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Codename Panzers: Cold War

Interview: WWII is almost a distant memory

To date Codename Panzers series developer Stormregion has offered a solid RTS experience with its PC games that have stomped around the well-trodden World War II battlefield.

For its next title, it decided to steer away from D-Day and the Fall of Berlin and skip ahead a few years into the Cold War era.

So as not to confuse anyone about the game's new subject matter, it called it Codename Panzers: Cold War.

Previously Stormregion's told us it's introducing "as many new improvements as we could come up with". That was back in March 2007, but a couple of days ago David Huggele, QA lead tester at Cold War publisher 10Tacle Studios, breezed into town so we tapped him up to find out more...

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(Don't forget to check out the 60 seconds of gameplay footage we've captured, on this page. Please be aware though that the footage is taken from the latest preview build and not the final product).

So how does Cold War tie in with the previous Codename Panzers games?

David Huggele: It's the Cold War, so World War II is over. You'll see some of the heroes from the former games appear. The story pretty much comes down to an airplane crash over Berlin, and it's a Russian fighter and an American supply plane. This is what sparks the war.

The Soviets invade Berlin, and you play on the NATO side and then on the Soviet side later on in the campaign. There's one big campaign with 18 missions - it's a campaign without any breaks in between.

Is it all large-scale battles, or is it a mixture of that and skirmish warfare?

Pretty much both. It depends on the mission. You'll have some big battles and kind of stealthy missions. Stormregion's tried to always present players with an additional way of solving objectives.

For example in mission three, you can research an amphibious upgrade for your APCs and then use that to traverse a river and attack a fortress from behind instead of going on a frontal assault through a mine field.

It's running on the developer's new Gepard 3 engine, isn't it. What are some of the new features that's introducing?

Huggele: Stormregion's completely built the new engine from scratch. Weather effects, for example, are a new addition to the engine and play a role in gameplay. In heavy rain, the water splashes of the ground and there's real-time reflections on objects.

And the sun's a moving light source, and when the sun's shinning on a point it'll illuminate the object and the object will reflect all the illuminations. You can see all the shadows moving. There's even shadows cast by smoke and fire.

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When you play during rain or nightfall, your vision range gets decreased and your vehicles will move slower - but infantry will be fine. Additionally, during night time the hearing range will increase - there's hearing range in the game - because units have to rely more on this; their hearing range increases during night while they can see less.

We've seen a demo where a crane collapses in different directions depending on where it's been struck by a missile...

Huggele: The physics engine is another cool aspect of the technology. The doctrine of Stormregion is to give the player the option to either use an object or destroy it if they interact with it. They've tried to make as many objects as possible breakable.

The physics engine works in such a way that, if you destroy something multiple times, it'll never be destroyed in the same way.

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