With modern FPS titles moving towards space-age shooting, sporting HUD’s chock full of gizmos and gadgets to help you slay your enemies, there seems to be a real lack of hardcore skill-based shooters these days. Enter Day of Infamy: an old-school FPS sporting a brutal realism edge. From the developers of Insurgency, this new FPS set in World War II forces team play and makes players less reliant on gimmicks for a kill. Instead, players of Day of Infamy will need to use their brains and eyes to score kills which by the way, will not necessarily score you any points.
Insurgency rocked up onto the Steam store back in 2014 and since then has sprouted a modest competitive scene and is a bit of a cult hit, especially amongst gamers looking for a bit of an FPS challenge. Spring boarding on from that success, New World Interactive has applied their solid formula from Insurgency directly onto Day of Infamy – let me tell you it was a stroke of genius. The WW2 setting lends itself to the hardcore realism style of FPS. Shells whooshing overhead and the terrifying snapping and cracking of bullets pinging past your head is so atmospheric that you really need to see the entire screen unobstructed to feel like you’re truly in the action.
As a disclaimer let me say I’ve played many an hour in similar title: Red Orchestra 2 – another WW2 hardcore shooter which leans on the side of realistic weaponry and authentic scenarios from back in the day. Red Orchestra 2 is an excellent game with a significant learning curve, providing many hours of replayability. Day of Infamy shares many successful features with Red Orchestra 2, including a wide range of maps based on true WW2 battles and locations, authentic weaponry, impeccable gunplay and my god, the sound is just incredible! Let’s dissect each of these below…
So the maps are up first. There are a decent selection of maps to play, ranging from the beaches of northern France to German manor houses. I have put around 10 hours into the game so far and have yet to play all of them. Maps are rotated on some servers and on others the players get to choose between 4 maps after each game has ended. It’s a cool system because it stops people whining that their performance is bad because the map is rubbish; of course it’s not their fault! Maps are detailed and really echo the feel of little towns and countryside of the time; littered with rubble, blown-up tanks and shell craters.
The weapons in Day of Infamy ahem some carefully detailed aesthetics. They are also home to some of the best firearms audio in video gaming history. Maybe that’s a bold claim, but I genuinely reckon the weaponry in this game sounds fantastic. After all 7.1 Dolby surround sound is becoming a staple setup for gamers, allowing us to hear who is around us at all times. Because of that it’s really cool to see that developers have put considerable effort into the sounds for this game – especially in a WW2 game where the player wants to experience what it must have felt like to be there on the beaches of Normandy. My only gripe with the audio in Day of Infamy is the footsteps. They’re too loud and a little distorted because characters run everywhere too fast. Ok the game is in Alpha still, but this needs to be changed. Get three or four guys in a building and it sounds like an infestation of giant mutant termite-moles have nested in the floorboards!
Day of Infamy shares it’s impeccable gunplay with it’s predecessor. Yeah there’s bullet drop and all, but in truth most of the maps aren’t big enough for this to matter too much. Positioning behind cover becomes important because one shot to the head or torso and you’re pretty much guaranteed to need body wagon. Day of Infamy doesn’t really let the player hip fire, you need to aim down sights or else risk having little control over your rifle/machine gun etc. This in turn means that players can’t sprint around jumping and shooting like the last five or six CoD titles… Leaning, crouching and going prone are all essential tools for survival, especially with the crazy loud footsteps in the current build.
Graphically Day of Infamy is a little hit and miss. It’s certainly not cutting edge but it isn’t unpleasant. There seems to be a kind of brightness to the feel of the game, almost like a bloom has been overlaid on the screen. Some textures are a little rough, with some terrain having straight edges, water looking a little like sheets of ice and some tearing during gameplay. I’m running a GTX 760 with a fairly new i5 by the way, so it’s not like my PC can’t handle Day of Infamy on maxed-out settings. Let’s not forget that the game is still in Early Access development so I’ll cut it some slag eh? Some promising graphical details are present though, such as the toasty looking flamethrower animations and the wispy gun barrel smoke. Over time hopefully we’ll see some improvements to the aesthetics of Day of Infamy, but if Insurgency is anything to go by we might not see much of a change, as it’s about on a par with it’s modern day predecessor.
In terms of gameplay Day of Infamy plays out quite similarly to Insurgency. The gunplay and objective-based multiplayer battles being the main focus of it’s entertainment. There are three game modes: multiplayer, cooperative combat and single player missions. I had a tinker in the single player missions but to be honest we all know it’s about the multiplayer and coop. Multiplayer battles are of a decent size with a maximum capacity of 32 people per server. Teamwork is essential but unfortunately a lot of players are still treating this title like CoD, with very little thought for tactics. Hopefully with time this will change. Coop is really cool as you team up with 7 other players to defeat waves of enemy troops across 3 different types of match.
It may be controversial but Day of Infamy could perhaps do with a levelling system. No gimmicky perks or skins though. Just a little something to keep players coming back once they’ve exhausted the maps and soldier classes. Day of Infamy is a solid entry into the FPS market by New World Interactive, which was only to be expected given their reputation. I am experiencing a crashing issue and it would be interesting to see who else this effects – upon closing the game I get a serious crash. This wouldn’t bother me too much normally, but I can’t alt+tab out of the error, nor task manager it away, leaving no option but to hard reset. Just a little observation there though, I’m sure you fellow PC geezers could give me some advice on that one.
Overall Day of Infamy is a neat game. It’s not quite neat and tidy yet, perhaps resembling a 21 year old lad’s bedroom – semi-organised but still baring the marks of a teen lifestyle. Based on Insurgency though, Day of Infamy can surely only go from strength to strength, building on that godlike gunplay and atmospheric combat realism that is sure to grip FPS players in it’s steely claws. At £14.99 this game is a solid investment for time and money. Get ready to use your brain and your senses, or else be prepared to get killed on the regs by unseen enemies – that’s right, there was no ‘killcam’ in the 1940s…
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