF worlds. UTF officials could do little to manage this explosion of information. With the new foods introduced by the DNA samples, the economies of the planets completely rebalanced, with new wealth being put into the pockets of those who capitalized on the new DNA. Also, the Veheran Renaissance had a huge impact on the multiple environments in the UTF domain. The simple ecosystems of the planets were rocked as new plants and animals were introduced. Swarms of insects attacked crops, new plants choked waterways, and wildlife populations spun wildly out of control as new predators and prey were introduced to the planets’ ecosystems.
Aside from facing these disasters, the UTF government had to deal with revolutionaries who had been enlightened by the new literature from the Old World, Earth. Their forces grew from the humble security branch of the research team on the Surrogate and small planetary militias to a full army. These revolutionists set up a new government on distant Vehera, establishing independence from the UTF. They met limited opposition from the militaristic government which was still preoccupied with the new influx of wildlife and caught off guard by the unanticipated size of the revolution. In fact, several UTF officers internally supported the movement through political intrigue. Soon ever more planets followed Vehera's paradigm, eventually leaving the UTF in control of only 5 of the 9 inhabited systems. Over the years the war has escalated as the UTF realized the power of the new kid NGM and struggled to submit them.
- 2006 ModDB Editors' Choice Award: Multiplayer Mod of the Year Honourable Mention 
- 2007 Independent Games Festival: Best Multiplayer Mod 
- 2007 ModDB Editors' Choice Award 
- 2008 ModDB Editors' Choice Award: Most Innovative Multiplayer Nominee 
- 2008 ModDB Editors' Choice Award: Best Multiplayer Mod Nominee