Continuing from our previous story, Twilight had two choices. It could continue as alternate history or it could try and stay current. GDW adopted the latter choice. They desperately tried to modify the history to still keep the same heroes and villains and honestly it wasn’t bad.

The system was also updated to GDW’s new “House system”, which while not perfect itself was still a vast improvement over the 1.0 system. Sadly, vehicle combat became oversimplified as a result and GDW joined the entire gaming industry in the arena of generic vehicle combat. I loved detail, of course, and the 1st edition for all its faults had a very detailed vehicle combat and damage system.

Vehicles and weapons were updated and we even got some new art. Overall, the update was considerably more than you see for some games these days that revise for a second edition. Most of the equipment books were revised for new stats and re-released, all being notably improved over their 1st edition counterparts. Again, GDW had always done better than its competition in this regard.

So now you had a system that handled the collapse of the Soviet Union and kept China on friendly terms with the U.S. while still allowing a limited nuclear war and massive European theater conventional combat. It still only prolonged the inevitable. In fact, it was worse, as the dates for these things were much closer than they had been when the original edition was conceived.

This made the new 2.0 and 2.2 edition histories just as obsolete just as quickly. Before there could be a decision on what would come next, GDW of course closed its doors forever and we lost (for a time) any chance of deciding in the long-term how to proceed.

The problem with modern combat RPG’s that rely on history (present or future) to define them is that you end up having to revise them as often as a Madden NFL game. Your only choice is to look at alternate history, and this of course drastically limits the market of such a game to those interested in that period. Even moreso, as the setting goes from current events to real history, it further falls into a “what if” that from my experience has limited appeal.

Sure I think the setting’s fascinating and there are still lots of Twilight:2000 fans out there, but for much of the time since it was believed that there was probably not enough to make a viable demographic for a would-be publisher to continue producing material for it.

This problem dooms such systems and thus probably explains why there haven’t been many attempts to do real-time modern combat RPG’s since. What market there was converted primarily to first-person shooter computer games like S.W.A.T., Rainbow Six and the like. For vehicle nuts and large unit freaks some older computer games like SSI’s Steel Panthers 2 did the trick.

I for one consider it a blessing we even got this system. Although much effort was required to make it viable for the time it was around, the idea of a modern-combat setting, especially a post-apocalyptic limited or no nuke setting, was I think one of the most interesting because it was one of the most real.

We could imagine ourselves in these situations, especially in the U.S.-based modules for American gamers. Sci-fi and fantasy are far more detached, but such modern settings are a little more personal and a little more, for lack of a better word, real.

The true testament to such a setting is if it does persist even after the company stops, and T2K did, in more ways than we could’ve imagined. But that’s for another story.

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