Iron Grip : The Oppression has a completely new kind of gameplay, combining First Person Shooter with Real Time Strategy elements in a way never done before.

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As an unstoppable army rolls into view, the few brave souls willing to stand up before them watch from their fox holes, ready to begin the greatest conflict of their lives. The odds are against them, but a few clever tricks might be all that they need.

Posted by JoeX111 on Nov 2nd, 2006

As an unstoppable army rolls into view, the few brave souls willing to stand up before them watch from their fox holes, ready to begin the greatest conflict of their lives. The odds are against them, but a few clever tricks might be all that they need.

The term "gimmick" gets thrown around with a lot of negativity in the gaming world. Despite the fact that people yell and scream for the industry to innovate and try new things, everyone seems to roll their eyes when they actually do it. The problem is that most of these game "gimmicks," such as the portals in Prey, don't make up for the basic game itself being lackluster and uninspired.

When a gimmick works, though, then the game becomes something awesome to behold.

Iron Grip: The Oppression is a hybrid multiplayer game that combines the best aspects of real time strategy games and a straight up, no-holds-barred first person shooter multiplayer match. It's one part Day of Defeat, another part Command & Conquer and a little Stalin Subway mixed in for flavor.

"The whole point of Iron Grip was to expand the World War 2 genre beyond its basic elements," animator Shaun "Stuffie" Hutchinson said. "With an alternate universe, there are all sorts of things we can do with it. We can expand weapons and units without ever sacrificing the setting."

Commandos! Commit suicide!<br />
Commandos! Commit suicide!
"Yes, sir!"

The game places you in the middle of a conflict between a ragtag group of rebels and the oppressive might of the communist regime. Here, the evil communists are led by the diabolical General Rhamos, who rolls into cities and crushes anyone in his path beneath a fleet of tanks, soldiers and mechanized trains. When you take control of the aptly named Oppression, you jump into the match via a RTS style interface, giving you an overhead view of the battlefield to control your units from. Here, you can build new units at your train \ command post, research new weapon types and command the field of battle. The object then is to take control of three points around the map, while the rebels do everything in their power to stop you.

"We were going for a Saving Private Ryan style, where a small group of heroes is going up against an entire army," Hutchinson said. "That way, you have characters with specific skills and looks rather than generic classes of assault troops. Each of the heroes also has their own individual backstory, as well."

The rebels play out like a normal round of Day of Defeat, albiet with a slight twist to the formula. Three nodes around the map must be defended at all costs from Oppression take-over. However, to truly defeat the enemy and win, you must find and assassinate General Rhamos, who is moving around the map like one of the heroes in Warcraft 3 and can also be controlled by the Oppression FPS style when they feel like getting down and dirty with the grunts. But in order to get to kill him, you will have to literally battle your way through an entire army of troops.

hammy-bob says:
"Iron Grip is kind of like a cake made out of steaks. You know, steak tastes really good. And when you mix it with your favorite addition to any meal, such as cake, you have the perfect combo for a night full of fun and satisfaction."

"Ok, you guys knock and when he comes to the door, we'll all jump out and say 'Surprise!'"

What makes Iron Grip work is this feeling like you are truly battling upwards against the odds, fighting tooth and nail to the bitter end. Rebel forces are constantly forced to deal with platoons full of soldiers, marching through the level and killing anyone they come across. Tanks roll down the streets, annihilating anyone who even glances in their direction. It reaches a point where you constantly have to be willing to cut through buildings, dodge down alleyways and use every shortcut you can in order to hide and defend yourself from the onslaught against you.

Though only three maps are currently implemented in the game, each of them look awesome and play even better. The world of Iron Grip is a familiar yet foreign one, with airships flying overhead, cable cars zooming past and giant megalithic churches looming on the horizon. The city environments are claustrophobic and tightly interwoven, giving you lots of places to hide, but very little space to make your escape in. Then there is the open expanse of the snowy wilderness, prestine and white with the freshly fallen winter snow, soon to turn red with the fresh blood of the blossoming battlefield. Everything has been detailed enough to be evocative, but playtested at length to accomodate gameplay. It's enough to make you want to drop your gun and just wander the level, seeing what you can discover in this society brought to the brink of war.

Face-off, just you and me...
Face-off, just you and me...

"The first release had a lot of problems with the lag and dodgey balancing," Hutchinson said. "A lot of new people left because they thought it was too hard or easy and then there was all the lag on top of that. But with the latest patches, we've squished a lot of the bugs and will hopefully bring more people to Iron Grip."

To be completely honest, when I first loaded up Iron Grip, I didn't like it at all. Despite the awesome concept and great artistic direction, the game lagged endlessly and there were serious balance issues, as Hutchinson said. There were times when I would empty entire clips into an enemy only to have him snap back and kill me in a single shot. Or worse, fellow rebels with missile launchers had to fire at the enemy multiple times in order to kill them! Toss in the lag issues and the fact that my own ineptitude prevented me from easily grasping the Oppression controls, which have since been streamlined a bit more, and you had a recipe for disaster.

