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Close Combat: First To Fight Q&A

Filed under: Xbox
Posted by Jeremy on July 14, 2004 10:19 AM
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It seems there is no end to the onslaught of "real" military simulator video games. Now, add Take-Two's, "Close Combat: First to Fight," to the ranks of "America's Army" and "Full Spectrum Warrior." The game puts you in control of a 4-man team of US Marines set in an urban environment in a modern mid-eastern city in the year 2006. The US Marines had a significant amount of input for the game because they plan on using "First to Fight" for training. The game utilizes the Marines' tactical formations of "Ready-Team-Fire-Assist" (RTFA) and as such is implemented into the game's AI. Crazy stuff. A little too real, perhaps? I wonder if government contracts for video games will become a significant chunk of sales in the future? The game is set for release in Q4 of 2004 for the PC, Mac, and Xbox.

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CLOSE COMBAT: FIRST TO FIGHT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
7/14/04

1. What is First to Fight?
First to Fight is an action-oriented, team-based 3D first-person shooter, in which players lead a 4-man fireteam of US Marines through the perils of modern urban combat. The game is set in a modern, mid-eastern city.

The game was created with the close involvement of the United States Marine Corps, which plans to use First to Fight to train Marines.

2. What's unique about First to Fight?
As a training simulation being built for the United States Marine Corps, First to Fight is meant to be a highly realistic modern urban combat game about fireteam tactical decision-making under fire. Some of the features that help make First to Fight real are:

a. Direct Involvement of Active-duty Marines. There is little guesswork involved in making First to Fight authentic because First to Fight is being made with the direct involvement of active-duty Marines fresh from the front lines of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

b. Ready-Team-Fire-Assist. First to Fight features the first-ever implementation of "Ready-Team-Fire-Assist" (RTFA), the U.S. Marine Corps' proven system of formations, movement and tactics that Marine fireteams use right now in urban combat. First to Fight's use of RTFA ensures that each of the player's three AI teammates behaves the way Marines behave in live combat. RTFA guides how Marine fireteams move as a unit safely through streets under siege, cover fire sectors on stairs, take down rooms, use bounding over-watch, achieve multiple angles of fire against enemies, and much more. Because players can trust that their Marines are following RTFA, players can keep their eyes sighted, their fingers firing their weapons, and their minds focused on making the right decisions to bring their teams safely through battle.

c. Marine Air Ground Task Force. A Marine is never alone. Players in First to Fight can Call for Fire against hostile targets from Cobra helicopters and 81MM mortar, and they can Call for Support from M1 Abrams tanks, Light Armored Vehicles, Armored Assault Vehicles, and other Marine fireteams.

d. Next-generation 3D graphics. First to Fight is built on a proprietary 3D engine created by Destineer that features volumetric shadows, normal maps, specularity, and other high-end visual capabilities. Because this engine was built in-house, Destineer can integrate our artists closely with the engineers writing the game's core rendering code, helping to create realistic environments meant to make players feel the chaos and terror of being a Marine in modern urban combat. As importantly, creating our own engine allows Destineer to create exactly the kind of experience we want First to Fight to be and optimize our technology specifically for this experience.

3. When and where does First to Fight take place?
First to Fight is set in a real mid-eastern city during 2006. First to Fight's specific location will be revealed later. However, First to Fight is not set in Iraq or Afghanistan.

4. How has the US Marine Corps been involved in creating First to Fight?
A version of First to Fight will be deployed throughout the Marine Corps for training. Marine involvement in the development of First to Fight begins with the Marine Corps providing Destineer with thousands of pages of Marine Corps doctrine, diagrams and photographs. This is followed by many multi-day sessions during which Marines, ranging from Privates to Colonels, provide highly detailed information about the exact tactics they use in combat. In many cases, these Marines act out situations live for Destineer to help illustrate exactly how Marines operate. In other situations, the Marine Corps allows Destineer to observe urban combat training exercises on Marine bases. The final phase of Marine Corps involvement in the development of First to Fight is testing, during which many active-duty Marines with recent combat experience play First to Fight and provide feedback to ensure accuracy.

