There have been a couple of recent Kickstarter projects that have added Dreamcast stretch goals, with the promising Megadrive/Genesis platformer Tanglewood being the latest. Now though, a team based in Denver known as Militia Studios has entered the arena with a brand new game for Sega’s old warhorse of a console; a game that has been built from the ground up for the Dreamcast. In the Line of Fire first surfaced around a year ago, when the team posted images on various forums of some pretty sinister-looking clowns holding weapons. Since then, the game has been revealed as a tactical first person shooter, very much in the vein of Payday…but with the player assuming the role of the cops instead of the robbers.
Militia Studios promise gameplay features such as being able to issue commands to a four-man SWAT team made up of AI characters, and the abiltiy to ‘tag’ enemies with an innovative third-person camera mode. It’s basically the Rainbow Six game the Dreamcast deserved. Having sampled an early build of In the Line of Fire myself, I can honestly say that it is one of the most impressive-looking Dreamcast games I’ve ever played, and the fact that it comes from a team of independent developers, over a decade after the Dreamcast was prematurley killed off is nothing short of amazing. The Kickstarter goal stands at a fairly modest $45,000 (£36,000) and backing at the $50 (£40) tier will secure you a physical copy of the game with free shipping worldwide. There are some pretty intriguing stretch goals too, with one promising that the development tools will be released to the indie development community; while a further goal promises online multiplayer support. With the recent uptake in Dreamcast online multiplayer gaming through the DreamPi and Dreamcast Live services, this is a very interesting prospect.
Having actually played In the Line of Fire, it’s apparent that Militia Studios have a tangible product that is running on actual Dreamcast hardware and not simply a load of screenshots from a demo running on a PC. While the build I played needed work, it hinted at a game that has a lot of promise.