Divided We Fall is currently in early access and what feels like early development as well, the game itself is a close-combat strategy multiplayer game that relies on team-driven tactics to secure victory. The player, that’s you, will command your troops through WW2 scenario’s being able to fight in 1v1 battles or join battles with up to 15 others per side meaning a total of 120 soldiers out on the battlefield. You can become a commander if you are the highest-ranking player of a team and this allows you to come up with your side’s plan of action along with assigning weapons to the soldiers through use of the in-game board interface.
There are currently four game-modes to choose from which include Training, which is the only mode you can enter solo in order to get to grips with the games controls and mechanics, Ranked & Reinforcements that require a minimum of 1v1 to be able to get into and then Regiment in which a minimum requirement of 2v2 must be met before entry. You have 11 maps available currently, each are relatively small which works with the small-scale war gameplay and each have unique layouts, buildings and landmarks to traverse.
Gameplay is typically smooth yet slow-paced which is synonymous with strategy style games, you can select one soldier or the entire squad and order them to move into a set position, attack the enemy, take cover or throw a grenade. It can certainly be daunting at first, whether it’s controlling one soldier at a time or a group as you must keep an eye out for enemy soldiers in either of your troops line of sight. The enemy can come from anywhere and trying to control four soldiers in four different areas can be stressful leading to certain death, in the game anyway. After a few games, I found myself getting better each time, more kills, better strategy and generally just being faster on the controls.
Speaking of controls, there is definitely a bit of learning curve, for your hand placement that is, picture this, moving the map view around using W, A, S & D, selecting your soldiers using numbers 1 to 4 and your grenades can be selected by either alt of the G key, once selected you must right-click to initiate the throw to wherever you select. These controls require fast reflexes and I feel they require you have fingers that can bend in all sorts of directions, I am optimistic however that with fine-tuning the controls will be nailed and no longer feel like such a strain on the left hand.
There is a key problem balancing and gameplay wise currently, that being grenades, each soldier has far too many grenades at five each which have a devastating effect on your opposition, plentiful and deadly really and have been the main reason for a player to win or lose any game and I’m hoping this is being looked into as the grenade meta, sucks.
One thing going for Divided We Fall is the visuals, not in terms of fidelity and detail but instead the level design and textures used match the world the game is trying to portray. Each map looks like it was taken from a WW2 battlefield. The UI I can only describe as basic, it’s simple and it works, nothing too fancy which for early access it really doesn’t need to be but it would serve the game well to give the UI a bit of an overhaul down the line. Currently a bunch of shaded rectangles with plain writing in the middle is what the interface mainly consists of, it’s not pretty. The mini-map also suffers with lack of detail instead taking the look of being drawn by a child, freehand and on a napkin and this causes the level of immersion to suffer.
To be a great WW2 game, authenticity is a must and fortunately KAVA Game Studio have included what sounds like realistic sound effects, each weapon sounds exactly how you would imagine it to and I often found myself getting rather hyped once a fight broke out and the sound of gunfire echoed through my ears out of my headphones. That’s not to say outside of a gun-fight you don’t feel like you are in the battle, the ambient soundtrack is filled with rustling of the trees, typical critter sounds and the eerie noise of bombings taking place in surrounding areas.
There is a major issue plaguing Divided We Fall at the moment and that is the very minimal community, there is a severe lack of players which results in you not being able to play the game at all other than step into training which serves no purpose other than to show you the controls, there is no action at all. I waited for a couple of hours waiting in a lobby to get a game together but was un-successful, in my second and third attempts at earlier times (GMT time-zone) I had gotten better luck, being able to jump into a game and play to practice my skills. Now the community may be small but from what I have experienced they are extremely helpful which do credit to the game and the developers as this aids in increasing consumer retention.
This WW2 Strategy game has a lot of promise and I will certainly be keeping an eye on its development throughout the early access cycle right through to launch. In its current state however I can’t necessarily recommend it for being a great experience, but more a recommendation to get more players invested to make it a great experience. There are issues but there are also glimpses of glory, the developers are taking steps in the right direction and will hopefully continue that way.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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