The driving force behind Frontlines' multiplayer is the character system. This is a two-part choice. The first selects your Loadout - Assault, Heavy Assault, Sniper, Anti-Vehicle, Special Ops and Close Combat. Kaos didn’t want the player to feel that for every benefit there was a tradeoff, as in other similar games a medic’s skills are often negated by useless weaponry and poor armour. All the Loadout affects is your immediate weaponry. Rocket launchers don’t make you move any slower, for instance.
Next comes your choice of Role. These Roles span Ground Support, EMP Tech, Drone Tech and Air Support and each has three levels of intensity that affect the extra equipment or strikes you can bring to the fight. Everyone is at the most basic level when a session starts and through kills and repeated use of their chosen Role, their stats build and the second and third slots unlock. Air Support, for instance, begins with a simple air strike. When this levels up you gain a far wider-reaching cluster-bomb and if you make the third grade, you’ll get a high altitude gunship that will tear a designated area apart for a brief period. These levels reset at the end of a multi-level gaming session. Kaos doesn't want anyone to have too much of an advantage at the beginning of a match and this will help casual gamers to get more out of a genre often dominated by an experienced elite.
Above: "Dude, put down your PSP and help us out!"
There’s still a lot of work to be done, and we hope that Frontlines gets the time it needs to be polished into a great game. You can bet that Battlefield will pull no punches and while Kaos is proud that it didn’t become an EA ‘super studio’ when fellow Battlefield developers DICE were assimilated, ‘super studios’ do have ‘super resources’ to buy that extra slickness that can’t be gained by rubbing your game down with Russian oil.