You might remember developers Flying Squirrel from their work on the multiplayer Mount & Blade expansion Napoleonic Wars , but one look at their first standalone project, the brilliantly ambitious Battle Cry of Freedom , and that short sulky Frenchman will be forever banished from your mind. Like Assassin's Creed 3, it's set during the American Civil War, but not the American Civil War as imagined by a grumpy bartender lying in a sci-fi sunbed. Read on for details, including mention of the 500-player(!) battles.
Here it is: whoa, there's going to be 500-player battles. Actually, there's a '+' in there too, so the game may be capable of supporting even more. Other things we can expect: historically accurate maps, uniforms and weapons, a "completely destructible environment", 3D voice chat, 5X5 km big maps and, perhaps best of all, "special musician units with drums, fifes, fiddles or trumpets, able to play historically accurate tunes." It appears as if combat will be largely similar to that seen in Mount & Blade, but with a bigger focus on muskets, obviously.
Flying Squirrel are taking donations on their homepage via their own form of Kickstarter, and at the time of writing they've raised just over a grand of their surprisingly low 60,000 Euros goal. 20 Euros is the minimum donation needed to bag a digital copy on release (plus early beta access), though if you have a spare million, the developers promise to "personally fly over to you and host the most awesome party you have ever had in your life". Hey now - I've been to a roller disco. I'm not sure anything will ever compete with that.