Muzzle Velocity (video game)

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Muzzle Velocity
Developer(s) Code Fusion
Publisher(s) Digi4fun
Platform(s) Windows/DOS
Release date(s) 1997
Genre(s) first person, Strategy

Muzzle Velocity was a computer tactical wargame released by Digi4fun in 1997. The program was a unique hybrid of standard two-dimension map-based tactical gaming, and first person action. It is set in World War II

The game was developed by Code Fusion and Digi4Fun. At the time or release, it could lay claim to being "the ONLY true war strategy game that puts you in the middle of the action".(Microprose's M1 Tank Platoon was similar, but was considered a sim rather than a true strategy game.) The game graphics were garishly bright in colour, though armoured vehicles sported historically accurate camouflage paint jobs, and many touches were added to the three-dimensional world that would remain absent in later, more serious, wargames (such as Combat Mission) such as civilians, telephone poles, and moving railroad trains.

The player would select forces and move them on the two-dimensional battle map, while a tactical AI would resolve battles; however, the player could jump from unit to unit, taking over in a first person capacity. Gameplay was very arcade-like, and damage modelling was unrealistic in the extreme. Heavy machine guns could be used to knock stone buildings into piles of rubble, for example, and individual penetration statistics of the various weapons and armoured vehicles seem to have been fictional. As well, limitations of the game engine restricted engagement ranges to a few hundred metres.

Up to 100 units could be controlled in the overhead two-dimensional mode. The three-dimensional mode featured a very simplistic and generic graphics interface for vehicle controls.

Players could control British, American, or German forces. Weather effects were included, such as snow and rain falling in the 3D world, and terrain was realistic and textured, with such things as bullrushes in the swampy areas and decorative lamp posts in the urban areas. Sound effects were good, though all voices in the game spoke with a British accent, giving sometimes comical responses "Get out! Get out!" when infantry were unloaded, for example, or an apologetic "oops" when a civilian was crushed under your tank.

Terrain was deformable, with trees being crushed under the weight of vehicles and buildings collapsing under high explosive fire.

The game was solo play only, with no two-player capabilities of any kind, so the game had limited appeal after the novelty of negotiating the 3D world wore off. The computer opponent was very easy to beat in the 3D mode and the 2D interface was clumsy.

The game is also remembered for a stunning three-dimensional intro screen with animated tanks doing battle in a simulated hillside village; the graphics in the game did not unfortunately live up to the title movie.

Code Fusion was a US subsidiary of Digi4Fun, which was created for holding the exclusive US distribution rights. The game was based on the Pharlap DOS Extender, which enabled it to run beyond the DOS memory limit of 640K. The minimum specs called for 12MB, but 16MB is required to run the game smoothly.

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