Normal people love summer because it means warm weather, vacations, family barbeques and big-budget Hollywood movies. I am not your normal person. I love summer because it means I get to make my yearly pilgrimage to San Francisco to attend 1C's Another Night in Moscow press event. This one-day event features the finest in Russian games, food and, of course, vodka.
At first glance Another Night in Moscow 2010 is like every other game event I've ever been to. It has booth babes, flowing alcohol and areas set up for attendees to play games. But then I looked around and realize that I'm not at your usual video game event ... I'm in BIZARRO WORLD! I look left and right, I'm stuck in the middle of a wild room full of crazy games and even unpronounceable foods. And then it's over. And just like that I was left wondering what had just happened. All you have left is that long, awkward drive back from San Francisco. The car filled with silence.
Now that I'm safely home and have completely sobered up, I have decided to work out some of the things I learned from my night in "Moscow." With my glowing shot glass in hand and my comfy Russian hat firmly atop my head, I'm ready to spill the secrets and dredge up my memories of Another Night in Moscow 2010!
Russians Really Like War Simulators
I'm afraid I owe Activision an apology. For the past couple years I've been lamenting that the biggest video game publisher in the world is spending too much time with war games. After getting back from my time in "Moscow" I suddenly have a brand new perspective of what too many war games looks like. With the exception of four or five noteworthy titles, almost all of 1C's showing was dedicated to the history of war. It all leads me to believe that Russian gamers must really like war simulators.
The night started with some of the obvious wars, such as World War II (Men of War: Assault Squad) and Korea (Theatre of War 2: Korea) and of course Vietnam (Men of War: Vietnam). But don't look now, because there are also a few games set in fantasy wars (King's Bounty: Crossworlds), old timey wars (Real Warfare 1242) and space war (Star Wolves 3: Ashes of Victory). And we haven't even gotten into Death to Spies 3, which takes place in the Cold War. I'm surprised that 1C didn't announce Iraq 'N' Roll, the world's most dangerous truck driving simulator.
The good news is that most of these war games bring something new to the table. While I consider myself something of a peacenik, even I started get into the unique brand of real-time strategy. I also fell in love with King's Bounty: Crossworlds, the newest expansion pack to this unique series. Even more telling is the fact that not a single one of these war games plays from the first-person perspective. That's a lesson most American game companies could stand to learn.
Even Russians Know That Pirates Are Awesome!
1C's most accessible game had nothing to do with war or racing, but rather ... pirates??? It's true: The title most traditional gamers would be excited about was the long-overdue Captain Blood. Developed by SeaWolf, Captain Blood has been in development for more than four years. It's so old that it originally started as an original Xbox game. But fear not, because all this time has given the developers a chance to fine tune the gameplay and offer a more cohesive package.
Think of it as God of War meets Captain Hook. You play a guy out for gold and glory not afraid to do whatever it takes. This means you'll need to forcefully take other people's boats, go toe-to-toe with countless sword-wielding foes and sink the competition with cannon balls. All of this is couched in a nice story and a good looking (albeit outdated) art style.
Of course, I already knew all of this. Gamers who followed our coverage last year will no doubt remember this action game. What I learned this time around is that 1C is teaming up with a major publisher to get Captain Blood into as many homes as possible. While I can't report any concrete names right now, some of the names include companies well acquainted with costumed characters. Based on what I've seen and played of the game, this can be only good news. Hopefully an agreement can be reached quickly and Captain Blood can finally hit store shelves, as there just aren't enough swashbuckling pirate games on the Xbox 360 ... or any system for that matter.
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