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Monday, May 16, 2005

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America's Army Update, Mac Version Soon
9:40 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The U.S. Army today announced the release of America's Army: Special Forces (Q-Course). Version 2.4 of the free online shooter includes the first-ever combination of random spawns with random and dynamic objectives, together with carryable objectives and random extraction points. Q-Course also contains four new Special Forces missions and two new weapons - the Door Breacher and the Bunker Defeat Munitions (BDM).

IMG contacted Epic's Ryan Gordon, who maintains the Mac version of America's Army, about the Mac version of 2.4. Gordon says that he is currently working on the new update and should be available shortly.

Here's a list of new features:

Random Player Starts:
In America's Army players have always started at the same location when
beginning a round in a multiplayer map. In Q-Course players will start
randomly between predetermined locations on the new levels. This allows
for a more realistic game experience, increases replayability and helps to
limit the predictability of enemy placement and routes. Random Player
Starts will also enhance the current game by putting more emphasis on
strategy rather than the memorization of map geometry. It will also reduce
the negative impact of exploits such as grenade spamming.

Random Objective Locations:
In Q-Course the location of objectives will change for each round, and can
move around between any number of possible positions. With the addition
of random objectives, the locations change from one round to the next,
forcing the need for both Assault and Defense teams to search for the
objective. This new feature promotes replayablilty and helps to enhance
strategy in game play.

Inventory Objective Type:
Q-Course features an all new objective type in which objectives can be
transportable in maps (via a player's inventory), requiring their delivery to
specified locations. These Ćinventory objectives' can be picked up,
dropped (upon death), and passed on to other teammates. Inventory
objectives provide a new style of objective-based gameplay by adding
another dimension to objective completion. These objectives must be
picked up and taken to a specific location in order to be considered
complete. If a player dies while carrying one of these objectives, it drops,
and must be retrieved by another teammate to continue the mission. These
objective types also take advantage of random objectives, by moving the
drop point/pickup point of the inventory objective to different locations
from one round to another.

NPC Conversation Objective Type:
This feature allows a qualified player to help their team by speaking with
NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) placed randomly around the level in
order to gain intelligence about the whereabouts of the mission's main
objectives. Talking with the NPCs will help the team locate the randomly
placed objectives in the level. Once a qualified player speaks to an NPC in
the level, the mission's main objective location will show up on their
team's HUD compass as normal.

Special Forces A-Team Videos:
Included with this release of America's Army are all new Special Forces
informational videos. These 7 videos describe each SF MOS (Military
Occupational Specialty) in detail as well as show some exclusive footage
of the Special Forces A-Team members in action. There is one video for
each member in the standard Special Forces ODA (Operational
Detachment Alpha - or 'A-Team'). These 7 SF MOS team members are as
follows: 18A - Detachment Commander, 18B - Weapons Sergeant, 18C -
Engineering Sergeant, 18D - Medical Sergeant, 18E - Communications
Sergeant, 18F - Intel Sergeant, and 18Z - Team Sergeant,

These videos are included in the v2.4.0 Full Install and can be accessed
using the desktop shortcut created or by navigating to the 'America's
Army\System' directory and double clicking the 'SF_MOS_Videos.exe'

Multiplayer Missions
Q-Course includes four Special Forces multiplayer missions. Two of these
missions, SF Courtyard and SF Precious Cargo Recovery, contain both the
Special Forces playable Soldier class, as well as the Indigenous Forces
playable class. The other two missions, SF Blizzard and SF Water
Treatment, are 'SF Exclusive' containing only the Special Forces playable
Soldier class.

SF Courtyard: In this daytime rural village mission players must
interrogate informants to find the location of a laptop computer containing
information about terrorist operatives. Once secured, the Assault team
must then reach the extraction point with this laptop. The Defense team is
trying to prevent the other team from securing and extracting with the
laptop. This mission's spawn points, NPC objectives, laptop objective, and
extraction points - are all randomly selected each round.

SF PCR (Precious Cargo Recovery): In this night urban mission both
teams must race to retrieve a briefcase containing sensitive information
about terrorist operatives. Each team must locate and secure this briefcase
and then carry it to their extraction point successfully. The team that
successfully extracts with the briefcase in-hand wins. This mission's
spawn points, briefcase objective, and extraction points (1 per team) - are
all randomly selected each round.

SF Blizzard: Soldiers must gain entry and assault a remote enemy
compound in this night mission set in a snowy Alpine forest environment.
This map has 2 different objective scenarios which are randomly selected
each round. In one scenario the Soldiers must either destroy or protect the
electrical power station. The alternate scenario requires the Soldiers to
either deactivate or protect the radio communications equipment.

SF Water Treatment: A night urban mission where players must either
protect or secure containers of radiological material stored in various
locations within an urban complex. The Assaulting team must gain entry
to the building, locate and secure the radioactive material container, and
then reach the extraction point successfully with the container. The
Defending team must protect and prevent extraction of this sensitive

New Weapons
M141 Bunker Defeat Munitions (BDM): The M141 BDM, or Bunker
Defeat Munitions, is a shoulder-fired rocket designed to defeat fortified
positions, bunkers, and light armor. The BDM is given to the 18C SF
MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) Soldier (Engineering Sgt.) but can
be used by any member of the SF A-Team. The BDM can be used
anywhere, but will have specific targets designed as objectives or
obstacles. These specific targets will be identified by a HUD message that
will appear when the player's crosshair moves over the object. The BDM
can be an advantageous tool to use in order to tactically and efficiently
gain entry into the enemy's compound.

AGP-DB14 Door Breacher: The Door Breacher is an explosive device
designed to achieve entry on locked or un-operable doors. Another MOS-
specific weapon, the Door Breacher will be issued only to the 18C SF
MOS Soldier (Engineering Sgt.). The Door Breacher will be usable on
designated locked doors in the new missions. The player will be able to
identify valid targets by a ĆBreachable' message that will appear on the
player's HUD. The Door Breaching can be an advantageous tool to use in
order to tactically and efficiently gain entry into enemy restricted areas.

More Features
Updated Game Engine:
The entire America's Army game is now running on an updated version of
the Unreal Engine - Unreal Engine 2.5. This updated engine code base
provides several enhancements to the game engine in several areas
including efficiency (optimizations), security, stability, bug fixes, new
gameplay feature infrastructure, etc.

Updated User Interface:
As part of the new engine code base update, many new user interface
specific enhancements were implemented. The v2.4 User Interface has
been overhauled Ćunder the hood' to take advantage of these new engine
optimizations and functionality. The game's new UI will look very
similar; however it will run much more efficiently and utilize some of the
new features of the new engine.

For more information on America's Army, please follow the link below.

U.S Army
Epic Games
America's Army: Special Forces 2.4

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