Boanerges Studios

Armageddon (Boanerges Studios) [X360 PS3 PC – Cancelled]

Armageddon is a canceled Christian futuristic squad-based first-person shooter developed by Boanerges Studios and published by Atari from 2005 to 2006, for the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 systems.

As we can read on the now defunct Boanerges website, Armageddon was:

“A story-driven multiplayer FPS set in the end times. In the near-future much of the world unites under a multi-national government. This New Age marks the end of man’s separatist ways, and anyone who is unwilling to surrender their heritage for the greater good is an outlaw, to be systemically hunted down and exterminated.”

“Choose to join the rebellion and fight the enemy against all odds, or join the world’s most lethal military machine as it sets out to eradicate the opposition from the face of the planet. Battles occur in real-world locations, with fast-paced customizable vehicle combat and friendly squad Artificial Intelligence. A random sub-mission system provides a unique experience every time a map is played, framing online and offline gameplay rich with content and impressive level design.”

In September 2005, Gamecloud interviewed Garland Wong, one of the co-founders of Boanerges, about what the game was supposed to be:

“The game takes place in a time known as the End of Days. A great leader known as the Antichrist will emerge and form a treaty with Israel. The world will think the Antichrist is a good person but 3 1/2 years into this treaty he will break the covenant with Israel and declare himself to be God. He will force people to worship him by taking the mark of 666. You won’t be able to buy food or work or function in his society if you don’t take the mark. The Christians and Jews will work together to survive this time.”

“There will be various different levels that have religious significance. Some of the levels include Jerusalem, The Vatican City, Petra, and Westminster Abbey. Standard Military vehicles such as tanks, trucks, assault dune buggies will be part of it, also, with our customizable vehicles system, standard civilian vehicles can be made into weapons. There will be two teams, you can play as a Christian/Jew or as the Antichrist, and for the multiplayer, you will be able to play 32 players per server and up to 64 total including NPC.”

“Armageddon has three main unique game play features. The first is customizable vehicles in a FPS game. You will be able to retrovit civilian and military vehicles with various weapons. These vehicles retrofitted with weapons will also react very realistic physics since we are utilizing Ageia’s PhysX API and this will take advantage of the hardware accelleration. The second is squad based AI. You will be able command a bunch of AI squad members and give them commands. You can then cycle through the HUD and determine if any of your squad mates need help and take over there position. This is pretty cool for example you send one of your squad mates to complete a mission. You cycle through the camera and see he is being badly hurt or may need more “intelligence”. You can then take his place to complete the mission and he will take your place. The third is random story events. Armageddon is similar to Battlefield 2 in which you need to capture and hold control points to gather resources. However, Armageddon will inject random objectives throughout the map that are mutually opposing. For example, one random store event will be a great earthquake as unearthed the ark of the covenant. The Christian’s teams goal will be retrieve it while the Antichrist team will also be given the mission to capture it. These random store events have the side effect of playing a level different everytime so it will be less stale.”

Using the Reality Engine, the developers planned to implement next generation features such as dynamic effects like shadowing and lighting alongside realistic physics. Others features included Top-Down “Commander” view with real-time switching between squad members, special abilities such as placeable turrets and upgradeable armor.

Jesse Rapczak, the other co-founder at Boanerges, explained, on his personal website, why the game was eventually canceled:

“I was responsible for pitching the game to publishers, though many shied away due to the controversial nature of the story (a sci-fi future based on the Book of Revelation). Armageddon was in development for a year and was strongly considered by Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, and Sony Online Entertainment before it was finally picked up by Atari. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled a few months later when the publisher’s financial situation bottomed out.”

Armageddon was potentially going to be the first AAA Christian first-person shooter video game in the industry, even if we saw years before titles such as Super 3D Noah’s Ark, The War in Heaven, Saints of Virtue and Catechumen.

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