War-themed shooters have long set the standard in the land of multiplayer games. Spear of Destiny was one of the first games to introduce us to the first-person perspective and the Call of Duty franchise has introduced a plethora of features (like the iron-sights view) that have become standard in modern shooter games. As more and more games began to implement these mechanics their novelty started to wear off. In an attempt to diversify, developers moved away from the World War 2 era to a more modern/future oriented setting. The fictional settings also allowed for new gameplay mechanics like extended jumping and wall running. Many gamers felt the introduction of such mechanics meddled with the overall feel/experience the earlier games were able to provide.
Preserve the WW2 shooter.
The beauty of modern day videogame development is that tools have become more accessible. So while it is easy to complain and to wait for changes, it has become just as “easy” to band together and start development of your own project. This is where Bulkhead Interactive comes in. Formed out of two UK based companies, Bulkhead Interactive has extensive experience when it comes to videogame development with Unreal Engine 4: They were one of the first studios to release an Unreal Engine 4 powered videogame across current gen platforms. With Battalion 1944 the developer is trying to re-invigorate that classical, World War 2 multiplayer. Preserving it for the “next-generation”.
“Battalion 1944 is an infantry based first person shooter with an emphasis on raw skill. No grinding, no ‘exosuits’, just you and your skill as a player.”
Development on the game started quite some time ago. However, it was not until the game’s announcement via a Kickstarter campaign in early 2016 that it was shown to the public. The crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, with the studio successfully gathering the needed funds within three days, proving there was a craving for the genre to resurface.
The studio believes the last game of its kind released almost ten years ago (referring to games as Call of Duty 2 and Medal of Honor). Bulkhead also voiced their dissatisfaction when it comes to complex and tiring progression systems that triple-A productions seem to incorporate nowadays. Systems that reward experienced players with a competitive edge over others. Thus Battalion 1944 is an infantry based first person shooter with an emphasis on raw skill. No grinding, no ‘exosuits’, just you and your skill as a player.
Skills for kills.
I admit to be no talented multiplayer gamer but I usually manage to stand my ground. During my first few hours with Battalion, enemy players were relentless. Battalion’s gameplay is unforgiving. It’s gonna take some hours of practice or serious talent if you’d like to make the difference online. Watching the video above should give you a good example on how skilled players around the world have already become. The difference between kill or being killed relies on your speed and accuracy. You’d want to be as quick and accurate as possible, always scanning the environment for threats, resulting in an intense combat experience.
The maps are tight, focused and competitive. The development team went to great lengths to base these on existing locations and to make them look and feel as authentic as possible. The team succeeded in that regard. The game is visually appealing and feels polished. The gun sounds especially should turn a smile on every world-war gun fanatic. The game currently includes a base level of maps, features & content, with aims to expand the game’s feature list throughout Early Access. Competitive modes, weapons and rule sets are currently all being balanced live, with the game still under constant development. So expect regular patches & improvements until full release. For more information and screenshots, checkout Battallion on Steam by clicking here.