But all of that changed so much with just the first patch that anyone originally turned off by this mod should definitely consider giving it a second go. The heat of battle in Iron Grip truly feels unlike anything I've played in an online multiplayer match before. Though the hybrid RTS \ FPS nature of the game may feel a bit gimmicky, it is a solid fusing of two very different genres into a cohesive final product that is well worth your time, especially with a new patch looming on the horizon.

Karuto says:
"Although it started off fairly questionable, with its fair share of server crashes and confusing game mechanics (I ended up shooting my own teammates one too many times), it has grown a lot since then into a well-rounded mod for the Half-Life 2 community."

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Baza Nov 3 2006 says:

Joe, thats a great read. :) Stuffie, you have a sexy brittish accent and you know it. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Karuto Nov 3 2006 says:

*claps* Awesome article, Joe. I didn't even need to review it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Crispy Nov 5 2006 says:

Good read, hopefully this'll bring more people back to IG. The recent fixes they've made demand that much at least.

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! Nov 2 2006 says:

I cannot wait to get my PC in working order and give this mod a run. It is great to see mods inventing genres and experimenting with amazing ideas. Good video and interview too :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
arkythesharky Nov 2 2006 says:

i cant believe nobody thought of combining fps/rts together before

*cough* empires *cough*

+1 vote     reply to comment
Stuffie Nov 2 2006 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
JoeX111 Author
JoeX111 Nov 2 2006 says:

And besides, I never said "OMFGFirstRTSFPSgameEvz0rZ!!1!!"

+1 vote   reply to comment
Pooppyhead Nov 2 2006 says:

So they fixed alot of it? I got annoyed when I first played so I have since stoped. Maybe i'll pick it up again.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Timblesink Nov 3 2006 says:

I really wish that GayArena (the almost sole provider of servers for steam games in Australia) would clean up its act. There's all these crazy errors and stupidly low performance on their servers, but we're forced to play on them. And also, we need more Aussies playing this unbeatable mod! Where's your patriotism, lads?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zirty Nov 3 2006 says:

It's RTS/FPS VS FPS because you can play the rhamos general in fps view.

+1 vote     reply to comment
stringed_Evil Nov 3 2006 says:

Congrats Iron Grip :D.. definately deserve motm.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Krenzo Nov 4 2006 says:

*cough* Empires began in spring 2003 *cough*

+1 vote     reply to comment
methy Nov 4 2006 says:

*cough* Natural Selection was released in 2002, and before that, the Quake 2 mod Gloom had RTS/FPS gameplay. No-one's claiming it's completely original, although the FPS vs. RTS twist is.

Also, Stuffie, your voice makes me hard.

+1 vote     reply to comment
OmeVince Creator
OmeVince Nov 4 2006 says:

Tnx moddb staff for the motm! :D This is awesome :D

ps, why this turn into an Empires vs IG ******* contest? Its like comparing Quake and CS, => they're nothing alike. Anybody comparing the too obviously didnt play either mod.
Empires = RTS/FPS hybrid vs RTS/FPS hybrid
IG = RTS player with AI units, vs FPS players (only playing FPS = guerilla-fighters vs big AI army controlled by 1 RTS player)

Its totally different and not done before, and in no way comparable with any other FPS/RTS hybrid.
O, and FPS/RTS hybrids in general are nothing new, if i remember correctly there's one even before NS (though i forgot the name). Its a WW2 game.

Anyways, kudos to moddb team! We're excited about this and hope we can get all bugs squashed shortly! :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
Qwertyz Nov 4 2006 says:

Arklansman you sir are an idoit! Not only was Empires not the first RTS/FPS, but Iron Grip isnt even an RTS/FPS, its RTS Versus FPS. And no one actually said. Wow first RTS versus FPS ever! Which i think it actually is. so neh neh!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Stuffie Nov 4 2006 says:

Added the higher resolution (800*600) and seperate audio interview files.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Babuzaa Nov 12 2006 says:

If anyone needs help with the installer, in-game, or anything else Iron Grip related. Feel free to PM me.

- Babuzaa

+1 vote     reply to comment
StrangerThanFiction Dec 3 2006 says:

RTS vs FPS is a very cool, original idea. Who'da thunkit?

+1 vote     reply to comment
}{yperdas}{ Dec 3 2006 says:

Well sadly I can't play this due to the worst computer ever (A.K.A my computer) but I will say this. It looks great! I think if they added a SP mode they could possibly port it to the 360 and make one hell of a game. I also love the idea of being in control of an entire army verus like 20 guys. I would have wayyyyy to much fun with that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
THEDZA Dec 7 2006 says:

This is a great mod! Keep up the good work!! PHLARF!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
A13X Dec 11 2006 says:

No. Dungeon keeper had you to possess your own team mates. This is better tho rts versus fps BUT still a bit laggy hope you fix it soon. Ill keep my eye on this mod. Also Fog Of War you should add that. Be much more chalenging. Anyways good luck!

+1 vote     reply to comment
NEWMAN604 Dec 15 2006 says:

Wow this makes me wanna play this game so bad.

+1 vote     reply to comment
KiGrind Dec 19 2006 says:

I had to stop the video due to the voice on the video that about made me trow up. WTF?!

+1 vote     reply to comment
HellsMarshall Dec 21 2006 says:

;-) izi

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released 2007
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Iron Grip : The Oppression (Half-Life 2)
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