PC gamers, at least, have been creaming themselves over Warhound’s graphics for ages now - the game’s been designed on their Chrome Engine, and the PC version will further dazzle thanks to DirectX 10 and Windows Vista support - this may not carry over to the 360 version, but even without the PC’s photorealistic polish, it’s looking luscious and involving.
The game’s big trump card, you see, is freedom - freedom in the missions you choose, freedom to choose who you are and how you fight, and even - if you log onto the English section of Techland’s forums right now - freedom to tell the developers exactly what you want to see in the game. Within reason, we’re sure.
Above: A raw and unflinching look into the pores of mercenaries
The truth is, that although many shooters feature mercenaries, that’s only an excuse to put them in snazzy armor rather than a uniform. Warhound really tries to replicate the experience of being a gun for hire - the non-linear gameplay puts you in control of your career as a hired killer, and with the many ways to customize your character, your arsenal and your approach to each mission, it’s as much a career simulator as it is a war FPS. (In a unique turn, you even have to take care of your own finances, which sounds, uh, fun.) The missions you’re offered are uniformly moral - you’ll be taking on hefty crime lords and crazed dictators, but unfortunately you won’t then have the option of working for them. Not that you’d really want to obviously. They’re bad people.
No US release date has been announced yet, but rest assured, you’ll once again be capping minions for the green soon enough.