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G.I. Combat Interview
(hx) 06:49 AM EDT - Sep,12 2002

GGMania got a chance to chat with Freedom Games' co-founder Eric Young as he answers a few questions regarding to G.I. Combat, soon-to-be-released 3D real-time strategy game that covers the intense hedgerow battles of Normandy, France from D-Day to Pattonís breakout across France in 1944. He graciously filled us in on many details in this G.I. Combat interview, which is accompanied by three new screenshots.

GGMania: I noticed that Freedom Games seems to be staffed by a lot of the people who worked on the groundbreaking Close Combat series. What have you learned from working on Close Combat and will any of its features or "feel" make it into this game? Could you compare G.I.Combat with Close Combat?

Eric Young: The biggest lesson I learned while working at atomic Games was that design by committee never works well. One designer, one idea, one game, thatís the only way it works. There is plenty of feel left over from Close Combat, but the UI is more streamlined, the information is way less redundant, and the game play is much more realistic. I think you could compare the two as father and son. They may look similar on the outside but they are very different when you look into the heart.

GGMania: Can you detail some specifics about what it will be like to play G.I. Combat? How difficult will it be for someone new to this genre to get into the game?

Eric Young: GI Combat immerses the user in a top of the line 3d simulation with dynamic lighting, great animation, stereo sound, and unparalleled realism tied together with a simple to use and understand interface. It is like having a personal war movie generator that will hold the player in the action, and make them cry when their favorite soldiers get killed. It should be very easy to get into the game, but with any 3D game the camera controls will be a learning curve. GI Combat does have a free wheeling camera that can take the player to any area on the map from any angle.

GGMania: How historically accurate will the various game components and the story be?

Eric Young: Historical accuracy is pretty thick in the underlying engine. The guts of the game are very detailed for morale, hit probability, armor thickness and penetration values. The UI does not burden the player to have extensive knowledge of these features. The maps are photo realistic in some cases and historically accurate in layout for all areas depicted in the game.

GGMania: Can you tell us a bit about psychological model for the soldiers in GI Combat? Does each soldier come with role-playing game-like stats?

Eric Young: Each soldier is an individual. His stats are his own and they improve or degrade in the campaign game with his fortunes of war. Awarding medals to a soldier gives him morale bonuses as well. The stats of a soldier come into play in many ways. His strength his the basis for hand to hand combat. His morale determines how long he will stay under stress before pinning or breaking. All of the individual morale stats are averaged into his parent unit, (squad, gun crew, or tank crew) and these stats provide for the parent unit to break, rout, go berserk, surrender or rally. Soldiers in a group stay with their group, rather than running willy nilly around the battlefield like they did in Close Combat.

GGMania: How many levels in total will we have to play?

Eric Young: 24

GGMania: Can you give us an example of specific missions in the game?

Eric Young: Each mission is a historical engagement. From the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, where the Rangers landed on D-Day to the bombed out center of St. Lo, each battle is historically accurate in force mix and map layout. This can diverge in a campaign game though. The campaign allows for flexibility in unit purchase and units available to add to re-playability. GGMania: When can we expect to see the game hit store shelves and at what price?

Eric Young: Release date is still not set, but my bet is it will be on store shelves in the first week of October. The price is up to the retailer.

GGMania: Do you plan to release a playable demo for public?

Eric Young: Yes, we will have a playable demo out before the end of the month.

GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

Eric Young: I would like to thank all the fine public out there that have stuck by this game and waited patiently for its release. It will be worth it.

genre: 3D RTS
release: October 2002
developer: Freedom Games
publisher: Strategy First

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