Tannenberg – Preview
Follow Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: M2H Blackmill Games
Publisher: M2H Blackmill Games
Platform: PC, Mac OS X, Linux
Tested on: PC

Tannenberg – Preview

Good: Solid, easy to learn core gameplay
Bad: Brings nothing new to the table
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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

After years and years of modern shooters, triple-A developers are going back to their roots, actual historic wars. Yes, where for more than a decade shooters were dominated by heartbeat monitors and AC-130’s, we’re now shifting back to horses and bayonets. As we turn back to old markets, devs get a chance to decide: do we fall back on established tropes and markets, or do we innovate and improve? Especially with such a massive shift, room for newer smaller studios is made. Studios that hopefully bring new ideas to a genre, shake it up a little, and with any luck leave the scene better than we found it. M2H, creators of Verdun, and now Tannenberg are filling that space, but how is what we’re about to find out.

Tannenberg logo

Tannenberg is the location of one of the earliest battles of World War 1, and its namesake tries to emulate the experience. The game therefore takes the setting of the battle and everything that comes with it. Though as a multiplayer FPS, the battles obviously never end. Which is of course good luck for the sergeant of the red army, he took his own life after the defeat. With no story modes implemented and no outlook on one, Tannenberg focuses on its multiplayer experience. All of the historical context that comes with a game in this setting only comes after the player googles the name of the game and realizes what they’re playing. It is then up to the player to research further into the topic.

Tannenberg (3)

A life of war does not come with a fresh paint of color on the walls of your standard issue tent. The game’s precise setting also does not offer a lot of options either, lots of it being one of deep winter and heavy snow. This limits the amount of range you can get in a game, and so the darks and lights of the burned buildings and pristine snowy ground start to blend together in places and stand off against themselves in others. While it does not surprise anyone, this also means that the uniforms of your teammates and enemies are designed to blend in with the trees making them hard to spot. There are no indicators of teams, no colors to show alliances. This is of course not a new mechanic, but it does make you think who you’re shooting, and that only adds to the realistic approach the game is going for.

Tannenberg (5)

Tannenberg’s FPS-style gameplay is clearly influenced by squad-based shooters like Battlefield. A quick look at the developer’s website confirms this as they previously worked on mods for a game in the series. The players on both teams are thrown in a corner of a large map near a local capture point, and most of the combat will be around capturing other control points on the map. When one team is ahead over another, a resource timer starts ticking down, at 0 the fight ends and the leading team wins. Teams are made of squads and squads consist out of 4 players, which is also a clear reference to the Battlefield series of games. Upon death, players can choose to spawn in one of the capture points your side of the fight have on lock down, or in the middle of the fight near a player. On a team’s level, they have a couple of ranks, but they don’t seem to serve any purpose, as your teammates will just do as they please anyway. On an individual level there is some customization of classes, you get career points that you can spend to get new class load-outs.

Tannenberg (1)


The base code of the Tannenberg client seems to be in part derived from its bigger brother Verdun, and you will find the bugs and problems in this game to be the same across both clients. This would be fine if they were relatively little major bugs or the devs are actively working on making the experience overall more pleasant. This does not however seems to be the case. As we started this article with, in order to stand out these days, games have to try something new to capture an audience and that is the problem with Tannenberg. While it isn’t a bad game per-sé, it is ‘just another shooter’. The influence of existing triple-A titles is there, like the squad system from Battlefield, and there is very little innovation to be found. There are very little gameplay modes, and the customization of your player is limited not only by the available guns in the setting, but also in its systems. The solace is that the game is still very much in early access, and systems are under ongoing development.

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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Tannenberg - Preview, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 26, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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