Iron Soldier 2

Iron Soldier 2 is an open world first-person mecha simulation video game developed by Eclipse Software Design and published by Telegames fo the Atari Jaguar and Atari Jaguar CD on December 30, 1997.[1][2][3] It is the sequel to Iron Soldier.

Iron Soldier 2
Iron Soldier 2 cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Eclipse Software Design
Publisher(s)Telegames
Producer(s)John Skruch (Atari Corp.)
Sean Patten (Atari Corp.)
Designer(s)Donald Wang
Mark J. L. Simmons
Programmer(s)Marc Rosocha
Michael Bittner
Artist(s)András Kavalecz
Bleick Bleicken
Daniel Hericks
Composer(s)Joachim Gierveld
Mario Knezović
SeriesIron Soldier
Platform(s)Atari Jaguar
Atari Jaguar CD
Release
  • WW: December 30, 1997
Genre(s)First-person shooter, mech simulator
Mode(s)Single-player

Set after the events of the first game, players assume the role of an elite defense pilot taking control of the titular mech in order to complete tasks and protect areas that conforms the United Republic from attacks of the PENTA corporation, a former rival of the now-disbanded Iron Fist Corporation. Conceived after release of the original title and originally announced in 1995,[4][5][6] Iron Soldier 2 went almost unreleased after Atari discontinued both platforms and merged with JT Storage in 1996 until it was eventually picked up by Telegames, making it one of the last licensed titles for each system.[7][8][9][10]

Iron Soldier 2 received very positive reception from critics with praise towards the graphics, soundtrack, controls, gameplay, difficulty and variety, while it received criticism for lack of music during gameplay on the cartridge version. It has been referred by publications such as Retro Gamer as one of the best titles for each platform.[11][12] A sequel, Iron Soldier 3, which was released in 2000 for the PlayStation and in 2001 for the Nuon respectively.

GameplayEdit

 
Gameplay screenshot.

Iron Soldier 2 is a mech simulation game with free-roaming elements that is primarily played in a first-person perspective like its predecessor.[13][14] The player takes control of the titular robot across 20 missions, each one varying in main objectives to complete such as acquiring new weapons and fighting against other Iron Soldier units, in order to stop attacks from PENTA corporation against the United Republic.[13][14] The progress system acts similarly to the original game, where the first set of five missions must be completed in order to unlock another set. The player now starts with three selectable weapons instead of only one and controls are relatively the same as with the first game. In addition to the returning enemy units from the original game, new ones are introduced in the sequel such as walker-like vehicles. Though progress after completing five missions and other setting changes are kept automatically via the internal EEPROM on the cartridge version, a Memory Track cartridge must be present on the CD version in order to save progress and settings.[13]

PlotEdit

After the defeat of Iron Fist Corporation, the Resistance formed a democratic government called United Republic. However, problems begin to arise when the PENTA corporation, a longtime rival of Iron Fist, are occupying areas from their former enemy and starts attacking the newly formed republic. As a result, a pilot from the defense force of the republic is assigned to take control of an Iron Soldier unit in order to defend republican territories against terrorist attacks from PENTA.[13][14]

Development and releaseEdit

 
Although conceived after the release of Iron Soldier and planned for a 1996 release, Iron Soldier 2 would not be released until a year after both the Jaguar and Jaguar CD were officially discontinued.

Atari Corporation requested Marc Rosocha and his team at Eclipse Software Design to start work on a sequel to Iron Soldier for the Atari Jaguar CD shortly after the game was released on the Jaguar.[10] Development began after Eclipse obtained development kits for the Jaguar CD from Atari Corp., who were looking to publish "killer app" titles for the peripheral. Rosocha stated that Iron Soldier 2 would have been completed if they were not creating it for both cartridge and CD-ROM formats, with the former version being developed on Alpine development kits.[10] The game was formally announced in video game magazines in 1995 for a Q4 1995/January 1996 release but only listing the CD version,[4][5][6] with internal documents from Atari listing it as still being in development on August of the same year.[15] Iron Soldier 2 features improved graphics with additional texture mapping while exploiting the system's hardware to improve visuals over those of the original game.[10]

The project was near completion by the end of 1995, however, the team received news from Attention to Detail (best known for Cybermorph and Battlemorph) that they were no longer working on new titles for the platform due to rumors of Atari preparing to exit the home video game console business and as a result, Rosocha proceeded to contact then-product development director John Skruch at the company in regards to these rumors.[10] A few weeks later, the team received information from Skruch that executives at Atari decided to put on hold upcoming software for the system and confirmed that the company was also exiting the console market,[10] however, other internal documents from the company listed the game as still in development on December 1995.[16]

Iron Soldier 2 remained being previewed in magazines and was also showcased during the Fun 'n' Games Day event hosted by Atari in January 1996,[17][18][19] however, the company started cancelling upcoming projects for the system such as Black ICE\White Noise and Thea Realm Fighters in the next month before merging with JTS in a reverse takeover and filed a 10-K405 SEC Filing two months later,[7][8][20] which meant that the game would not be published by Atari until it was finished and released in 1997 by Telegames.[10] The game was originally planned to feature a two-player mode, with Scott Le Grand of 4Play (known for his work on BattleSphere) stating that Atari requested a working network code to be implemented into the game for multiplayer but this feature was scrapped in the final version of the game.[21][22][23]

