by Joseph Luster
Keeping with the theme of team-based tactical shooters is H-Hour: World’s Elite, which is currently in the works at SOF Studios, which has former SOCOM talent—the project is spearheaded by David Sears, creative director of the original SOCOM—among its ranks. Another similarity between this and Squad is Unreal Engine 4, to which H-Hour switched after starting development on Unreal Engine 3. At the time of this writing H-Hour is entering Early Access on PC, and a PlayStation 4 version is planned at some point in the future.
H-Hour is but one sample in an increasingly large pool of games successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter. When the dust settled in July 2013, nearly 3,000 backers managed to pledge $252,662 to fund the development of H-Hour, pushing it safely beyond its initial $200,000 goal.
“Shooters Don’t Have to Be About Long Cutscenes or Pointless ‘Wow’ Moments”
Another aspect of H-Hour that puts it in the same wheelhouse as Squad is its focus on teamwork and multiplayer support, as well as its attempt at achieving a higher level of realism than some of the major releases out there. If anything sums up the studio’s mind-set it’s this little nugget from the original Kickstarter pitch: “Because shooters don’t have to be about long cutscenes or pointless ‘wow’ moments. They don’t need to involve sprinting around constrictive maps and magnetic bullets. They shouldn’t involve overly scripted AI behaviors that are exactly the same every time you play. Or driving a truck through Manhattan on a rail while the city explodes due to unknown causes. They shouldn’t be ranked by who has the biggest explosions and their greatest appeal shouldn’t be ‘everybody else is playing it.’” Shots fired!
So what should they be about? How about “connecting on a human level with other players, honoring the contributions of our military colleagues through respect for authenticity, and bringing like-minded people together online to strategize, execute, and win.” Huh, no wonder the campaign was a success. We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on H-Hour.