Up until a few days ago, I had the general sense that gamers were over their infatuation with WWII titles. Sure, I know there are a few WWII games out there currently, some of which have a solid fan base. By and large though, the industry has moved onto other themes. I thought players had as well, until earlier this month when Bulkhead Interactive’s multiplayer FPS, Battalion 1944, destroyed its Kickstarter goal of $145,000 in a mere three days. As of writing, Bulkhead has hit over double its initial goal and now stands at over $327, 000. Impressive for a genre with only fringe popularity.
I was wrong, very wrong.
Here’s how Bulkhead describes its Kickstarter baby: “In short, Battalion 1944 is an infantry based first person shooter with an emphasis on raw skill. No grinding, no ‘exosuits’, just you and your skill as a player.” Built on Unreal Engine 4 and through the creative minds of a small studio staffed by those who grew up with famed WWII shooters like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty 2, Battalion 1944 wants to usher the competitive WWII shooters of old back into the spotlight.
One of the ways Battalion 1944 seeks to differentiate itself is through realism, both in gameplay and the setting. “Our incredibly talented art team are designing a visually stunning recreation of World War 2 and have even travelled to Normandy for reference and research to make the maps as authentic as possible,” says Bulkhead. You can see the team in various places throughout Normandy in the video attached to this article. In fact, map locations are based on the actual battlegrounds of the Allied campaign, modified for proper balance.
The development of Battalion 1944 is one that will be worth watching and getting excited about. Bulkhead is promising a beautiful and balanced final product with longevity, and so far, there’s no reason to doubt them. Even WWII FPS naysayers like me might have to start paying attention.
According to the game’s Kickstarter page, the launch is estimated for May 2017 for PC (Steam), Xbox One and PS4.