Papa’s got a brand new bag…
If there’s one game that’s been burned into my retina since its initial unveiling, it would be Battalion 1944 by a mile. In an age where FPS titles are annual franchises, the simple and graceful gameplay design found in the likes of classic shooters such as Unreal Tournament and Call of Duty 2 have been lost somewhat in recent years, something that Bulkhead Interactive have been hard at work trying to replicate with Battalion 1944. Announced on Kickstarter in the early months of last year, the game’s reveal scratched an itch that clearly needed to be scratched, as it has very little trouble surpassing its initial £100,000 funding pitch. I got the chance to play the throwback shooter at EGX this year, and while it was only a small slice of the overall product, it reinforced the notion that the game would take up a good portion of my spare time upon its release (a.k.a. goodbye social life). The game was extremely fun to play, placing me in a Allies vs. Axis deathmatch offering some classic FPS tropes such as a decently paced TTK and tight, close quarters combat, favouring skill over convenience. The presentation and attention to detail found within the weapons, uniforms and level design were also top notch, being a strong indicator that Bulkhead are approaching the title with some level of historical accuracy in mind.
Today, Bulkhead released a video detailing the development of Battalion 1944, what they hope to achieve come launch as well as their recent trip across the channel to the north of France. The purpose of the trip was to gain a perspective into the brutality of WW2, studying every aspect of the conflict as well as the weapons that were used by both forces in the war. In a press release from Bulkhead themselves, Howard Philpott (Creative Producer at Bulkhead Interactive) stated that their main focus during development was “to really understand the brutality and the visceral nature of the Second World War.” something that’s said all too much when it comes to WW2 shooters (starting at you COD WW2). However, from playing the game first hand and talking with Director Joe Brammer himself at EGX, it’s evidently clear that the game has been a labour of love for Brammer and the rest of the talented crew over at Bulkhead, using their love for old-school FPS games as a solid foundation to build a modern shooter laden with nostalgia, that captures the core spirit of classic multiplayer shooters for the next generation.
The worldwide release trailer for Battalion 1944 is set to release on Tuesday 9th January 2018, with the release of the game following soon after. Bulkhead also announced that the title would retail for £11.99 on release, initially going into early access on Steam with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions following some time after. If you’re a fan of old school shooters, you owe it to yourselves to check this one out when it launches next year, something tells me you won’t be disappointed.