Black Hawk Down and What The Hell is It With NovaLogic?

You know, it’s too bad that the AI is total shite and NovaLogic has this insane determination to stick with NovaWorld and not support any other type of conventional multiplayer technology, cause otherwise, this game would be pretty damn awesome.

Just tried out the single player demo that’s floating around (it was taken from a CD demo), and it’s pretty fun. You start out riding shotgun on a Little Bird (there are two Little Birds and 8 commandos in your team), swoop over Mogadishu and just start shooting the hell out of people.

It’s insanely hard at first, but once you figure out, it’s quite fun. My team stormed into the target building, killed the bad guys, freed the hostages, then I ran up to the roof and took command of the heavy machine gun and just blew the hell out of some technicals that were coming to the rescue. Then it’s back down to the street level and herding the hostages to the rendevous point while killing milita left and right.

Now, I must admit, doing a game based on such a real event does strike me as somewhat in bad taste, but they do pull it off with some style. Too bad the AI is crap. They just run up and shoot at you. No ducking, no rolling, no shooting around corners, no tactics. Well, I guess most of the real-life milia were too doped up on khat to do otherwise as well, but at least make it a bit more challenging for the player.

Now if you could host a server on your own system, and it supported TCP/IP, I see this as potentially being a fun LAN-type. I just don’t understand NovaLogic’s continued refusal to do this. After all these years, it has to be clear to them that NovaWorld just hasn’t taken off and that if you want a game to have a shot at being a popular multiplayer game, you HAVE TO SUPPORT TCP/IP and you have to release the server software. Plus you need to let people mod it, but that’s another issue.

I also tried the BHD demo. I agree the AI seems to be no different to previous Novalogic games. Having said that though I find the whole level to be quite interesting and lots of stuff seems to be going on.

For example when you first fly in seeing civilians running across the street for cover.

It’s better than previous Deltaforce games.

Chris Eckhart told me the main reason for the game’s delay, delayed from an October or November ship date, was because they wanted to improve the AI. FWIW and he also says this:

"The Delta Force AI hasn’t always been the strongest AI out there. I’m the first to admit that. One of the things we had to do is make you part of a team of 15-20 people and have all your teammates doing intelligent things. We have the soldiers acting a certain way, the bad guys doing their own things, moving back and forth through the street, firing wildly. On top of that we have a ton of civilian AI to deal with, too! "

Showing here:

Hey, at least they run. At least they shoot. In Land Warrior, sometimes they didn’t even do that.


They’re supposed to rlease an improved demo in a couple of weeks, with much improved AI. We’ll see.

Novalogic games are always pointless blastfests. It’s as if the developers’ brains never fully formed around that primitive core of Sega’s Carnival. That said, this engine is kinda cool; they did a decent job of simulating Mogadishu. At times I felt like I could have been playing Operation Flashpoint… with all the strategic parts removed and replaced with a bear that runs back and forth when shot.

I still don’t get the game part. My reading of the book was that there were very few militia-in-uniform as portrayed in the film. (There’s not one mention of technicals being used in the book). It was more a case of every man in Mogadishu had an AK and a mouthful of khat as a matter of course and when the action occurred EVERYONE (women and children included) ran to see what was happening. A mixture of mob mentality, modern firearms and drugs then lead its course.
If the game was based on real events, I doubt people would feel comfortable about shooting on crowds of civilians.