Muzzle Velocity

Muzzle Velocity was a PC game released in 1997. The game was a unique hybrid of standard map-based tactical gaming, and first person 3-D action.

The game was developed by Code Fusion and Digi4Fun. At the time or release, it could lay claim to being "the ONLY true war strategy game that puts you in the middle of the action". (Microprose's M1 Tank Platoon was similar, but was considered a simulation rather than a true strategy game.) The game graphics were garishly bright in colour, though armoured vehicles sported historically accurate camouflage paint jobs, and many touches were added to the 3-D world that would remain absent in later, more serious, wargames (such as Combat Mission) such as civilians, telephone poles, and moving railroad trains.

The player would select forces and move them on the two-dimensional battle map, while a tactical AI would resolve battles; however, the player could jump from unit to unit, taking over in a first person capacity. Game play was very arcade-like, and damage modelling was unrealistic in the extreme. Heavy machine guns could be used to knock stone buildings into piles of rubble, for example, and individual penetration statistics of the various weapons and armoured vehicles seem to have been fictional. As well, limitations of the game engine restricted engagement ranges to a few hundred metres.

Up to 100 units could be controlled in the overhead two-dimensional mode. The three-dimensional mode featured a simple and generic graphics interface for vehicle controls.

Players could control British, American, or German forces. Weather effects were included, such as snow and rain falling in the 3D world, and terrain was realistic and textured, with bullrushes in swampy areas and decorative lamp posts in urban areas. Sound effects included realistic voices (though all nationalities spoke with an English accent, including inadvertently comic "Get out! Get out!" shouts when unloading passengers from vehicles, or apologetic "oops" when crushing civilians underneath tank treads.)

Terrain was deformable, with trees and lamp-posts snapping underneath vehicles and buildings collapsing under high explosive fire (though .50 calibre machine gun fire was also enough to bring down multi-story stone buildings also.)

The game was solo play only, with no two-player capabilities.

The game is also remembered for a stunning three-dimensional intro video with animated tanks doing battle in a simulated hillside village; the graphics in the game did not unfortunately live up to the title movie.

Code Fusion was a US subsidiary of Digi4Fun, which was created for holding the exclusive US distribution rights. The game was based on the Pharlap DOS Extender, which enabled it to run beyond the DOS memory limit of 640K. The minimum specs called for 12MB, but 16MB was required to run the game smoothly.

Muzzle Velocity

Developer: Code Fusion/Digi4Fun
Platform: Windows
Date of Release: 1997
Scale: Man-to-Man
Genre: Hybrid 2-D strategy and 3-D FPS/veh sim
Players: 1 only
Campaign Type: Linked scenario

Sequence from the opening video 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer