DogTag Preview
DogTag box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Diezel Power Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Digital Jesters 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: TBA 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Pending 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
After a long delay, UK Publishers Digital Jesters finally give up the goods on DogTag

by Pete Richards

June 4, 2007 - Originally slated for a release sometime in 2006, British game publisher Digital Jesters announced it was working on the DogTag project for PC and the 360 back in 2005. But as 2006 came and went, little information on the game's process was released, and DogTag was pretty much forgotten by gamers and media types abroad.

DogTag screenshot

And while DogTag is still in the process of being made, Digital Jesters recently released new screenshots of what they're working on, as well as some bits of information on the game's content to wet the appetites of war gamers.

One of the most notable elements of the upcoming game is its controversial storyline, which promises to make DogTag unlike any game we've ever seen.

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Digital Jesters co-founder Terry Malham says about the project, "We're very excited by what we've seen so far, and believe DogTag will offer gamers a unique slant on the traditional idea of good vs. evil, with a storyline that could easily have come directly from the Hollywood."

Roel Frankel, CEO of game developers Diezel Power comments, "DogTag will provide a brutally realistic approach to action games which is guaranteed to appeal to all hardcore gamers. We are delighted to work with Digital Jesters to bring this title to a worldwide audience next year."

DogTag screenshot

The game has a somewhat uneasy premise. DogTag takes you into East Africa, an area plagued with civil unrest and violence. The story begins as the U.S. sends marines into the war zone to fight after a rebel contingent is forced out of the area. However, the colonel in charge of the marines led a mutiny against US command, and he and his troops take part in the illegal actions they were sent to stop. This is where you come in, as you become in charge of an American Special Ops squad of headhunters sent in to capture the colonel and take him in for questioning. The twist in this game, however, unlike other war games, is the fighting is between American soldiers as you are met with heavy resistance from the marines still under the colonel's control. The American-to-American combat is the first of its kind in a video game, as your Special Ops force is put up against a crew of highly skilled and well trained marines. You become faced with the moral dilemma of battling your one-time allies as the distinction between good and bad becomes hard to distinguish.

The storyline may be a bit confusing at the beginning of the game, but as you play on and continue to complete missions, more answers are given while the story unfolds.

DogTag screenshot

DogTag will combine third-person shooting with strategy, as you command your crew to perform certain maneuvers. It's not as precise as some war games, nor is it a slow paced strategic game, with a focus on fast action squad based combat. You can order your crew to do things like move to a secure perimeter, provide covering fire, and watch different areas. Each member of the squad is controlled by switching from viewpoint to viewpoint, and the gun toggling is simply aim and shoot. The third-person view allows you to take advantage of the surrounding environment, which will be a key element to DogTag as anything in a level can be used for cover, which you will need to do as you and strategically move in on the opposition.

The cover-based gameplay design of DogTag will make full use of the Novadex physics engine to make the game's environment as realistic as possible, as your cover may get blown to bits or stay put depending on how much damage it takes. You will be required to interact with every aspect of your surroundings in any offensive or defensive situation.

Screenshots of the game look very impressive, and offer a glimpse of what we can expect. They also offer a sense of the engine's capability, though animations and in-action sequences have yet to be seen.

DogTag screenshot

DogTag will also offer a few different modes, such as the option to play each of the missions in co-op mode which should make for some fun online play. Digital Jesters is also offering other multiplayer options including the standard deathmatch and capture the flag modes.

While Digital Jesters have are still fighting to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry, they are hoping to make a big impact and a lasting impression with DogTag, which may be the reason why its release date is later than first expected. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait.

By Pete Richards
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Brutally realistic action for the hardcore war gamer
  • Take cover and utilize fully interactive environments
  • Play online in capture the flag and deathmatch modes, or work with friends to complete missions




    Nov.2, 2006 - A Marine battalion has been sent in to replace a retreating rebel faction. A few weeks later, intel confirms that the colonel leading the battalion had engaged in a mutiny against central command with the support of some or all of the troops under his command. His reasons, at this stage, are unknown.

    An elite Special Ops Squad is sent in under your command. Your team's mission: Arrest and retrieve the command structure behind the rebellion. If retrieval is not possible, neutralize the battalion command. Can you still pull the trigger when the enemy is your friend?

    Features:

  • Intense urban combat in ultra-realistic modern day city and industrial environments
  • Unique cover based gameplay - use every aspect of the environment for defensive manoeuvres and utilise blind-fire tactics to destroy the enemy.
  • Tactical squad based movement against an enemy who knows all your moves
  • Face an entire battalion of soldiers, equipped with the latest military hardware, vehicles and weaponry
  • Marine vs. Marine as the distinction between good and evil disappears
  • Proprietary game engine with full environmental and player collision physics, dynamic shadowing and global illumination light mapping


  • Screenshots / Images
    DogTag screenshot - click to enlarge DogTag screenshot - click to enlarge DogTag screenshot - click to enlarge DogTag screenshot - click to enlarge

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