Verdun is a first person multiplayer shooter set in the first World War. The game has similarities to the Battlefield franchise and with the new Battlefield game also being set in WW1 it was interesting to play another shooter based in the same time period. Verdun was developed by M2H and Blackmill Games and runs on the Unity Engine. Like I said, the game is set around the First World War in North-Eastern France. WW1 was a bloody and quite frankly brutal war that saw soldiers fighting in horrific conditions and trenches.
Verdun is a multiplayer game that has similarities to modern shooters but also feels unique, as it goes for a much more realistic approach, with one shot kills, careful approach and teamwork. Shooters like Call of Duty require thought and precise gameplay but the action and confrontations are relentless. With most weapons being bolt-action in WW1, it means that every shot you take needs to be considered and precise in order to succeed. You have to use cover, make quick dashes and plan routes to not only stay alive but also wipe out the enemy.
The main game mode in Verdun is Frontlines and it sees you fighting in trenches across open areas of land. You must make your way across the battlefield and capture the enemy base. The ultimate objective is to hold the enemy trench, much like capture the flag in modern shooters. Once you have successfully captured a specific area you move forward to the next area and repeat. If you’re put on the back foot you will find yourself having to backtrack and play much more defensively. The matches can vary between a balanced battle to one-sided affairs that see one team dominating. This mode consists of 32 player action, with teams of four fighting to make progress. When you start a match you’re assigned to a squad where you play different roles. As you play through the game you will start to unlock boosts that help you during battle. The amount of customisation and variation in teams makes for a diverse and unique shooter experience. Having said that, there isn’t a progression or upgrading system like you see in games like Battlefield or COD, which is a shame.
When I started out I very much went for the solo approach and soon learned that this is a game that requires teamwork or at the very least to stick near to your teammates. Match rankings carry over to the next match and that ranking ultimately improves your team’s effectiveness. That’s where my problem with the game came in, as I don’t tend to play with groups of friends, which this feels best suited for. If you manage to stick with the same group of players in your squad you can progress quite well, but without that you can feel under ranked.
Rifle Deathmatch is basically the free-for-all mode in the game and is the best mode to play if you want to play on your own. When you start Rifle deathmatch you select either carbine or rifle before heading into action. The action here feels a lot tenser and you get a sense of loneliness and fear as you creep about the maps. The next mode is called Attrition, which is basically Team Deathmatch which is pretty much common place in all first person shooters. The game has a tonne of weapons to unlock and finding the right combination for you is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game.
Squad Defense is a co-op mode, that sees you fighting in teams of 4 players as you defend oncoming waves of enemy AI soldiers. As the mode progresses it becomes harder and the enemies are increasingly challenging. Using the right weapons is vital here and the player with the most kills can actually call in an artillery strike.
The presentation of the game is also great, with detailed environments and realistic atmosphere. The desolate and dreary atmosphere works really well and I think portrays what WW1 would have been like to an extent. The sound doesn’t is fantastic and helps add to the sense of fear and tension as you move through the battlefield. You hear bullets whizzing by your head and the sound of footsteps around you makes things very unsettling. I recommend playing the game wearing a good headset to fully experience the games sound at its best.
Overall I really enjoyed my time with Verdun and I will certainly be going back for more. I’m not a huge fan of modern FPS games, but I will be checking out the new Battlefield game now as I’ve enjoyed the World War One setting. The game has a very different pacing to modern shooters and that’s not a bad thing. The game is best played with friends but the different modes to offer some gameplay variation and there are a lot of weapons to play around with. I do suggest giving this game a go, just don’t expect the same experience you would get with say Battlefield or Call of Duty.
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