User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Söldner series

Group Description

Söldner: Secret Wars is a massive multiplayer warfare game, similar to the Battlefield series, with battles in the air, on land, and, with the introduction of the Marine Corps expansion, on water. The game was developed by the German studio Wings Simulations GmbH who have a history in warfare games, and was published by JoWooD Productions Software AG.

The game was first announced in a press release on 22nd May 2002, but was ultimately rushed out two years later under pressure of the publisher, with a few bugs and features that were left out. Although the initial release gathered some bad reviews because of this, the developer promised to continue working on the game, and sent out a massive amount of patches - both fixing bugs as introducing new vehicles, weapons, maps and features.

A few months after the initial release, the game reappeared in stores as Söldner: Secret Wars - Reloaded, incorporating many of the patches. Regardless of the efforts, JoWood decided to close the development division in January 2005. A few developers were kept aboard to continue providing support for the game, as well as to complete the expansion Söldner: Marine Corps. It was released in March 2005.

With strong ties to the community, they got help from a team known as Project-Z development. They were originally working on a total conversion for the game, called Iraqi Deliverance, but when the Wings development team was reduced, they canned it and decided to work on the original game. In May 2005, the game's full source code was handed over to the new team and the first patch that involved Project-Z was v33668, released in February 2006.

In May 2006, the game was re-released for the North American market as Semper Fidelis: Marine Corps. It incorporates both the original game and the expansion in a single game, but with no reference to the Söldner franchise to avoid associations with the bad press initially received.

Things went awry when patch 33672 was released on 23rd July 2006. Many players were unable to connect and things heated up as certain members of Project-Z claimed the patch was untested. A JoWood representative demanded the project to be taken out of the hands of Matthijs Beleen, who led Project-Z. It was handed over to a new development team, gEasy, made up of developers who had left the Project-Z team because of the troubles. They released the 33673 patch two days later, correcting the mistakes.

The gEasy team then started working on Söldner 2 until it was cancelled in October 2007.

Selected Covers

Söldner: Secret Wars Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Söldner: Secret Wars
Söldner: Marine Corps Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Söldner: Marine Corps

Selected Screenshots

Watching a team mates back while he is crossing a river.
Screenshot from Söldner: Secret Wars