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One Must Fall: Battlegrounds: A Duel? No, This is a Massacre.

Nine years ago, computers were just beginning to become regular household objects. The console market was still limited to two-dimensional, sixteen bit graphics and the popular gaming medium was still that of arcade fighting games. Released for the PC, One Must Fall: 2097 is generally considered one of the instant classics of its day. Reminiscent of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, One Must Fall: 2097 combined standard fighter elements with a futuristic, sci-fi, RPG side to its tournament mode. However, years have passed since One Must Fall: 2097 drifted into obsolescence. Diversions Entertainment believes they can reignite the fire behind One Must Fall with a major upgrade for today's gaming audience.

One Must Fall: Battlegrounds enters the scene at a time when fighting games are losing popularity. With One Must Fall: 2097, gamers experienced some aspects of other genres, and the same is being attempted with Battlegrounds. Traditional fighting games occur between two players in a one-on-one battle. In reality, there has not been much evolution of this fighting game element. Games have more generally changed the settings and graphical aspects of fighters, such as the use of 3D worlds. With that in mind, Diversions Entertainment is taking a big chance with Battlegrounds by attempting to change the standards.

One Must Fall: Battlegrounds uses the recent explosive popularity of Multiplayer Online Gaming to allow players to take on several opponents simultaneously. Each fighter is a real person from around the world, participating with as many as 16 opponents in either team battles or a last-man-standing arrangement. This genre twister launches fighting games back into the public view after a few years of dwindling popularity. Multiplayer Online Games have become increasingly popular, and modern fighting game fans often enjoy battling each other in tournament style matches. By allowing multiple fighters at the same time, tournaments can be come more interactive and invigorating.

While the largest feature boasted by One Must Fall: Battlegrounds is its online capabilities, the plot and design of the game have not gone unnoticed. In what are referred to as massive three-dimensional arenas, players should feel entirely enveloped in the world that One Must Fall: Battlegrounds creates. Since Battlegrounds is a sequel to a nine-year-old game, it is a little difficult to understand exactly what the plot is implying. Basically, 20 years have passed since 'World Aeronautics and Robotics Organization' collapsed in the original One Must Fall. A new tournament has been announced, allowing new contestants and robots to battle each other with the most advanced military devices available.

Ten varying arenas set players inside huge areas of wide open combat-zones. These arenas are not limited to being the backdrop for matches, but often pose hazards and obstacles of their own. Hazard such as electrified gates, sharp spikes protruding from walls and outside weaponry attacks, require players to be conscious of their opponents, as well as their surroundings. Strategic players may use the arenas' surroundings to their advantages, as weaker characters can use the terrain to exploit its weapons or tricks.

Robots capable of being controlled by a list of pilots enable players to take advantage of different skills and powers. Fifty personas, each coming with varied levels of power, agility, endurance and focus, are available for users to choose from depending on their personal fighting style. After selecting a persona, the player then chooses from one of eight robots. Robots and personas have a relationship that could either help or hinder their abilities. For instance, personas with low endurance will not be able to master slow, heavy robots. These robots also come with special attacks and weapons, such as flaming jets or massive wings, and in case multiple people want to use the same robot (which is inevitable, considering that 16 people can play and there are only eight robot types), each one comes in a variety of color schemes.

Aside from its basic capabilities, Diversions Entertainment also intends to make One Must Fall: Battlegrounds completely customizable, making use of another PC gaming trend that has gone unnoticed by the fighting genre. Plans for Battlegrounds include fully customizable modding tools that players can use to create new looks for their robots, design new arenas, new soundtracks or create new pilots. Perhaps the intention here is to keep players coming back to One Must Fall: Battlegrounds so they do not have to wait nine more years for another sequel.

-==Boy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Kyle Prestenback

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