Sony Online Entertainment has got a pretty good handle on the free-to-play gaming market thus far – at least in the West – what with titles like DC Universe Online and EverQuest II under their belt. That said, most of SOE's titles are MMORPGs. In a bid to expand their games portfolio, SOE has announced that they will publish Bullet Run, a free-to-play first-person shooter.
Unlike Planetside 2, the other FPS that SOE will be publishing, Bullet Run will not be developed in-house. Instead, the game is being made in Germany by Acony Games, which was founded by a former member of the team responsible for the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942.
A multiplayer shooter that's set up like a reality TV show, in Bullet Run up to 20 players compete with one another for fame by attempting to take enemies down in Team Deathmatch or Dominion (regular Deathmatch, we presume) with style and attitude - simply shooting to kill will apparently not earn you fame (which is what they're calling experience points here).
As you gain fame and level up, you're able to equip your in-game avatar with Kill Skills – like damage heals, berserker mode, and enemy-trapping robots – and acquire a variety of weapons and mods for thousands of potential weapon combinations.
And if that isn't enough, Acony Games is also offering all players the perk of knowing how your in-game avatars are able to respawn and come back to life every single time you die. According to the press release: "through a revolutionary 'Synth' technology, these reality stars will die, re-incarnate into a new body, and jump right back into the action until the match is complete. Death becomes a mere setback as players compete for fame and glory." That's… reassuring, I suppose. I never really think about why I'm able to respawn over and over when I play Call of Duty, but sure, knowledge is power, right?
"We believe the sexier, media-driven storyline sets it apart from other FPS games and will continue to attract new players who might be tired of the same military shooters," Frank Trigub, a founding partner at Acony, explains. Okay, fair enough.
Andre Herbst, another founding partner and Marketing Director at Acony, added that Bullet Run was designed with "the same quality and attention to detail as a AAA retail product but focused on making it a great game experience for a full range of players regardless of their skill level."
"We are excited to bring players what we think will be the best FPS experience in the PC free-to-play market," Herbst said.
Bullet Run will make its official, playable debut at E3 next month, with a beta test to open soon. In the meantime, if you're looking for a new free-to-play shooter to try – or if you're just really enthralled by the game's "Synth" die-and-respawn system – then head over to www.bulletrunthegame.com where you can pre-sign-up for the beta.