Verdun is supposedly the first WWI FPS. Made by two indie companies with a total of three developers, while many think such low development wouldn't be successful, the game proves them wrong.Presentation
Graphics in this game are superb, not many people expect much more out of an indie company. There are some graphic options in the menu however I wish there was just a bit more. Currently there are no sound controls, but the developers said they will add it in at a later date. As far as the battlefields go, they are rather spectacular, however somewhat bland. There is detail in every little part, with huge craters in no man's land, dead animals in the middle of no man's land barbed wire all over, it gives the player a feeling like they are actually experiencing WWI. Currently there are three maps, but I believe that they are working on adding more, all three look authentic and believable. However there are some drawbacks. Low frame rates haunt almost every player in this beta, while not unplayable it's more annoying, especially when you get killed because your fps dropped during the action. Hopefully this can be fixed before release. (UPDATE: Devs have released an update, upgrading their engine and fixing some lag, while I still experience some, it is minimized.) The menus are a bit buggy, but overall the devs have done a superb job on the visual side.Gameplay
Gameplay is supposedly centered around you squad and your role in it. Yet with no current voice chat and little incentive to stay with your squad, your officer could be on the complete other side of the map and it would have no influence on your gameplay. However if you play with your friends and you really drive your squad based gameplay, it can actually help, turning your squad into a cruel fighting machine. This game has a leveling up system, your squad levels up with new uniforms and tech, and you have your own level, aswell as your rifles get leveled up. The leveling system needs some work as it doesn't seem like it is that responsive or effective. The main mode (or atleast what I presume is the main mode) is what their version of what the western front is. You get a set amount of time to storm the enemy trench with your team. If you can kill everyone in that trench and hold it for a set amount of time that is now your front line trench and you have to defend for the same amount of time. However if you are unsuccessful in storming the trench, you have about 30 seconds to retreat back into your trench and defend. If you don't make it back in 30 seconds you're deemed a deserter and are killed, but more on that later. I assume the gameplay is actually decently realistic, removing some factors, but is pretty fun. The other game mode is a rifle deathmatch. Basically it is a free for fall across the entire map. This is a great way to work out the maps and practice your rifling skills. One of the problems with this game is that you die way too much. It's easy to die in a normal game 30+ times. Some would call this being realistic and I get that, but at points it can just be annoying. Another aspect mentioned earlier is that if you go outside the area of the map the game wants you to be in you can be killed because you're "abandoning". If you go behind where you're supposed to, you are killed. If you leave you're trench and go forward when defending you are killed. If you're attacking and you go past their trench you are killed. This can get annoying, however it does push the WWI playstyle so it is not such a madhouse. Another annoying feature is how deadly the barbed wire is. One can simply run into them and die a few seconds later, I don't know how realistic this is, but it sure is annoying if you don't see it. The gameplay is fun, although I hope they optimize it more to make it a great game.Multiplayer
This game is currently solely multiplayer, however the devs had mentioned in the forums they are looking to add a multiplayer mode with bots, which I really hope they do, just incase I can't play online. As far as online goes the players are actually extremely nice. The players on this game are no Dota players, they actually help you out, even if they are on the opposite team, and I've seen that the teams have joked around with each other creating a great environment. Most everyone in the forums are nice aswell, answering my questions and inviting me to play with them when I didn't even ask. I hope that this can remain true beyond it's release.Extras
The devs are working on many things, they just released a nice Christmas update where there is a new Christmas map and you can throw snowballs at one another. This is a nice little addition, and unneeded, but it was nice of them to add it. The devs say that they will add more before release and I hope they can come through, The game is really spectacular for just three devs, and I look forward to more.Summary
Verdun is a unique WWI first person shooter by a dedicated indie team that pulled it off with a great dynamic gameplay and different game modes. With a few minor drawbacks this is a great experience any first person shooter or history fanatic should checkout, and I know I'll be playing for awhile.
Edit 02/21/2014: Developers have done an extreme amount of work to this game, making it nearly impossible to keep the review fully updated, while the review fully grasps the general sense of the game, the developers have worked on maps, classes, bugs, performance and more. Therefore the review will receive a full overhaul when the game officially releases.
Edit 01/13/2014: Added side note for performance due to update.
Edit 12/22/2013: Grammar fixes.
Posted: December 21st, 2013