Arnold Hendricks used to work for Spectrum Holobyte and Microprose. Arnold worked on Darklands, M1 Tank Platoon, Gunship, F-19 Stealth Fighter and many other games during his tenure. Now Arnold works for Major "Wild Bill" Stealey and will be designing with him a new tank simulation called iM1A2 Abrams. Lets take a look at some of the new ideas they will be incorporating in the new design, and hope that the last seven years since M1-Tank platoon have produced a worthy sequel.
The game will play within three campaign theaters, the open desert of Iran, the Balkan mountains of Bosnia, and the Ukrainian steppes with over 75 battlefields to fight on. You take the role of a junior American officer, no you will not be allowed to play the part of the enemy, and crying will not help you to do it either. You can select platoon commander in charge of four tanks or company team commander in charge of up to ten tanks or a combination of tanks, mobile infantry, forward observer, and reconnaissance vehicles, with access to artillery support, air support and air defense. Includes modern American and Russian-built military equipment: tanks, infantry vehicles, artillery, helicopters and attack jets.
Missions include single, generated battles from a dynamic mission generator, full campaigns of missions spread out in the three theaters, and an entire campaign. Artificial intelligence reflects the fighting style of both NATO and the Russians
High definition three dimensional (3D) models will represent vehicles, buildings, emplacement, and obstacles. Controls will include night vision, thermal, multifunction displays (MFD), commanderís integrated television. The tank will include driver, gunner, and tank commander positions that can be manned or left to be played by artificial intelligence algorithms with orders given from your position. Explosions show both parts of flying tanks, and flames with flames that look different in that they appear to flare up an move differently than most billowing conflagrations.
Interface includes a tank view from each station, a three dimensional isometric view, an overhead perspective view, and other views to give you control of the battle. Each view has to the right and below the graphics icon based controls that direct the action.
Network, and null or phone modem head-to-head or cooperative play will support up to eight players. While many of the weapons and equipment choices remain to be made. The simulation will use Russian T-72, T-90 and T-95 battle tanks and BMP-1s and -3s. Weaponry will include heavy machine gun, MPAT 120mm anti-helicopter and STAFF top-attack ammunition.
Multiple difficulty levels let you select the level of challenge.
Views: a variety of external views and a multi-zoom map view. The different views also place the game in the top-down overhead perspective map view category.
Christine Grech Wendin, PC Gamer, volume, 3, number 8, August, 1996, pg. 34.
Steve Wartofsky, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 66.
Al Giovetti, Across the Lake to Preview Across the Rhine, Personal
Computer Combat Simulations, volume 2, number 2, May-June, 1994, pg. 20-25.