Yet another competitive First Person Shooter is looking to join the world of esports, and it's called Battalion 1944. Set in World War 2, merely months after the recent Call of Duty went back to that time period, the game's lead designer, Joe Brammer, has explained all to PC Gamer.
Battalion 1944 is the soon-to-be-released product of a Kickstarter campaign that reached its goal in only three days. In fact, it smashed its target and raised a titanic £317,281. Players of games such as Call of Duty 2 no doubt clamoured for a game that would provide a good dose of nostalgia, and this game seemingly provides such a thing. So, why did Bulkhead Interactive choose WW2?
For us the draw has never really been WW2, if you know what I mean? It was popular when we were growing up playing FPS games, so it felt fitting to choose WW2. A staple part of our original Kickstarter campaign was to create a fair and balanced FPS game, WW2 weapons are pitted nicely against each other anyway, so it made a lot of sense to keep true to the weapons that each faction used and let the all out war between each faction commence. We didn’t want to let over-design get in the way of simplicity, because that’s what classic shooters are about, going back to basics. - Brammer
This fair, balanced approach to a game is nothing new, but if it's handled correctly then you can expect the game to build up a loyal, competitive fan base that could raise its profile massively in little time. Somewhat surprisingly, though, the developer wants Battalion 1944 to be moddable - which is a very different approach compared to many other games.
I want Battalion to be a platform for other people to be able to create some amazing mods. For me I’d like to see a mod that brings in a totally new faction that’s not been done before, maybe the Gurkas, or the German Resistance? Someone totally new that we can work with the mod team to make a part of the full game. Competitively of course, we’d love to see some great competitive maps that we can help fund if they look like they’re going in the right direction.
This approach is indeed refreshing in theory, but it does take away the standard, out-of-the-box feel that the game previously alluded to having. Brammer went on to reveal that while mods will be a part of the game, there will be no special abilities or extravagant weapons - keeping the game competitive at its heart.
Other games have this covered, it’s just not a part of our design ethos. We do have classes, but they’re limited in what they can do, it’s more competitive and balanced that way. The game will pit a team of five players against another team of five; a move that Brammer insists was the most competitive and effective when in testing.
So, all in all, it's worth giving the early access of Battalion 1944 a go when it's released on February 1 - it could just well be the next big FPS.
Film, television, comics, and esports writer for hire. byadamfitch.com