Early Access Review Written by Gañan
Yet another military-simulator amongst the recent boom in this kind of games, this one focusing on World War 1, but is it good enough or does it bring anything new to the table compared to its cousins? Well sadly no, it does not, and here’s why:
(As a quick disclaimer, I haven’t been able to play the game to its “full potential” as there is no player base at all outside peak hours, which are few. On these rare moments when you see people in the game, it’s just around 100 players, worldwide, playing on one full server, which is hard to get into, as nobody leaves till the round ends, and then everyone might call it a day and the game goes back to sleep till next weekend. As the developers don’t want bots included in the game saying, and I quote: “At this point, we have no plans for an offline mode against bots. We want to emphasize the collaboration between players in a multiplayer setting with Beyond The Wire.”; there is no way for us to play alone or in a low populated server and actually play the game properly, as if there aren’t enough players in a server the game won’t progress, or it’s just plain dumb to have 4 guys taking and losing land from each other on a map so big (made for 50v50) that it takes you minutes to find each other for a couple of second fights.)
The game’s main mode consists of two factions fighting in waves against each other, taking control of land and trying to push the enemy back to their HQ, and then taking it to win.
You also have a shooting range mode in which you can try out various stationary weapons such as field cannons and MGs, and join as all the different classes on the 3 factions present in the game, each with their own weapons and gadgets to tinker with on the small sandbox-like map.
Regarding the variation of weaponry and gear on the different classes, I feel compared to other games such as Verdun or Hell Let Loose it’s kind of lacking. Most soldiers carry the same bolt action rifle, some with pistols, and most with the same gear (bolt cutters, field dressing, grenade). Between the 3 factions: the US, the German empire, and the UK, they have some degree of variance on weapons, respecting each countries’ weapons of the time.
Gameplay-wise the game feels good, like most of the military-simulators out there, with lots of keys that control lots of stuff to make it as realistic as possible to an extent.
Each team has a commander and squad officers, which help the commander through comms to ask for arty support and the likes. You have a text chat with everyone, your team, and your squad, and if you are a squad officer, you also have a direct link to the commander. Voice chat is proximity for the regular troops, and officers can talk to each other on a separate channel, not proximity-based.
Music and graphics:
The music is nice, not bad, but nothing memorable either. Good enough to help get you into the mood of the game when on menus.
The sound effects are great: shots, explosions, and yelling from the wounded are spot-on, and in the middle of a firefight, you really feel like your life is on the line, and everything is chaos around you.
Graphics-wise the game looks great, and you are in those trenches fighting with your brothers (if you manage to get anyone to play with you, that is) against the evil enemies that are as scared and tense as yourself between the mud, forest, and all-around chaos.
No DLC so far, but plenty of updates even though the player base is really lacking. They keep adding fixes and new content little by little, but fairly constantly.
The lack of people to play with is already enough for me not to recommend this game. If it had more players, it could very well compete with the big guys on the recent batch of military-simulators such as Hell Let Loose or Post Scriptum.
Since Verdun died for lack of player base (even though they had bots on their servers, and you could keep playing right now if you so desired), I’ve been waiting for the next World War 1 simulator. This one seemed like it could be the one. Still, sadly, its quick plunge into the void of multiplayer player-less games made it just another try at reaching mainstream players with perhaps overly complicated simulator games that get abandoned the first few months since release.
Written by Gañan
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