So, I don't usually write reviews, but on this one, I thought I would finally write one.
First off, I like the WW1 setting and the trench warfare gamemode, Frontlines. Attacking and defending trenches, back and forth. Some games become quite intense.
And, just a reminder: this review is about if I can "Recommend" this game, or not, for others to buy. Liking the game and recommending it are two different things.
**As of 161, this is more of a middle-thumb review for recommendation, less of a thumbs down. A little more hard work from the great Dev team, and this will change to a "Recommended!"
*Frontlines: Fun trench warfare (Each side randomly attacks the enemy's trench, or defends their own at the start of battle. You get 1 point for a successful attack/defense. Team with the highest points wins the match, regardless of who got the most kills. After each successful attack, you have to defend your newly-earned trench. After each successful defense, you get to attack the next trench line. The more players you have in the trench line over the other team, the faster you capture the trench. =Teamwork is what it's all about!= Just because you can single-handedly sneak in to an enemy trench and wipe them out yourself, (I've done it before on several occasions) doesn't mean you'll capture the trench, or your teammates will come up to join you quick-enough to stop the flood of enemy players from swamping you and taking back their trench from your lone-assault. Always communicate with your team, via team-chat "U" and let them know where the enemy is, where you should charge, etc!)
*Authentic voices (french/german)
*Attention to detail when it comes to historical accuracy
*Classes which vary per squad type (currently, there are infantry squads, recon squads and assault squads, each with their own load-outs. This generates a lot of replayability trying to gain all the class unlocks for each squad type on each side)
*Each gun has its own sighting (learning how to properly aim each gun is a fun, and rewarding, part of the learning curve)
*As you play more with the same players, you unlock higher squad levels which have varying effects on everyone's classes. Most-notably, the mortar upgrade. (which can be extremely devastating)
*Overall, it can be very fun to play, especially with a few friends. (best with VOIP, of course)
*Small, attentive development team that really listens to their playerbase! (I count this as a plus, personally)
*Gas! There are four different types of gas attacks to use. The gas clouds linger for several minutes and basically lock-out a portion of the battlefield. Try battling in the gas with your gas mask on at your own risk!
*Some Sync/net-code issues ("dancing" sometimes works now, unless they are fairly close, but zig-zagging is your best bet. Some times, you will see the bullet zoom past you, then you will drop dead. Getting shot when you're behind a corner, or already standing in a trench from someone who is shooting over the trench)
*Shot Processing (Shots are chronologically sent to the server as fast as possible. Whichever shot reaches the server first, no matter if both shots were kill shots, the shot that wins kills its target, and the remaining bullet is completely deleted. Sometimes you will see your gun go off, full animation, sound effect, everything... Then, you drop dead. Your opponent, however? Perfectly fine. This "bullet erasure" is unacceptable, if a bullet is in the air, it is live, and should stay as such until it strikes something, in my opinion) ("Pass-through Shots"... this could be related to this, but I'm unsure. It seems since about 158 or 159, hit detection doesn't quite work right. You'll find yourself making point-blank, no movement, breath-held shots, only to see the round impact directly behind them with no effect at all. Recently, you can press F7 to see if you've actually hit and dealt damage to someone)
*Gas is slightly too weak. (considering the lethal nature of gas attacks, especially Mustard gas, the gas attacks which you can now call down every 4+ minutes are... a littleunderwhelming, however they will be improved over time) (Gas still feels a little weak (specifically Mustard) and is currently more-used as a smoke-screen)
*Assault (gas) squads mostly only have pistols, with a few exceptions and melee weapons. Rifles are fairly high unlocks for them, unless you're a one of a couple specific classes)
*A few gun/squad balance issues
**Numerous other small issues/bugs/character rest/Ghost/Reload/Graphics at long distance
My take: Personally, I love the game--when I don't run into tons of sync/net-code/shot processing. Some times, I find myself making perfectly aimed shots, only to have the bullet pass through my opponent, without it even registering, or some of the other Shot Processing problems. That being said, I've had many, many, many fun, and quite intense, games of Verdun. It's just, when the BS starts to mount up, its better to put the game down for a while, and come back in a few hours.
So, with all that said...
Do I like the game? Yes.
Can I recommend this game? (At list price) Almost! Gas squads add interesting gameplay, but needs slight improvement!
Can I recommend this game during a sale? Sure! You'll have a lot of fun, (and some frustration) but it's definitely worth picking up!
Do I regret buying this game? The game has come a long way since I started playing it. I have A LOT of fun sometimes. Other nights, it's just pure frustration. However, when I first started playing, the issues that used to exist overwhelmed me and I would rarely have higher than 10 kills with some 30+ deaths... Now, I'm usually around a 2:1 k/d ratio per game, sometimes higher. This varies of course... But, on average, it's about that. I fought through the issues the game once had, because there was just "something" that kept calling me back to it. I improved and learned to deal with the issues, until how I feel about the game now and many of the issues were fixed. Some nights, I am more-than happy I bought the game, even at list price. Other nights, I'd like nothing more than to uninstall it and never play it again. Moderating the frustration I have some nights, I find myself coming back to the game over and over again... Of late, with the responsiveness of a great Dev team, the game is constantly improving and issues are getting adressed. The game is a lot smoother than it once was, and the shooting feels much better. However, it does still have its problems--which, I'm sure will be solved over time.
Recently, a change to the unlocking system has made it so that you can unlock each loadout for each class after only a handful of games. While this varies combat a lot, and can provide more intense battles... This makes playing matches/getting kills a little less rewarding. Used to, having an '08/15 as a French (Entente) MG was a big deal. Now, you'll find most of them using it.
On a personal note: I would like to see a larger variety of weapons in the future, most-of-all. However, a smooth, stable, balanced, bug-free (as much as possible) game is more important to me, than shiney new weapons. Also, most-immediately, I'd like iron-sight accuracy to be improved. A while back there was an accuracy nerf to hipshots (much needed) and iron-sighting AND breath-holding. (increasing accuracy) Later, the breath-holding nerf was rolled-back a bit, but the other changes remain.
This game is considered Early Access, and will change, and improve over time. Should the game improve and/or my recommendation change, I'll change this review.
7/10 -- Very fun, but a little too buggy sometimes. Make sure you grab some friends with some VOIP, or make friends in-game! Squad-play and teamwork is key!
(Review was updated to v172 of the game)