This article is sponsored by Highwire Games.
While video games have the power to present different worlds that could never feasibly exist, they also can transport players to other locations without physically being there. That is the promise in most military shooters and one that Six Days in Fallujah wants to capture. Based on true stories from one of the US army’s toughest modern battles, Six Days drops players into a real-world conflict that requires real-life tactics to survive. More than any piece of media before it, Six Days in Fallujah captures the sensation of being a soldier in urban combat.
Created with the help of more than 100 Marines and Soldiers present at the Second Battle of Fallujah, Six Days is a realistic first-person tactical shooter that aims to do justice to the veterans that lost their lives in conflict. Launching in Early Access, Highwire Games promises players that it will make the most realistic shooter possible. When Early Access begins, the goal will be to give players an idea of how Six Days plays and where its combat will grow. At launch, cooperative multiplayer will be playable for 1-4 players on a few maps featuring procedural generation. As the game grows, it will include other aspects of the Iraq War and expand players knowledge of what happened overseas.
Conceived by US Marine sergeant Eddie Garcia, who suffered a major injury from a mortar blast during the Second Battle of Fallujah, Six Days in Fallujah started the development process by interviewing Marines just a few months after the battle ended. This process continued with documentation of the battle in the form of thousands of photographs, many hours of video from the battlefield and surrounding areas, and the acquisition of documents from the US government. Since that time, Highwire Games has worked with marines and soldiers from both the US and UK as well as 28 Iraqi individuals, including a deputy prime minister of Iraq.
Through this research, the team at Highwire learned how real combat differs from fictionalized video game combat. Each feature of Six Days in Fallujah was developed from this and specific mechanics were reinforced after extensive discussion with numerous veterans from the battle. One of the most important aspects learned is that combat veterans do not have prior knowledge of their battlefields. To capture that sensation, Six Days employs procedural map generation so that players can never know what lies ahead.
With that procedural generation, the AI within Six Days doesn’t play by typical video game rules. Enemies won’t line up on the street and await execution, but instead will stalk, flank, and ambush the player from unexpected locations. Deployment of tanks, snipers, and spec-ops can be anywhere and you’ll need to be on your toes to spot them at a moment’s notice. Since your enemies will have total freedom, you as a player will also be able to freely choose where you deploy and execute your tactics. Kicking down doors, climbing through windows, scaling buildings: the choices are yours and you’ll need to deal with the fallout should anything go sideways.
At launch, Six Days in Fallujah will only feature cooperative and solo play without any AI teammates. While missions can be undertaken solo, it is not advisable as the AI was designed to be tackled with a squad. Fireteams, as your squad will be called, will feature four different roles.
- Team Leader – fitted with an M16 (and ACOG scope) and M203 grenade launcher.
- Rifleman – carries an M16 (with ACOG scope) and excels at ranged combat.
- Gunner – holds an M249 SAW as well as a hand. Primarily focuses on suppression.
- Assistant Gunner – uses an M16 (with iron sights) and shotgun. Specializes in close combat.
You’ll need to mix and match the pros and cons of your selected roles to topple enemy combatants, which will consist of various insurgents encountered in the north part of Fallujah. This includes a mixture of Iraqis, Jordanians, Saudis, Chechens, Europeans, and Africans. They will employ a wide range of tactics and require careful planning to overthrow.
Each of the four missions contained is based on a real-life story from the battle. Missions will feature one unique primary objective with numerous secondary objectives that can be pulled from a list of different conditions. This will keep replays varied beyond procedural level design so that you never quite have full knowledge of what needs to be done.
While Six Days in Fallujah will launch in Early Access, an eventual full release will happen for both console and PC and includes the following features:
- AI Teammates directed by players
- Additional missions, weather types, times of day, and enemies
- Story Campaign based on real-life missions with real people from the battle
- Spec Ops missions with unique weapons, vehicles, and gear
- Ability to play as an Iraqi soldier fighting Al Qaeda