The New X-Com is a Shooter, Advance Wars is MIA, So Thank Goodness for Fray

What's a fan of strategy games supposed to do when all around him or her there's news of delayed tactics/strategy games, metamorphosized strategy games and, well, not a whole lot to be cheerful about?

Pin your hopes on the upcoming real-time and turn-based PC and Mac strategy game Fray. (Official site here.)

This game is isometric, involves some sort of soldiers fighting soldiers with the orders assigned in turns (taken simultaneously by all players), then executed across a hex-based grid. The action then plays out in real-time.

Our pals at Rock Paper Shotgun have new screens and an interview up with the team at development studio Brain Candy, though, frankly, Fray hardly needs more to get a strategy-gaming fan excited than its screenshots. (We sure did like the last batch of art we saw of the game in February.)

But what's with the lack of games in this genre lately?

Fray's Alexandre Avenard tells RPS:

The biggest problem with today's gaming industry in regards to squad-based strategy, is that real-time is not the right fit for the genre (although Dawn of War 2 would say otherwise), and they are traditionally turn-based, a genre which scares the big majors, as it is considered too niche.

That doesn't mean that the genre is necessarily dying, new titles come out each year, but its public is unfortunately limited, mostly because most gamers don't even know of the genre, having discovered gaming in the past ten years. Gamers must therefore count on independent studios to satisfy their tactical needs, to challenge their reflection after a fast paced action game, where twitch mechanics rule. With Fray we hope to introduce FPS gamers to strategy games, with an action packed game that also requires some thought.

Fighting games came back. Let's see this genre come back too, huh? Or are you pushing for flight sims instead?

The New X-Com is a Shooter, Advance Wars is MIA, So Thank Goodness for Fray

Fever Fray: First Fray Screens, Interview [Rock Paper Shotgun]