Verdun – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Strategy, FPS, Indie
Developers: M2H, BlackMill Games
Publishers: M2H, BlackMill Games
Platforms: PC
Release date: Sept 2014

Verdun – Preview

Good: Turn-based gameplay is a great concept, authentic WW I setting, stunning visuals
Bad: Lacks storyline, no explanation of the leveling system, depths of field is concerning, no kill-shot cam
User Score
10.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)

M2H and BlackMill Games are collaborating on Verdun, a first person shooter that tries to be historical correct as much as possible. Verdun is set during the First World War, inspired by the rather shockingly unknown battle of Verdun in 1916. A great concept that will leave many gamers nostalgic with stunning visuals and a refreshing turn-based gameplay.

Verdun

As Verdun is an online multiplayer first person shooter game set during World War I, you are met with authentic music and historical correct maps of the biggest battles during the first World War such as Flanders, Picardie, Argonne and Vosges. The first two being the most favorite maps and the latter one following close behind. While the game certainly has an overabundance of historical correct culture in it, it lacks the actual storyline. World Wars should never be forgotten and the concept is truly wonderful but the lack of storyline that comes with it is saddening. Not everyone is at an age where they know what happened during these battles. A short intro would do wonders and can easily be implemented in a tutorial of the game – which is sadly also lacking.

Verdun almost plays like a typical shooter albeit the tactical side of it is a nice feature. Instead of running around, mindlessly shooting enemies, you are forced to play it somewhat turn-based. As there are two sides, the French and the German sides, you will be defending your trench from enemy attacks or you will be attacking the enemies forces in their trench. Points will be rewarded if your team has either captured the enemies trench or successfully defended your own. The games lasts quite long but due to the turn-based strategy it uses, those forty-five minutes are well needed. Instead of playing in one large team, you will be playing in squads of four players. This may seem troublesome to some but it works quite well and you will still be able to see and communicate with the other squad teams on your side. There are two different kinds of squads, on both sides, each having four unique roles to choose from, ranging from an officer to support gunner to observer. A downside to this is that you may want to play a specific class but you are unable to because that class is taken in every squad. To avoid this you can create your own squad and lock the class you are playing – thus avoiding to be switched around.

Verdun gameplay 2

Something that will leave many players confused is the leveling system in Verdun. You have your account level, your squad level and weapon level. A squad level is based on how well your squad members are performing. The higher the level, the tougher your squad will be. Your account level is based upon how well you are performing yourself but this is only a number without a true meaning. The weapon levels are the most important levels in my eyes. As each class has a different weapon, it will take a while to level every single weapon up – however, the perks of leveling up your weapons are quite good. Leveling up one specific rifle in one class will unlock rifles and attachments such as a bayonet, scope or stripper clips. A question that may be floating in everyone’s mind now is, can’t you choose your own type of weapon per class? Simply said, no you cannot. The classes in Verdun are not to be compared with the classes in the modern Call of Duty or Battlefield series. You will start out with the simple version of everything. Once you start unlocking, your class will become stronger. A slightly confusing setup for the classes but something you will learn to get used to in the long run.

Verdun art

Something that I found missing in Verdun is the kill-shot cam which has almost become a necessity in modern first person shooters. While the kill-shot cam may not always be helpful to you, it would be lovely to see how exactly you have gotten shot – especially in a bumpy field when you are lying at the bottom of a crater. Not to mention the fact that it will remove the issue of campers and possibly spawn-killers although I have to be honest that you will not come across many of those thanks to the turn-based gameplay. Instead, Verdun lets you spectate another player from your team for the ten to fifteen seconds that you need to wait for respawn. This would be enough time to show you a kill-shot cam and you would not have to deal with spectating players that are in the process of getting killed themselves.

The visuals in Verdun are absolutely stunning and I wish I could stick with that simple fact. However, the depths of field is horrible and it may take you a while to tweak your settings to a desirable depths of field setting. It remains a major annoyance after tweaking but this is something you can work around once you’ve figured out how to lessen the annoyance of it. As the maps are cluttered with trees, killer barbwires that can get you killed, destroyed tanks and other objects, finding an enemy is easier said than done. However, even after all that, the visuals in the game remain to be a huge advantage of Verdun as they are incredibly detailed from the objects in the fields to the trenches to the equipment of the soldiers.

Verdun gameplay

Conclusion

As Verdun is in Early Access, coming across bugs, unpolished animations, graphics and glitches is quite normal. Some of these bugs have been quite concerning but the developers are tackling them down extremely fast which is why I don’t feel the need to discuss these bugs any further.

As I grew up with the classic WW II games such as Medal of Honor Breakthrough and Call of Duty 2, I’ve always found it sad that the modern first person shooters no longer feel like genuine war games. This is why the concept of Verdun, from the WW I setting down to the turn-based gameplay, is certainly great and refreshing. While you still cannot compare it to the Call of Duty franchise, Verdun does have a good shot of being one of the greatest WW I first person shooter games there is.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Verdun - Preview, 10.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and Iā€™m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

3 Comments

  1. […] while ago we’ve previewed Verdun, the collaboration of M2H and BlackMill Games. We’ve had a chance to sit down with Jos Hoebe […]

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  2. […] We’ve previewed the early access version of this turn-based shooter, which you can read about here, but much has changed since then. There were many changes that were about to be released when […]

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  3. 3rd-strike.com | Verdun – Review
    December 31, 2015, 18:06

    […] glory. Many features and content has been added only shortly after our preview, which you can read here, but even more has been added […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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