A new World War 2 multiplayer shooter is on the horizon, one that promises a return to the older days and delivers a competitive experience. Battalion 1944 is its name, and it’ll be entering Steam Early Access next month with a cheaper price ($14.99) than the full release, while a beta is inbound this weekend. Here are five quick things to know about it before it hits the frontline.
Old school FPS-inspired gameplay
Old school, in this case, doesn’t mean something like Quake or Unreal Tournament. Instead, Battalion 1944’s gameplay influences come from titles like Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 2 and Enemy Territory. Its maps are said to be based around Counter-Strike’s classic “figure of 8” level design along with classic Call of Duty’s vertical arenas, and the gameplay is fast and ignores customization for pure and simple gunplay.
Competitive and casual modes
Battalion 1944’s main focus is on a five-versus-five Search and Destroy mode, which will require teamwork and “resource management” in addition to quick reflexes. Given its competitive aspirations and the widespread popularity of the mode in many FPS games, that’s probably not much of a surprise. However, the game will also offer more stress-free gameplay with classic FPS modes like Domination, Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch. A “dynamic” objective-oriented mode is also in the works and will be released later down the line.
Purely cosmetic progression
No new guns, no attachments, only a pure cosmetic-based progression planned for the game. Some might see that as a bad thing, but as an old school-inspired competitive-based game it keeps the playing field centered around skill while still providing some form of player customization. These cosmetics will affect the appearance of the player character, accessories and weapons, but will adhere to the developer’s “realistic art style guidelines”.
BattleRank is the name of Battalion 1944’s matchmaking system. It provides stat-tracking for players and teams, but the juicier details are on the Kickstarter page. In each of the game’s seasons (although it’s not clear if it’d apply to the Early Access launch), players will be asked to join Battalions, each of which is a “large group of individual players”. Whether players play as individuals or in Platoons (clans), their score will contribute to their Battalion’s with rewards for everyone in the highest-scoring Battalion. There are also season objectives for Battalions and Platoon challenges to take part in.
Platoons aren’t compulsory to join, but the Battalion system allows players to contribute to a team effort without having to necessarily party up with others in games.
Made with feedback from competitive players
Showing that they’re serious about the competitive aspect of Battalion 1944, developer Bulkhead Interactive made their game with feedback from the top former professional casters, analysts and players from Call of Duty 1 and 2, Call of Duty 4 Promod, Counter-Strike and the FPS genre in general. However, they also encourage every the community to engage with them through official forums, Reddit, and Discord.