Earning several expansion packs, the original Cossacks was somewhat of a surprise hit for Ukrainian developer GSC Gameworld. With a focus on 17th and 18th century warfare, Cossacks covered a lightly-worn path while at the same time following a traditional RTS formula. The combination of novelty and solid design made Cossacks a world-wide hit.
Last year, Cossacks II – The Napoleonic Wars was officially announced, although little details were available. This year, Andriy Zavolokin and Oleg Yavorsky were on hand with an early build of the new engine, showing off the new graphics via a series of battle scenes.
The early returns are impressive. The new engine can support up to 64,000 units at once, allowing many of the smaller Napoleonic battles to be fought on a 1:1 basis. Six nations are represented: France, Austria, England, Russia, Egypt and Prussia. Commanders will have personalities reminiscent of their historical counterparts. The game world will feature more than 150 unit types, 180 buildings, and 200 pieces of nature and architectural items. Support for DirectX 9 is included.
In a move toward better historical accuracy, armies no longer fight until the last man is dead. Instead, units will route after a percentage of casualties is suffered; retreating to a safe location where they may be rallied and reformed for battle. Canon automatically loads appropriate shot; round shot at a distance or against hard targets, and grape and canister at close range to devastate approaching infantry. Cavalry charges against wavering units appeared to have the desired effect, dispersing the demoralized troops. Environmental conditions impact combat as well; muddy ground slows cavalry and makes round shot less effective (cannonballs don’t bounce as much).
The non-combat portion of the game was not being shown, but will include an emphasis on logistics and troop support. Cossacks II is not expected until the first half of next year; and we’ll be sure to get a closer look at this one as it moves further along the development cycle.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 21.05.2003
Author: Jeff Vitous
Language of publish: english