Nearly all of the Marines helping to create First to Fight were involved in repeated hostile engagements during Gulf War II in Iraq, and some were also involved in combat in Afghanistan. These participants from the Marine Corps range from tank commanders to Forward Air Controllers to infantry fireteams.

5. Which parts of the Marine Corps have participated in making First to Fight?
Most of the Marines involved in creating First to Fight are from the First Marine Expeditionary Force based in Camp Pendleton. Additionally, Marines stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms, Camp LeJeune, and Quantico have also been active participants in making First to Fight.

6. How is the Marine Corps different than America's other armed services?
The Marine Corps is the smallest and most specialized of America's armed services. Marines are known as America's elite warriors. The Marine Corps exists as a forward-deployed expeditionary force and is often called "America's 911 Force" because they operate in a perpetual state of readiness so they can respond quickly to any emergency, anywhere in the world.

The Marines integrate both air and ground assets into single units, known as "Marine Air Ground Task Forces." Their mission is to be the first to fight in any hostility. They are trained and equipped to pave the way for others to follow.

The Marine Corps is known for its very highly trained and highly disciplined forces. Every Marine (including all officers of all ranks) is a rifleman and is required to qualify each year with an M16 at a range of 500 yards without a scope. Most Marine Corps officers are college graduates, with many achieving advanced post-graduate degrees. In many years, 9 out of every 10 applicants to the Marine Corps are rejected.

Most importantly, Marines are called to live their lives by Marine Corps values: Honor, courage, and commitment.

United States Marines can be found in most countries around the world. Marines guard America's embassies, as well as the White House.

Marines have defended the American people since even before the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence.

A complete Fact Sheet on the Marine Corps is available from Destineer.

7. How is the version for the Marine Corps different than the commercial version?
Over 90% of the commercial and Marine versions of First to Fight are exactly the same. The principle differences between the Marine Corps and commercial versions of First to Fight are enhancements specific Marine groups requested for narrow training needs.

8. When will First to Fight be available?
First to Fight is scheduled to be released during the fourth quarter of 2004.

9. What are the platforms and system requirements?
First to Fight will be made available for the Xbox, Windows and Macintosh platforms. We currently plan to release the game for all three platforms near-simultaneously.

While specific system requirements are not yet available, these games are being designed to operate both on today's mid-level systems as well as high-end hardware. While these games will not require graphics cards with support for pixel shaders, they do take advantage of these features.

10. Will First to Fight offer a multiplayer component?
First to Fight will offer both a single-player campaign and multiplayer. Details of the multiplayer games will be offered later.

11. Is First to Fight meant to advance any political agenda?
Absolutely not. Our purpose for First to Fight is only to give players an up-close look at what it would be like to be a US Marine in modern urban combat. The people making First to Fight at Destineer and Atomic have a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, including Arab, Asian, and European.

12. What are the roles of the various companies involved with First to Fight?
Destineer is the developer of First to Fight, as well as the publisher of the PC version of First to Fight in North America. Destineer also created the 3D game engine being used in First to Fight.

Atomic Games is the creator of the original Close Combat series. Atomic's president, Keith Zabalaoui, is an executive producer of First to Fight and has been involved in First to Fight's development since its inception.

Gathering will distribute the PC version of First to Fight in North America and publish it throughout the rest of the world and on the Xbox.

13. Who is publishing the Mac version? Will the Mac version ship simultaneously?
The Mac versions of both games will be published worldwide by Destineer's Macintosh label, MacSoft. The Mac and Windows versions will ship on the same day. First to Fight is currently running identically on Macintosh and Windows.

14. Why are you including the name "Close Combat" with First to Fight?
During the past eight years, Close Combat has received many of the games industry's most prestigious awards for offering authentic battlefield simulations. Atomic Games' (Close Combat's creator) recent work with the Marine Corps offers the opportunity to bring modern Marine realism to computer and video games for the first time. We hope the Close Combat name helps us communicate that First to Fight shares many of the same values that made Close Combat a realistic action-oriented combat experience.






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