is an isometric perspective multiplayer
combat computer game
with sprite animation
graphics, utilizing complex soldier, ground vehicle and space-ship models on typically complex terrains. Players may choose from a list of game zones to enter, each zone having a unique style of gameplay and many offering a wide diversity of weapons, player classes and objectives.
In 1997, the now-defunct development team Virgin Interactive Entertainment
(VIE) released the 2D Space Shooter, SubSpace
. Members of the SubSpace development team banded together afterwards to form Harmless Games LLC
. This new team designed and released Infantry during the late '90s.
The game was developed and was picked up by Brainscan Development Corporation, also known as Brainscan Interactive, as publisher. GameFan, the parent company of Brainscan Interactive, went bankrupt and did not pay its employees for a period of several months. Sony Online Entertainment announced its acquisition of Infantry on October 5, 2000. Rod (Rodvik) Humble, the lead designer of Infantry, was offered a job with Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and left Harmless Games. Larry J. Cordner (LJC) also found another job, but stayed with the development team until shortly after Harmless Games was bought by SOE. Harmless Games, and its sole game, Infantry, was bought by SOE from Brainscan Interactive for an undisclosed sum. The two remaining developers, Jeff Petersen (programmer) and Jerimy Weeks (artist and zone designer), were hired by SOE to continue development of the game. Some time later, SOE had them develop Cosmic Rift (CR), an offshoot of Infantry meant to compete with the still popular SubSpace. CR had gained a small portion of Infantry's and SubSpace's communities, but its population still paled in comparison. In October 2001, Petersen was transferred to EverQuest 2 development and Weeks later was laid off. Game development stagnated.
In May 2002, SOE rehired Weeks and introduced a monthly $6.95 pay-to-play system for SOE's three small action games: Infantry, CR and Tanarus, however, both Infantry and Cosmic Rift remain free to play with limitations. Infantry's and CR's populations have since declined drastically from daily highs of thousands at a time to a mere hundred or fewer players. In October 2005, Weeks was laid off again and a new developer was put to the task. Hope for the game's future was questionable, as the new developer was Joe Nelson, whose only prior experience with Infantry involved customer service duties, who held the position for only a few months. As of May 2006 there were three SOE employees delegated either full or part time to the game: Bill Corning, Jose Araiza and recently re-hired developer Jerimy Weeks, although Weeks' contract with Sony Online Entertainment is set to expire at the end of April, 2007.
In May 2007, Sony Online Entertainment announced full and free online gaming access to Infantry and the rest of their "Station Pass" games, starting on June 26, 2007. "Station Pass" games started in May 2002 as a monthly $6.95 pay-to-play subscription, for Sony Online Entertainment's three action titles: Infantry, Cosmic Rift, and Tanarus. However, both Infantry and Cosmic Rift featured a free play mode that gave players access to a limited version of the game. Infantry itself was restricted to a limited playtime on servers (a player could only stay connected for half an hour before being disconnected), the inability to accumulate money, no statistical tracking and no personalised options. Now that it is completely free, Sony Online Entertainment released a Map Editor for Infantry, downloadable via the official site in July 2007.
Alternative servers to the official Infantry Online have spawned over the recent years, initially to provide a free option to the game, most notably "Free Infantry". However, with Sony Online Entertainment's announcement that has made Infantry and Cosmic Rift free of charge the role of these servers have transitioned to providing alternative maps and gameplay from the official server.
Infantry's versatile game style provided for the expansion of community squad development and implementation of squad vs. squad consisting of players worldwide.
The time is set several centuries ahead of the present. There is a war between the government (The Collective) and the various rebelling moon colonies of the outer solar system, notably the Titan
colony. The Collective is a pure democracy; every single citizen has a voting unit in which they vote on every issue, although more often only on the issues that concern them. The rebels are mainly located in the outer colonies of the solar system and are a vast minority compared to the large populations on Earth
. The rebels feel their colonies are being exploited for resources and labor due to the fact that they have little voice on what is decided. The citizens of the larger populations cannot understand why people would rebel from a system where everyone has a say and thus the war. Titan has the largest population of the outer rim colonies and therefore the major battles are between them and the Collective army. However, many colonies provide militia and able bodies to the cause of groups such as the Europan
mercenaries. Due to the chaos, many privateers have emerged, such as the Morgan Raiders who will throw in with anyone providing they are paid, even though they have no love for any faction.
Zones from both official and third party servers are included.
- Capture the Flag - Fast-paced basing action and the most popular zone. Maps for it are often rotated between a 2-team Twin Peaks, a 3-team Heinreich's Point, and a multiple-team "Extreme" involving the Titan Militia, Collective Military, Europan Mercenaries and others. Has an extensive store with purchasable weapons.
- Skirmish - Massive team vs. team fighting between the Titan Militia and Collective Military. Several maps exist, some including tanks and other vehicles. Most employ static flags for territory holding. Uses fast and realistic game physics.
- Chambert's Moon - King-of-the-Hill zone with a different set of classes, weapons and physics. Features small teams, aliens (Skrall) and various vehicles.
- Chambert's Tournament - Free Infantry's spin off of Chambert's Moon containing varied player classes, weapons, vehicles, and a separate map while maintaining the basic game play of Chamberts Moon.
- Bug Hunt - Collective Marines vs The Skrall.
- I:RPG:Eol - Infantry's action/RPG project.
- Gravball - Sport zone. Players pilot hoverbikes on a large map with various obstacles, attempting to shoot the ball over their own goal square while avoiding opponents' weapons.
- Ambush - Features the use of jetpacks or hoverboards to fly around collecting flags and shooting at other players.
- Team Deathmatch - A basic fast paced zone where players pick up weapons against each other in tight corridors.
- Fleet - Team-oriented space action. The main goal of this game is to destroy your enemies Command Post while defending your own.
- Combined Arms - Developed by the Free Infantry team, it is a large scale, complex warzone with an exhaustive set of weapons, classes and vehicles of its own. map.
- Infantry; Official Infantry website.
- IGBL; Infantry Gravball League, Official website for the Gravball zone league.