It's a game about uprising; you may face a struggle against better equipped Nazis, but you will fight for freedom and dignity in the ruined city... and you will know that, somehow, it is going to be a great defeat. You cannot win, but you must fight for freedom in a hopeless battle. You must fight for YOUR honor.
So says Piotr Wasiak of Polish newcomers DMD Enterprise Studio about their first game, the highly anticipated Uprising 44. Based on the tragic Warsaw uprising of 1944 against their Nazi occupiers in which over 200,000 Poles are thought to have lost their lives, it is a disaster that must be handled with great care and sensitivity, something that DMD are only too aware of:
We're trying to show some universal values, no matter whether we're talking about Polish, English, or American soldiers. We hope that every Polish person finds in this game a story about an important moment in history. But, we're not making a game for Polish people only. We don't want to educate anybody or to teach history; we're just trying to show some universal truth, understandable for everyone. The Polish uprising of 1944 is only a background, if you know what I mean.
This is perhaps wise; such a (still) controversial subject area like this can stir animosity against developers who are seen as either trying to make profit or provide entertainment through human tragedy. Hopefully DMD can sidestep such doubts, and judging by the sincerity of Peter they are approaching the topic in the right way.
Of course, a game stands up on its gameplay, and Uprising 44 is going to utilise a Commandos-esque 4 man squad system, with each member of the team having a speciality i.e.a medic, a heavy gunner and the like.'But that is obvious' adds Piotr, wryly.
However, Piotr believes that to bracket the game in such a way would be to over-simplify the experience:
Uprising 44 is a kind of mixed type of game. It's primarilly a tactical RTS, but with some features of an RPG and even TPP (third person persepctive) game. For example, when your team enters to the bulding the camera moves, and you'll see the action from behind the shoulders of the leader of your squad. If you ask me to make a comparision, I would say that Uprising 44 combines elements from such games as Jagged Alliance, Commandos and Man of War, with some litte elements from RPG genre - like Baldurs Gate.
So far, so promising. The use of the immersive over-the-shoulder perspective should add tension and excitement, and will well suit the house by house nature of the uprising. Equally, the use of small squads makes sense in the context of the narrow, compact streets of Warsaw; this was a fight of skirmishes and movement rather than large military manouvres involving thousands and thousands of troops.
As a new studio (with experienced members, some of whom worked on Bulletstorm and Call of Juarez), DMD realise that they haven't got the financial force to make a AAA, Battlefield 3 beater, 'but, I think, it will be a strong A title!' Piotr mentions with a flourish. He also confirmed that the 15 strong squad of devs are looking to develop beyond Uprising 44 too.
Uprising 44 is due for release in Q2 2012 on the PC, MAC, Xbox 360, with some franchise games for mobile devices. We will get in contact with Peter again nearer to the release date to get an update on what is a highly promising debut.