Iron Storm is a first-person shooter computer game first developed by 4X Studios and published by Wanadoo in Europe and DreamCatcher Interactive in North America. A remixed version of the game called World War Zero was later released for the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Windows. Set in an alternate history in which World War I never ended, the game takes place in 1964, the 50th year of the war, and focuses on an Allied soldier's mission to stop the Russo-Mongolian Empire from developing nuclear weapons and his later efforts to end the war.
Iron Storm displays a mix between World War I siege tactics, such as trench warfare and the use of mustard gas, and some World War II-style weapons such as machine guns, mortars, tanks, and missile launchers of that era, as well as more contemporary technology such as helicopters, wireless communication, spy satellites, anti-personnel mines, and unmanned turrets.
The player character cannot take much damage before dying, and there are many enemies equipped with powerful weapons such as sniper rifles or anti-tank rifles. Several in-game glitches and vague mission objectives could often force players to replay one level multiple times before finally succeeding. Enemies also behave erratically, as seen when several attempt to walk through walls, or when the player shoots a particular enemy multiple times and yet the enemy remains unscathed.
The game is set in an alternate 1964, in which World War I never ended. The Baron Nikolai Alexsandrovich von Ugenberg seized Mongolia in 1921 in an uprising following the Russian Revolution, and later invaded Russia itself to crush the Bolsheviks. His plan was to establish a Russo-Mongolian Empire stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. With the help of the United States, the Allied nations of Europe were reformed as the United States of Western Europe, or the Alliance, in 1933 to counter Ugenberg's plan.
Instead of the Great War ending in 1918, it was continued for almost half a century, with the battlelines drawn down Europe's center in 1929 shifting little for either side for the next several decades. As the USWE could no longer independently contribute to the war, the Alliance army was introduced into the American stock market, allowing private investors to speculate on the lives of the soldiers who carried on the war. The outcome of the war now depended almost entirely on the economy of the Alliance's member nations.
The player takes on the role as Lieutenant James Anderson, only 19 when he joined the Alliance in 1943, and now a legend among the soldiers in the field. Anderson is recruited for a possibly suicidal mission: to breach enemy defenses and stop the Russo-Mongolians from developing a deadly weapon that could devastate the world. Captain Cecile Newcastle of the British Royal Highlands Regiment is Anderson's immediate supervisor and is responsible for guiding him through his mission. Colonel Mitchell is the commander of the operation, but has an ulterior motive for wanting the mission to succeed.