Ground Branch is a pretty exciting tactical first-person shooter that aims to take the genre back to its roots, and the guys working on the game - Blackfoot Studios - have launched a Kickstarter to help them move the project along.
Before you plunk down your money to help Blackfoot get their game going, however, you'll want to check out the video above in which Blackfoot Studios gives some commentary on a walkthrough of what they have put together so far. The game is far from being complete, but it's good to hear some more information straight from the developer.
Before we jump into the game itself, one thing that automatically gets us excited is the fact that John Sonedecker, founder of Blackfoot Studios, previously worked at Ubisoft Red Storm, before the Ubisoft acquisition. For those new to the shooter scene, Red Storm was founded by Tom Clancy and essentially invented tactical shooters in their game Rainbow Six...
Ground Branch aims to use modern technology - Unreal Engine 3, to be specific - to bring the current generation of tactical shooters back to its roots. The game takes players into a realistic game world without some of the arcade-like mechanics of other popular FPS titles out there. At the heart of Ground Branch is the NORG system. NORG stands for Natural Order of Realistic Gameplay. What it means is that Ground Branch will sport a truly realistic game word, and will take "a realistic in-game action and provide a realistic response".
One of the most basic examples of how NORG improves the experience is jumping. In nearly all FPS games, players can press a button to make their player jump. Muscle memory has been ingrained to veteran shooter players so that when we see a raised area, we know we should be able to jump and mantle up to that area. With jumping, however, comes 'bunny hopping' - a decidedly annoying tactic in many shooters. To counteract this, developers simply removed jumping. To Blackfoot and the NORG system, however, that isn't the answer.
The answer is to build game mechanics that allow you to jump, while providing a realistic response to that action. In the real world, if you leap into the air and try to accurately fire an assault rifle, you're going to make a fool of yourself. The same holds true in Ground Branch; bunny hopping won't be a viable tactic in Ground Branch, yet players will still be able to jump as they expect to be able to.
All in all, we're getting excited for Ground Branch and we're looking forward to following development on this one. Stay tuned for more and be sure to check the game out on Kickstarter for the various reward tiers for donors!