So it transpires that for the past year and a half, Mode 7 Games have been working on a game about five-minute bouts of simultaneous turn-based strategy called Frozen… Endzone. Oh ho – you thought I was going to say Synapse 2, didn’t you? What’s in the headline? Oh. This is why we can’t have nice things. Except Frozen Endzone, obviously, which looks really nice.
Frozen Synapse was more or less the best thing about 2011, and Endzone relocates nearly all that was good about it to an NFL-esque playing field of the future. Players control teams of five robots, and can face off against human or AI opponents on pitches scattered with barriers.
One team will attack; the other will defend. Both sides will plot the course of metal sports-men and the trajectory of their throws at the same time, before watching the results of their best-laid plans play out in real time. Despite the much higher poly-count, Endzone looks to retain the cold minimalism of its predecessor, as well as its randomly-generated terrain and player positions.
Also like Frozen Synapse, Endzone will release as a multiplayer beta, with development on a single-player campaign to follow. Mode 7’s Paul Taylor told PC Gamer: “We don’t want to start promising things that may not happen.” But he did reveal that the player will take on the role of a team coach – “a defined character with a story.”
“NFL coaches have lots of personality and tend to be divisive figures so, in the single-player story, I think it will be interesting to play someone like that,” said Taylor.
If Mode 7 have planned their turn shrewdly enough, Frozen Endzone will come out in 2014.