Much as Serious Sam: The First Encounter was really a tech demo of Croteam's Serious Engine, Hired Team: Trial is a tech demo of New Media Generation's Shiny engine. This Russian first person arena shooter has finally found a US publisher and has been released in the states as a Gold edition. Players participate in a series of battles across 28 virtual arenas against bots or other humans on a LAN or the net. Game types include standard and team deathmatch, capture the flag, and domination.
The story behind Hired Team can best be told with this verbatim transcript of the opening movie:
The drastic growth of science and technology in 3rd millenium has resulted in the global urbanization of the whole planet.
The huge and waste Megacities now fill the planetary surface with their complicated infrastructures. The ultimate part. about 96% of Earth's population lives in those Megapolises.
But global urbanisation leads to global crisis, pandemics, unemployment, crime and government corruption. The police and Secret Services cannot successfully fight well organized ruthless criminal groups. everyday bloody exchanges of fire for city control. City hospitals are overcrowded with street wars victims.
Only a new, well trained and skilled force can stop this urban chaos now. Former soldiers of special military forces, police brigades and secret services must pass a TRIAL to get enlisted to the elite 'Hired team'.
The rather unfortunate use of the word "Trial" in the name along with a budget release price ($20 and in some cases as little as $5) evidently led many gamers to believe Hired Team was a demo or shareware product. Within a week of it's release, yellow stickers were plastered on the front of the box reading:
"WARNING! Inside this box you will find full version software that will test your combat skills. Your trial awaits!"