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Letters from the Front

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The short answer is: I don’t know. The longer answer is: Battalion 1944 gets some things right and is a great shooter that returns to the gameplay that I’ve longed to return too for almost a decade, the simple mechanics and the reliance on your skill and how confident you are without any perks or mechanics that hand-hold you. It has the potential to be something quite special.

When Call of Duty entered it’s obsession with the future, there was plenty of room for World War II to come back and DICE proved that winding the clock back to the First World War could work.

Battalion 1944 was one of those early indie games that was gunning for the World War II setting back in 2016. This particular game was announced way before Activision would return to World War II and announced way before EA DICE announced Battlefield 1. Battalion 1944 didn’t release before Activision released Call of Duty: WWII and I doubt Battalion will be released before the next Battlefield is released and with leaks pointing to this year’s Battlefield being set within WW2. A further complication is that this game isn’t just competing with two of the biggest franchises in gaming, there are other smaller titles fighting in the ring on Steam.

Day of Infamy is a game that’s more DoD than Call of Duty, so it’s not directly competing with it. Days of War, though, looks like it could compete with Battalion 1944 and released a year before but it didn’t do much of an impact. I got to try out Days of War and didn’t really like it, it was fast-paced but more of a DoD clone than a COD 2 or COD: UO inspired game like Battalion is. Days of War didn’t really hit the impact or the spot so it’s pretty much dead.

Maybe, perhaps, Bulkhead Interactive saw and were aware of the reception to Days of War and postponed the release date until this year or next. Battalion 1944 hit Early Access this week or last week and it has a divisive reception. I and many other people like the game, it is Early Access so I set everything accordingly, but it’s tricky to see past all of the problems that the game currently has. Server browser is broken, and when it does work, most of the servers have zero latency, which means you have to look for some time to see a server in your region. Also, can’t get into a game. The server browser is rendered useless because of this.

Without filter options, most of the servers have zero latency, or even the choice of tabbed filtering based on name or players or anything else, the server browser is useless. It doesn’t hamper the experience, it’s just annoying. The matchmaking does a great job of putting you into a local server but  the server browser is just broken and useless.

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The best thing about Battalion is the gamemodes and the gunplay. Unranked is the training grounds for ranked play and it uses the traditional objective-based gamemode. Warzone tasks one team with attacking and the other team tasks with defending. The attackers have a single bomb that they must plant and it’s very similar to Counter-Strike, Battalion’s Warzone mode is basically WWII counter-strike.

The gunplay is the closest thing I’ve seen to COD 2 in almost a decade. SMG’s tear up everything at close, you don’t even need to ADS to score kills and this same mentality is used with the rifles at close range, while strafing. I found this out on arcade mode on the same map on CTF , I got wrecked on the same map in Unranked. You can use SMG’s like the Thompson or MP40 to wrap your head around ballistics and the short TTK. Despite the low TTK, I like and appreciate the damage drop-off and inaccuries when trying to score kills from long range kills using SMG’s. I had some great gunfights using guns like the MP40 or Thompson at mid range and definitely up close, SMG’s shred the opposition.

Battalion 1944 is a great game that has some great groundwork like an excellent TTK and great gunplay but I’m not sure if it has legs and it can hold up it’s own in the next coming months with games like the upcoming Battlefield and Treyarch’s Call of Duty, it has potential but it’s hard to see past all the issues.  It has the potential to be something quite special given it has legs and can hold up.

 

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