Review: Verdun (PS4).
In recent days, you’ve probably played the Battlefield 1 (PS4) beta, and some of you are considering buying this promising DICE production. Some because it’s simply a new Battlefield, and others – because they missed the wars of the last century. It is they who should take a look at Verdun (PS4) set during the First World War.
Verdun (PS4) appeared in Early Access almost a year and a half ago, and this year it made its official debut on the PC. After a few months, the production of Blackmill Games can be bought and installed on our PS4 consoles, of course equipped with a PlayStation Plus subscription. Why with PS Plus? Well, because in Verdun (PS4) we only play online. The lack of a single player campaign is not a problem, although it would be nice to take part in an adventure from that period.
Verdun (PS4) offers four game modes. Squad Defense is a cooperative fending off waves of enemies. Not very exciting fun that most will miss after the first attempt. Riffle Deathmatch and Attrition are two competitive modes that are stubbornly avoided by players, and can only be used as a training ground for newbies to test the classes of soldiers and weapons. If we want to play, Frontlines is the only right choice.
The Frontlines mode is easiest compared to the Battlefield Rush. 32 players are divided into two teams, each of them into four squads of four. The task of each team is to capture a point protected by the opponents and thus move the front line. In order not to be too easy, we conduct the attack under time pressure, and after it expires, the opponent gets a chance to counterattack and reflect the lost target or tear out a piece of our territory for himself. Battles can last thirty minutes, so remember that this is not a quick-play game before you leave the house. Currently, an average of 300 players play on European servers. This is not a success number, but following the PC example, it’s safe to assume that this is a group of regularly returning gamers and there should be plenty of people to play with for a long time to come.
The release of the game set during World War I just before the premiere of Battlefield 1 (PS4) seems like a marketing shot in the knee, and even in both, but after a few moments in the trench, I realized that this is not another EA killing or chaotic bustle published annually by Activision. Verdun (PS4) tries to show what the battles of a century ago looked like without compromising to please the masses. Leaping out of a trench and a thoughtless charge ends in almost immediate death. In most cases, one shot (not necessarily to the head) is enough to kill the opponent, so forget from jumping and frantically waving the knob to make the ball pass by. So how do you play it? Above all, be patient. Conquering the terrain is tedious movement through the trenches, looking for natural cover in open ground, and constantly avoiding obstacles. Using the head before pressing the button on the pad is required as anywhere else. Here, even getting your legs entangled in the barbed wire can end up respawning …
The one shot, one kill principle introduces something that is not found in console FPS games. The bolt-action rifles from that period required reloading after each shot, so a missed attempt makes us virtually defenseless and we have to wait for the opponent’s ball … well, unless he misses. Machine guns, on the other hand, have such a great recoil that hitting anything at medium range is almost a miracle. I quickly verified my skills and learned humility, started to respect ammunition, look for the element of surprise and work with my squad.
Squads, i.e. four-person units within the team, play a similar role as in the Battlefield series. Team members vary in weapons and equipment, and one player becomes a commander (NCO) who can issue orders from a fairly convenient command wheel. Contrary to the previously mentioned high-budget productions, we can choose the parties to the conflict in various departments. Care was taken to reproduce the troops of the Entente and Central Powers troops in detail, and most importantly, the armaments characteristic of them were not forgotten. Depending on the side and class you choose, both rifles and handguns differ, and soldiers have different abilities. Some run faster, others have a firmer hand, and commanders have unique weapons (e.g. mustard gas). Interestingly, in addition to promoting the soldier to the next levels, the squads will also advance. Playing with friends, it’s easy to jump to a higher level and unlock add-ons, but you can also win something by working with “random” players.
I have the biggest complaints about the technical aspects of Verdun (PS4). The game just looks poor. Maps that are poor in detail (replicating real battlefields) are bathed in very harsh colors. It is known that trenches are dust, dirt and stench, but the lack of any contrast just stings the eyes. Already burn badly problems with orientation due to twin-looking spots, much worse that the uniforms of soldiers very often blend with the background. On several occasions, I didn’t see another player until I got in. A solid amendment on this aspect would be nice. The sound is so-so – the sounds of shots and explosions are juicy, pounding strongly in the headphones, but there is no music that would emphasize important moments during the clashes.
Is Verdun (PS4) worth buying? This uncompromising, raw, cooperative online shooter will convince players who prefer tactical terrain and enemy recognition over graphic bells or dynamic lead exchange. It hurts that we only have one gameplay mode worth mentioning and technical imperfections. For the price, however, it’s worth a try.