In the near future it's nearly Mad Max time. Every last drop of oil has been drained from the Earth, and those barrels of crude have become more precious than gold. What better cause for a massive global war, right? The major players have been distilled down to the Western Coalition and the Red Star Alliance, but it's up to the player(s) whose going to be able to tank up their Dodge Charger.
We're talking massive sixty four player battles on the PC, with the goal of bringing an unprecedented thirty two players on the Xbox 360 (and also coming to the PS3). It's backed by the battle proven Unreal Engine 3, that has fueled such tactical shooters as Rainbow Six: Vegas and Unreal Tournament 3. Battles will rage across mountain villages, badlands, underground bases, sea ports, you name it, running from close and personal infantry slaughters to large scale air wars. The main goal is securing objectives along the current frontline, with success expanding your side's territory to the expense of your enemy's. Push hard, drive that line all the way to the enemy base, and the territory is yours. There are four combat roles and six weapon loadouts to choose from, which you can mix and match along with unlockable abilities to create the ultimate soldier.
Frontlines will feature over sixty weapons and vehicles to play with, from remote control drones to tactical nuclear missiles. For things like tanks and other steel death machines you're going to need a buddy backing you up, whether AI or in the flesh, to drive while you blow the hell out of anything in your path. It's also good to have an ally near when taking these things down, as the special targeting system allows one player to paint an objective that the others can nail, with everything from rockets to air strikes. With a largely destructible environment, that makes for some pyrotechnic chaos.
If you're not so into the whole multiplayer thing, there will be a ten hour single player campaign, where you assume the role in a division named the Stray Dogs, fighting with your mates against impossible odds. The focus on non-linear gameplay will allow you to make your own path through this campaign, and decide the course of the war.
Whichever way you play and whichever side you choose, Frontlines is promising to blow the doors off the genre created by the Battlefield series and other large scale tactical shooters. We'll see how well in plays in the upcoming beta, and check out the final polished product come February.