Iron Soldier 2 was released on December 30, 1997 for the Atari Jaguar and Atari Jaguar CD by Telegames, becoming one of the first titles on the platform to be released on both formats.[1][2][10] Being a late release after the discontinuation of both platforms,[9] the game could be purchased either through direct order from Telegames' US and UK websites or retailers such as Electronics Boutique.[24][25] Differences between the cartridge and CD versions are the lack of full motion video cutscenes and Red Book audio, among others changes.[10][14] Before being finished and released for both systems, Rosocha approached Sega for a potential port of the game to the Sega Saturn and despite liking the offer, members from the company talked with him and stated that the system was not going to be a success, and that the team could have a similar situation with Atari and as such, work on the port was never started.[10] Plans to release the game on Macintosh, PC and PlayStation were also slated but never released as well.[26]

In March 2017, a ROM image of an early 1995 build of the cartridge version was leaked online by video game collector Frédéric Moreau at AtariAge.[27]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame     [28]
Atari Gaming Headquarters9 / 10[29]
Digital Press8.5 / 10[30]
GamePro17.5 / 20[31]
Video Games     [32]

Iron Soldier 2 received very positive reviews from reviewers.[33] ST-Computer gave a positive review in regards to the title.[34] The game also received a perfect score by Ralph Karels from German magazine Video Games.[32]

SequelEdit

A sequel, Iron Soldier 3, was released on both PlayStation and Nuon in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Smith, Jason. "Atari Jaguar Timeline". jaguarsector.com. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Castle, Justin (July 21, 2018). "Historical Atari Jaguar UK Magazine Advert/Reviews Collection" (PDF). Issuu. p. 340. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Return of the Borders – The Atari ST and the Creative People vol. 3. Microzeit Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Feature - XT Generation Report - Atari Jaguar". MAN!AC (in German). No. 20. Cybermedia. June 1995. p. 40.
  5. ^ a b Gore, Chris (August 1995). "The Gorescore - Industry News You Can - Upcoming Jaguar Software Titles". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 79. L.F.P., Inc. p. 14.
  6. ^ a b "Actualités Internationales - Iron Soldier 2 (Jaguar)". CD Consoles (in French). No. 11. Pressimage. November 1995. p. 28. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Atari and JT Storage Reorganisation Plan". onecle.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "ATARI CORP Annual Report (Regulation S-K, item 405) (10-K405) ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS". Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Tidbits..." Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 94. Ziff Davis. May 1997. p. 24. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Charnock, Tom (March 2017). "The History Of: Iron Soldier". Retro Gamer. No. 165. Future Publishing. pp. 76–81.
  11. ^ Hawken, Kieren (July 2013). "Minority Report Special: Jaguar - Iron Soldier 1 & 2". Retro Gamer. No. 118. Imagine Publishing. p. 46.
  12. ^ "Top Ten Atari Jaguar Games". Retro Gamer. June 23, 2014. Archived from the original on January 19, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d Iron Soldier 2 game manual (Atari Jaguar, US)
  14. ^ a b c d "Iron Soldier 2 - Atari Jaguar CD". gamervision.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  15. ^ Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). atarimuseum.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  16. ^ Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". atari.io. Archived from the original on November 4, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  17. ^ "Next Wave - Protos - Iron Soldier 2". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 78. EGM Media, LLC. January 1996. p. 164. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "Atari's Fun 'n' Games Day". GamePro. No. 78. IDG. January 1996. p. 60.
  19. ^ Charlton, Frank; Campbell, Stuart (January 1996). "Feature - Jaguar - The Jaguar past, present and future". ST Format. No. 78. Future plc. pp. 30–33. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "ProNews: Atari Axes New Games". GamePro. No. 79. IDG. February 1996. p. 17.
  21. ^ Le Grand, Scott. "Designer Diary: 4Play". Atari Gaming Headquarters. Archived from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Tsukiji, Richard; Le Grand, Scott (August 1998). "In the Beginning". World Of Atari Convention Las Vegas, 1998 - Program (1): 10–11.
  23. ^ "X-CulT: Jaguar > Iron Soldier 2". www.x-cult.org. Archived from the original on December 20, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "News Bits". GamePro. No. 105. IDG. June 1997. p. 20.
  25. ^ "Recent Sightings of an Endangered Species". GameFan. Vol. 5 no. 10. Shinno Media. October 1997. p. 36.
  26. ^ Red (March 1997). "Interview mit Eclipse Software". ST-Computer (in German). No. 129. falkemedia. p. 57.
  27. ^ Fredifredo (March 1, 2017). "Iron Soldier 2 WIP". AtariAge. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  28. ^ Knight, Kyle. "Iron Soldier 2 - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  29. ^ Iida, Keith. "AGH Jaguar CD Review: IRON SOLDIER 2". atarihq.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  30. ^ Villapando, Edward (June 1997). "Random Reviews Lite - Iron Soldier 2". Digital Press - The Bio-Degradable Source For Videogamers. No. 32. Joe Santulli. p. 22.
  31. ^ Elektro, Dan (December 1998). "Video Game Survivor's Guide - The Jaguar Lives! - Iron Soldier 2". GamePro. No. 123. IDG. p. 212.
  32. ^ a b Karels, Ralph (August 1999). "Special - Atari Jaguar - Komplettübersicht Jaguar-Modul-Games - Iron Soldier 2". Video Games (in German). No. 93. Future-Verlag. p. 56. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  33. ^ A. Jung, Robert. "The Atari Bin - Jaguar Reviews - Iron Soldier 2". electric-escape.net. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  34. ^ Bollinger, Helge (October 1997). "Jaguar: Iron Soldier II". ST-Computer (in German). No. 135. falkemedia. p. 57.

External linksEdit