Hogs of War
|Hogs of War|
PAL cover for the PlayStation release
|Developer(s)||Infogrames Sheffield House|
Sony (PS One Classics reissue)
Alternative Software (Steam)
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Microsoft Windows (Steam), PlayStation Network|
|Genre(s)||Turn-based tactics, Artillery game|
Hogs of War is a turn-based tactics artillery video game developed by Infogrames Sheffield House and published by Infogrames, released for the PlayStation in Europe on 6th June 2000, and North America on 29th September 2000, and later for Microsoft Windows in Europe only on 3 November 2000. The game is set in the First World War-era where anthropomorphic pigs engage in combat. Hogs of War is turn-based, featuring 3D graphics, and both a single-player career mode, and offline multiplayer. The game featured voice artistry by British comedic actor Rik Mayall and Marc Silk.
Hogs of War is a turn-based tactics game, where players take turns controlling individual members of their squad of hogs to engage in combat with the opposition, similar to the Worms video game series. Each level is made up of two or more teams of 5, loosely based on nations competing in the First World War. Each turn, a player takes control of a single squad member in a third-person perspective to move around the map, including jumping over terrain and swimming over bodies of water, yet can only engage in combat when stationary.
Each squad member can be assigned a class type, where they have immediate access to certain weapons and abilities. There are four main class types; heavy gunners that specialize in long-range heavy weapons (mortars, bazookas, rocket launchers, etc.), engineers that specialise in explosives (grenades, land mines, TNT, etc.), espionage that don't appear on the mini map and use sniper rifles and camouflage, and finally medics that can heal other units in both close and long range. Other than inventory items, players can also gain access to military vehicles, like tanks and semi-aquatic and stationary turrets like heavy artillery and pillboxes. Bunkers and MASH tents also provide further protection, but without weaponry, with the latter healing a small amount at the start of their turn.
The game features several modes, including a standard deathmatch (either single-player or multiplayer) and a single-player campaign. At the start of each campaign, the player chooses their nation and squad of up to eight characters, who have customisable names. The main objective for the player is to conquer all five regions of the world map, with each region containing five missions against each opposing nation.[a] Through the campaign, characters can be promoted as the player progresses through the campaign by earning medals; given for completing tasks, such as finishing the level with zero characters felled. The campaign features semi-permadeath, where a character will be permanently lost after three deaths on a level.
There are six different pig nations featured in Hogs of War that, while not directly named, are represented by their comical names, unique uniform colours, accents, and headgear. Each nation is parodied in the name of their squad and soldiers, as well as the pigs' dialogue during combat, usually at the start of each turn, before firing a weapon, after defeating an opponent, or upon their own death. Voice work is delivered in thick, over-the-top accents, with comical lines emphasizing the stereotypical nature of each represented nation, usually acting in an exaggerated manner (some portrayals of which were even held during both World Wars), or speaking about topics relevant to a stereotype, acting primarily as the game's source of humor. The six nations include the UK, France, Germany, the USA, Russia, and Japan.
The UK is represented by "Tommy's Trotters" (named after Tommys), who are clothed in green and wear standard British WW1 helmets. They are based on the British Expeditionary Force and are portrayed as either incredibly posh or hooligan-like, and use British slang with multiple regional accents. France is represented by the "Garlic Grunts" ( a reference to the Onion Johnny stereotype of the Frenchman), who are clothed in dark blue and wear Adrian helmets. They are based on the French Army in World War I, have thick French accents, and act in a stereotypically snooty and insulting manner. Germany is represented by the "Sow-A-Krauts" (a play on the pork garnish sauerkraut), who wear grey uniforms and pickelhaube helmets. They are based primarily on Imperial Germany, and act in an aggressive manner and, at times, speak a faux-German language with many references to sausage in hogs' names. The United States of America is represented by "Uncle Ham's Hogs" (after Uncle Sam), who wear light blue uniforms and campaign hats, as worn by the American Expeditionary Forces during the Great War. They are mostly voiced in US Southern accents, typically portrayed as rednecks and country music singers. Russia is represented by "Piggystroika" (after Perestroika), who wear red uniforms and ushanka fur caps. Despite the First World War themes of the games, they are portrayed more like the post-war Soviet Union, using communist terms such as "comrade". One of the units also speaks in a drunken manner, another Russian stereotype. The last nation, Japan, is represented by "Sushi Swine" (after sushis), who wear yellow uniforms and tropical visor caps. They are portrayed as having strict codes of honour, while lacking knowledge in a more modern form of warfare, along with names taken from old Feudal Japanese positions, like "Ninja" and "Shogun".
