In fact, it's the only constant. Times have changed, along with the factions: The United States of Western Europe consolidated into the WRF, together with the United States of America. The Russomongolian Empire formed the UAN. The Consortium evolved into the Syndicate. Methods of killing people are more refined, as is the technology to protect, transport and fix them.
But war didn't change. It only grew bloodier and more profitable for the wealthy industrialists that control it. The game revolves around the titular Bet on Soldier competitions, which are essentially one-on-one dog fights, except the dogs can shoot (and talk, allegedly). Players assume the role of one Nolan Daneworth, an amnesiac soldier trying to figure out the mystery of his wife's death.
Although the gunplay is fairly standard, the game features a somewhat unique resource management system: everything, from weapons, through armour, to savegames, is paid for with in-game currency, earned for killing people, winning matches and completing mission objectives.
Shortly after the game was published, the company that held the publishing rights to the game in North America, Digital Jesters, went bankrupt. Some time later, the publishing rights to the game were purchased by the South Korean company Gravity, and the game was released on Steam in early December 2014.
Provides Examples Of:
- All There in the Manual: The setting is thoroughly explained in the game manual. Most of the information is not included in the game, at all.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: You cannot restore your health in the middle of a level, nor can you restore the health or armor of your mercenary squadmates. However, the game resets your health and armor as well as that of your mercenaries back to 100% at the beginning of each new map, to make it less likely you'll end up in an Unwinnable by Mistake position. Killed mercenaries will stay dead, however.
- Armor-Piercing Attack:
- The circular-saw/knife... thingy that serves as your Emergency Weapon punches right through energy shields. If you can get headshots with it, it's by far the fastest way to kill endgame B.O.S. contestants as well as the final boss.
- Some of the endgame bosses are equipped with armor-piercing energy weaponry that damages your health through your armor. Since you can't restore your health in this game, this is a pretty big deal.
- Artificial Brilliance: The enemies strafe, retreat and actively flank the player, which is more than can be said for most computer opponents. Unfortunately, they can't aim worth a bullet.
- Cool Guns: Cool? Yes. Shiny? Never.
- Crapsack World / Dystopia: Showcase, essentially. Everyone from 16 years up is expected to fight. Those that cannot work in factories producing weapons and gear. Peace is considered a dangerous, dissident ideal. And that's just the basics.
- Diesel Punk: Combined with bulky designs inherited from Iron Storm, with a very Used Future look and feel.
- Downer Ending: Just like Iron Storm (and Chaser, for that matter). Eastern European game developers really like to end their stories on a down note. Given their cultural and historical background, it's somewhat understandable.
- Elite Mooks: All the B.o.S. contestants have some sort of advantage, be it magnetic shields, flashbangs or just good old fashioned Power Armor. The latter is considered standard issue and starts appearing in the second/third mission. Good luck.
- Enemy Mine: One of the endgame levels involves you teaming up with The Rival (who you've spent the entire game trying to hunt down and kill) to fight several heavy waves of Syndicate troops inside a deathmatch arena.
- Evil All Along: Daneworth's wife turns out to have been a Syndicate agent all along, and executes him in the ending after he kills Max Balding.
- The Federation: The WRF.
- Forever War: 80 years, with no end in sight.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Enemies wearing Powered Armor begin appearing in the later levels. They can take quite a lot of hits, and are usually equipped with heavy weapons like miniguns, missile launchers, flamethrowers, or shotgun cannons. Annoyingly, they're just as fast as the normal enemies.
- Humongous Mecha: Appear as driveable vehicles in several of the levels.
- La Résistance: The hidden 4th faction, dedicated to bringing down the Syndicate. things don't end well for them, no matter what choice you make in the endgame.
- Mega-Corp: The Syndicate. Previously known as the Consortium (and referred to by the latter name in concept art.
- Nintendo Hard: The game is a lot harder than most other games in the genre, and the resource management aspect can be quite harsh, especially in the earlier missions. Things do improve somewhat once you get the hang of things.
- No Export for You: The game's Western publisher went bankrupt after releasing it, so the game's two Mission Pack Sequels, Blood of Sahara and Black Out Saigon, were never released in the English language market outside of a small digital release on Gamersgate that went unnoticed by many.
- One Bullet Clips: Averted, reloading causes you to discard all the bullets remaining in the magazine. Compulsive reloading can be a very expensive mistake, especially when using weapons with expensive ammo. The exception is when reloading shotguns, which are topped off shell by shell.
- P.O.V. Sequel: The game's two Mission Pack Sequels take place from the point of view of Max Balding and Hang Shaiming, The Dragon and the leader of La Résistance respectively, and focuses on their early careers in the war.
- Resources Management Gameplay: The resource system revolves entirely around money. It's used to refill your ammo and repair your armor, and is earned from killing enemies. If you play carelessly, it's entirely possible to lose money (from having to repair armor and replace ammo) faster than you can get it back, eventually leading you to an Unwinnable by Mistake situation where you run out of money while not having enough armor or ammo to get through the next area.
- Scenery Gorn: Everywhere.
- Space-Filling Empire: The UAN controls everything except for Europe and the United States (sans Alaska).
- Stealth Sequel: Although it's officially a standalone title, you can clearly see USWE insignia on WRF uniforms, their propaganda posters in Alaskan missions and even an early advertisement for Bet On Soldier on the Deutsche-Russische Tagesschau can be seen.
- Trick Boss: If you side with the Syndicate, at the end of the final level you fight the leader of the Resistance in a boss-like battle. He's got a boss energy shield and a tractor beam, but otherwise isn't very tough. After you kill him, Max Balding, The Dragon for the Syndicate's president, shows up to kill you for outliving your usefulness, triggering the real final boss fight.
- Unexplained Recovery: The opening movie, which seems to occur a few years before the events of the game, ends with Nolan shooting B.O.S. number one champion Igor Boryenka in the back of the head after a duel. Yet Igor is alive and well in the game, and is the highest rated fighter in the B.O.S. tournament.
- Unwitting Pawn: Daneworth's entire quest was set up by the Syndicate to get the Resistance to reveal themselves so they could be wiped out.
- War for Fun and Profit: Foundation of the entire gameplay.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Daneworth is executed at the end of the game by the Syndicate after serving his purpose, whether or not he chose to side with them in the last level, or tried to fight them and ended up being their Unwitting Pawn.