Review: 7.62 High Calibre (w/ Blue Sun Mod)

May 7, 2013

Allow me to point out, quickly before I start, that this is going to be about 50/50 a review of 7.62 High Calibre and of the Blue Sun Mod, and this is really by necessity. You see, dear readers, in 2007, Russian developer Aperion released through C1 7.62, which was a follow-up to their previous game, Brigade E5: New Jagged Union, which was itself a spiritual sequel to the Jagged Alliance games. It has since seen a European/US release by the same publisher. Its reputation is…less than stellar.

The thing is, the game was made quickly and somewhat on the cheap, and it shows. Boy, does it show. Let’s just take a moment, and go through these in the order that most players would probably notice them. First, it’s pretty clear that there wasn’t anybody in the entirety of the development team who was fluent in English. And that the localization was pretty much just one dude plugging all of the words in the game into translate.google.ru. At one point, the ammo pouch was referred to as a cartouche, which while technically correct is hilariously outdated.

As for the Blue Sun mod, the most important thing it does is make the game actually playable. As a matter of fact, one Let’s Play of the base game said that a fan-made English translation “ranges from ‘passable’ to ‘the translator didn’t know what the English word was so he threw up his hands and left the Russian word in.'” Besides the functional change in language, Blue Sun changes some of the basic gameplay. For example, in vanilla 7.62mm, you just sort of show up in Algeira’s version of Cancun. With the mod, you start about fifteen miles north of town with a broken down bus and a car you can pull a Beretta out of. After going through the character creation and class system, which were also added by the mod. All of that is about half of what the mod does.

Another, say, three-eighths is a pack of missions tied to the Blue Sun mining group operating in Algeira and their allies. The writing is…well, let me put it this way. The story as a whole is actually pretty well done, focusing mainly on the Blue Sun company’s attempt to take advantage of the imminent civil war between the Algeiran government and rebel forces to begin a military takeover of Palinero, a county to the south of Algeira and the setting of the previous game. The writing itself, on the other hand…well, I’ll let a comment on another LP with the Blue Sun mod sum it up: “I’m not nearly as far along as you are yet, but holy shit the dialogue in the Blue Sun quests”.

And the last thing the mod does is add weapons and items. Like, a bunch of them. 274 new guns and 276 new items, although most come from assorted other mods.

As far as the vanilla story goes, it’s fairly standard for sandbox games. You come to Algeira to track down a Russian gangster, but, y’know, no rush, when you can. In the midst of all this is a conflict between the administration of Generalissimo Alberto Sosa and surprisingly hot rebel leader Tanya Tormens. I normally wouldn’t bring up her appearance, buuut she’s also wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt that’s a size too small. So…there’s that.

The Blue Sun storyline is also pretty much par for the course. Go to [town], assassinate [enemy]. Repeat until you start to take over the government installations of Palinero. When you get all three sides going at once, then things are starting to get interesting. As for the combat…ehh. It’s not bad. It’s not exactly the most robust system to come from a game, but it works pretty well. And there’s something just so satisfying about having the game pause itself at the moment the shot you took from across the map hits an enemy in the side of the head.

Personally, I think it’s worth the fifteen bucks it costs on Amazon. But only if you grab the Blue Sun mod with it. Otherwise, I’d suggest you get away while you can.

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