A pig-shaped collection of islands located in the South Pigsific Ocean, known as Saustralasia, has been found to be a rich source of swill (depicted like oil being harvested by pumpjacks) that is described as the "lifeblood of pigs", and that who ever controls the swill controls the world, thus leading to all nations engaging in an all-out war to conquer the region. The chosen national squadron battles through each of Saustralasia's five main regions; Hogshead, Saustralia, Trottsville, Bellyopolis and Arstria.
Upon conquering each territory, the squad is shown an educational film (in a satirical vintage fashion) on survival techniques, such as "keeping secrets safe", a video showing off a secret military project. Upon defeating all other nations and laying claim to Saustralasian mainland, the squad engages in a final battle on the Isle of Swill with the nationally ambiguous "Team Lard". Regardless of which chosen nation is victorious, all pig nations celebrate the end of the war, and now, a time of peace. Despite the end of the war, a remaining soldier feels like nothing has been accomplished by the war. The narrator, (Rik Mayall), gives an upbeat message regarding the end of the war, stating that the war was all worth it, for the medal received at the end of it.
Hogs of War received average to positive reviews from critics. The PlayStation version received "Mixed or average reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[b] It received a better response elsewhere, achieving 74% from Game Rankings.[c]
The game received high praise for its comedic value, and notably, the voice work by comedian Rik Mayall. Scott Stienberg of IGN praised the "goofy sense of humour and endearing antics" of the game, noting it as a strong contributor to the game. Frank Provo of GameSpot called the game's comedy as "drop-dead funny" and "sidesplitting", before stating the "all-around nuttiness" of the game lifted it into the same realm as Bomberman, or Worms. Nebojsa Radakovic of GameRevolution also stated that "many of the death quotes are just hilarious."
However, the game received less positive remarks towards the graphics used. Nebojsa Radakovic of GameRevolution stated the game's graphics were "only so-so" and the game contained too much "texture warping and simple models." Scott Stienberg of IGN also called the graphics "strikingly primitive", and the game's graphics were "dated".
On 13th February 2008, Infogrames announced Hogs of War 2 for Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2 and Windows. It was slated for release in April 2009, but is now presumed cancelled. During this period Infogrames was experiencing financial problems and was reincorporated as Atari, SA.
The PC version of the game was re-released by Urbanscan in late September 2014, and later added to GOG.com. The PlayStation version was released as a PS one Classic on the North American PlayStation Network store in 2013. The PC version was later re-released worldwide on Steam on 28 July 2015.
Notes and references
- IGN staff (29 September 2000). "Hogs of War Shipping to Stores". IGN. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Hogs of War Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Hogs of War Preview". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- Infogrames Studios, ed. (2000). Hogs of War official game manual (PAL). Infogrames Studios. pp. 8–9.
- Stahl, Ben (1 May 2000). "Hogs of War Preview". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- Ellis, Keith "DNM" (23 July 2000). "Hogs of War Review (PSOne)". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 7 January 2001. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Have You Played… Hogs of War?". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- Radakovic, Nebosja "Brian" (November 2000). "Hogs of War Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Hogs of War Ships for the PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- Infogrames Sheffield House (6 June 2000). Hogs of War. PlayStation. Infogrames. Scene: 3. Level/area: Trottsville.
- Infogrames Sheffield House (6 June 2000). Hogs of War. PlayStation. Infogrames. Scene: 6. Level/area: Arstria.
- "Hogs of War for PlayStation - GameRankings". gamerankings.com. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
- "Hogs of War for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- Barnes, J.C. "Hogs of War (PS) - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- EGM staff (November 2000). "Hogs of War". Electronic Gaming Monthly.
- Steinberg, Scott (29 September 2000). "Hogs of War Review (PS)". IGN. Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Hogs of War Review". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. November 2000.
- "Hogs of War Review". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. July 2000.
- "Hogs of War Reveiw". Play UK. 2000.
- Leyton, Chris (13 February 2008). "Infogrames Confirms Hogs of War 2, Airborne Raiders Return, NWN2 Expansion 2 News". Total Video Games. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Infogrames FISCAL 2007-2008 (unaudited figures)" (PDF). Infogrames. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
- "Infogrames Entertainment S.A. Announces Completion of Acquisition of Atari, Inc". Infogrames. 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2017.