Would you believe I wrote this and then forgot to post it? Good Lord, my memory certainly isn’t what it used to be. Broken Arrow must be employing some shock and awe tactics because the trailer below leaves me both shocked at how far Slitherine and Matrix have come as videogame game publishers mainly focused on hardcore wargames to being able to publish something as visually striking as Broken Arrow, a far cry from the hex-and-counter wargames whose graphics are usually just flat 2D textures. And in awe because – God Damn- take a good long look at the gameplay video below to see what I mean.
There’s so much happening here that it’s hard to digest it all in one sitting. So here’s a couple of things:
- Naval landings will be a thing, and there are two types of ships. So I’m assuming one of those will carry infantry and the other will be in charge of making sure vehicles reach the shores dry;
- The maps are expansive, large, and varied: this will most likely provide different armies with different strengths and different opportunities to take the upper hand;
- Armies will be Big but the gameplay seems to be a little too fast-paced for me, albeit substantially slower than its existing counterparts;
- Unit loadout can be modified to adequate to the needs of the battlefield;
- We see an Apache multi-role combat helicopter emerge from behind a line of buildings to strike down a couple of armored vehicles before it immediately goes back to hide amongst said buildings. I wonder if this is just its attack animation or an in-game tactic;
- Buildings can be demolished;
- Units move somewhat realistic, so that’s a major plus in comparison to similar games in this sub-genre of RTS.
However, despite all the good stuff, the lack of infantry combat on display is making me more worried than I would like to admit. If the recent war in Ukraine has taught something to war planners all around is that infantry is as important as it ever has been. So here’s hoping infantry gets the respect it deserves and it’s able to impact the battlefield in other ways that don’t involve holding key buildings. Ambushes and scouting especially. To round things up, I’m not sure the aircraft carrier in the back and the other ships are in fact playable, I’m assuming if they were, the trailer would have shown it, but they might not be implemented yet, so there’s that too. I just hope the gameplay isn’t as fast-paced as Wargame and WARNO and brains will be more important than the number of times generals can pet their mice per minute.
In the game’s Discord there’s an interesting Q&A I’ll directly airlift into this article:
“Here are most commonly asked questions, if you have other questions ask them in the general English channel.
Q- What is this game about?
A- It’s a tactical RTS set in the modern era (1990+) representing realistic and impressive battles between the most powerful armies of the world. You will take control of Infantry, armored vehicles, tanks, helicopters and planes and fight on large maps.
Q- When can we expect the game to be released? A- “When it’s ready” is the best answer. Q- Will there be a beta test before release?
A- Yes there will be multiple testing phases with more people participating every time.
Q- What kind of economic model do you plan?
A- A classical model where you buy the game to access its full content.
Q- What nations will be included in the game?
A- USA and Russia are the 2 main armies that will be present both in solo and multiplayer. Each will propose multiple specialisations like USMC, VDV to make many different combination of decks.
Q- Will you make DLCs?
A- Yes we will increase the content of the game over time with DLCs.
Q- Will the game support modding?
A- Yes but we don’t know to what extend for the moment.
Q- Will the game have ships?
A- There will be an asymmetrical attack/defend battles where one team starts from the sea and must lands using transport crafts and seaborne support. We don’t plan large ship on ship battles as their scale wouldn’t match the scale of land battles.
Q- Will there be paratroopers?
A- Yes, dedicated soldiers, vehicles and supply will be dropped from planes to reinforce your troops and surprise the enemy.
Q- What about helicopters airlifting?
A- Yes, heavy lift helicopters will be able to sling vehicles.
Q- The timeframe is 1990+ but will you include prototypes?
A- We try to stick to the most realistic things but weapons, vehicles and aircraft that were functional but weren’t produced for economic/politic reason can be included in the game. Same is true for materials in their final phase of development.
Q- Will there be offmap weapons?
A- Yes, tactical missiles and aircraft will appear from the border of the map to lay waste on the battlefield.
Q- Will I be able to choose the loadout of my planes?
A- Yes, as well as helicopters. You will also customise elements of the vehicles whenever it’s possible. Infantry will have some elements of customisation too.
Q- Will we have nukes? Please say yes !!!
A- Yes tactical nukes will be part of the game but don’t expect them to be cheap!
Q- What about AC-130 gunship? Please say yes again !!!!
A- AC-130 is not designed for high intensity conflicts so it will probably be hard to make it viable as a multiplayer unit. However nothing prevents us to include it in a solo mission and that’s what we plan to do.
Q- How many languages in the game?
A- For audio probably English only. For the texts it’s too early to say exactly but expect the game to be translated in multiple languages”.
Near the end of 2021 Slitherine and Steel Balalaika showcased a scenario gameplay, just in case you’re interested.