Prepare for war in Germany's answer to Counter-Strike

Question. Why has nobody ever managed to develop a game that can come even close to dislodging Counter-Strike from its lofty perch atop the strategic online shooter pile? Answer? Because no-one has ever tried taking the CS template, retaining all that is good and adding in an original slant, that%26rsquo;s why. Well, at least not until now they haven%26rsquo;t.

Created by fledgling developers Acony - a team formed from an array of industry veterans - Parabellum seeks to infuse the Counter-Strike template with more strategic and tactical depth by linking a series of missions together to create one massive, objective-driven online battlefield.

Powered by Unreal Engine 3, Parabellum is already looking mightily impressive in the visual stakes, despite being a year or so off completion. Once you dive into a level, your first task is to join either the highly-trained US anti-terrorist Delta team or the despicable Black November terrorist faction, intent on turning the Big Apple into a charred core with a fat-assed bomb.

%26ldquo;There%26rsquo;s a 20-megaton nuclear warhead somewhere in New York City that%26rsquo;s been planted by a terrorist group called Black November, which has an ex-military background,%26rdquo; explains Frank Trigub, director and game designer at Acony, who%26rsquo;s presenting the game to us. %26ldquo;Opposed to them is Delta, a real world counter-terrorist unit.%26rdquo;

Once you%26rsquo;ve pledged your allegiance, the clock starts ticking, and it%26rsquo;s up to you and your team-mates to either find and defuse the bomb before it goes boom or to stop the counter-terrorists from getting anywhere near it.

%26ldquo;We%26rsquo;ve broken New York down into 12 sectors,%26rdquo; continues Trigub. %26ldquo;Across these sectors we want to show all the different faces of New York. There%26rsquo;ll be skyscrapers, backyards, residential areas, parks, airports and subways. When we were looking at most of the multiplayer games out there, we realised that they%26rsquo;re just a collection of unconnected maps. We thought, wouldn%26rsquo;t it be cool if all the maps in the game connected together? In Parabellum, each level is just part of a bigger picture as we%26rsquo;re building a city out of these levels.%26rdquo;

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