This is about our dedication to realism and history.
Call to Arms - Gates of Hell is based on this dedication, and on a desire for high quality.
As far as GEM2- engined games go, everything you see in CtA - Gates of Hell is new. This is not limited to visuals! We've introduced brand new game mechanics that are quite unique, and which contribute to the sense of realism and immersion. So how exactly do we produce what we produce? Keep reading!
Let's have a look at how we develop missions first. One of our older development updates titled "how do they do it" already described a good deal of the process. However, there's much more to it. What we find is that people like the immersive combination of appropriate weather and real landscapes in GoH. Players generally acknowledge that Gates of Hell offers great replay value, and the median number of hours played confirms that. On top of that, since the landscape is realistic, real world tactics work like a charm as well.
Our single player missions feature introduction videos. These set the scene for the historical battle you're about to start, and brief you on what you should expect. You'll watch the animated frontline while you're getting up to speed with the events that lead up to your mission. Immersion guaranteed.
Map and level design
Let's have a look at some of our minimaps, to see whether they look anything like the real life location.
Some battlefield locations changed drastically post- war. In such cases the map is based on a combination of 1941 recon photos and satellite data for the height map.
This is the location for several single player missions. Glushkovo is a small town in Russia that held a key position twice in the space of just a few months in 1941/ 42. It looks like time has stood still here. No big difference between then and now. Click HERE for the comparison.
By the time the Germans closed in on Moscow - in this case near Volokolamsk - winter had arrived and conditions had turned icy. The Germans moved to take the village of Dubosekovo. The battle that followed is even mentioned in the anthem of the city of Moscow! The biggest difference between then and now is the huge monument that was built in memory of the battle that took place here. It's on both sides of the road in the left half of the satellite image.
The red army was on the front foot after Stalingrad. Even so, they had to defend against a German counterattack, aimed to relieve the trapped Germans. This very village is where that counteroffensive ground to a halt. Since then, not much has changed - most of the roads in Gromoslavka still appear to be unpaved.
This village is located in the middle of a massive marshland area. It gets very wet during the rainy time of year - autumn.
Our map is the ideal place to "hide" a partisan camp, which we did. The real location is in northern Ukraine.
This city changed and expanded quite a bit after the war. For this reason, it is based on a combination of satellite data for the height map, and a Luftwaffe reconnaissance photo. This photo also reveals the actual Soviet defensive positions.
There is a vast difference between singleplayer and multiplayer when it comes to historical correctness. Whereas a singleplayer mission can get close to being a re- enactment, this isn't the case in multiplayer. PvP action is not very likely to be historical at all. But there are several game mechanics at work in CtA - Gates of Hell that add realism all the same!
There are no health bars for vehicles and tanks. Also, things like damage system, ballistics and all other variables are quite refined when compared to other games. In GoH it actually matters where you hit a tank, and which ammo you use. Besides that, there are many variables at play, like the modeling of internal components and armor thickness. We summarized some of these mechanics in development update 97.
Gates of Hell aims to be historically correct as far as possible. We model units using multiple sources, like factory blueprints. The battles, locations, vegetation, and architecture were researched thoroughly.
Still, sometimes a dilemma pops up that shows us perfection is probably out of reach, no matter how hard you try.
Imagine having to decide whether to exclude the Finnish faction from late war battles, or to include it with 1 unhistorical unit. What would you do?
We decided to make late war battles possible for Finland. So yes, we maximize the historical correctness, but in a game it's probably not possible to make it 100%.
We started out by stating that this is about our dedication to realism and history. However, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", as they say.
Have you tasted GoH yet? If not, maybe it's time you did. You can find it on Steam.
To find out what people say about its immersion and replay value, you could ask the community, for instance on our official Discord server.
You will find that our community is always there to answer any questions you might have.
See you on the battlefield!