War. War never changes. After shooting my way through a few hours of New World Interactive’s take on World War II, I am glad they didn’t change it. What started off as a total conversion mod on the popular modern-military shooter Insurgency, quickly grew into a standalone release on Steam. Priced at $19.99 USD, Day of Infamy sticks to its guns by providing a multiplayer experience that doesn’t stray away from the beaten path provided by classic FPS games such as Day of Defeat and Red Orchestra. As a result, the game feels polished and provides an enjoyable and tense multiplayer experience.
What the game lacks in innovation, it more than makes up in gameplay consistency. The game consists of your bread and butter game modes: Multiplayer, Co-op and Solo missions. If you’ve ever played Insurgency, you’ll feel right at home with the team-based multiplayer and the wave based co-op. Fair play to NWI though, they do try to throw a spanner in the works by adding new gameplay mechanics such as the ability to use a mortar and a flamethrower, and the former gave me some of the most exciting moments I had experienced in an online multiplayer game.
Imagine being curled up in the fetal position as your squad is under heavy suppressive fire, waiting for backup to arrive and then realising as the mortars rain down all around you, that there is no hope. There is no survival. It was these visceral moments that truly made the multiplayer shine. Coupled with the game’s excellent use of VOIP, which is very similar to the system used in games such as DayZ, where anybody in the local area can hear you, including enemies, and you have a recipe for success (or disaster, given you’re in a war).
The gameplay hasn’t changed much from Insurgency, apart from the aforementioned new mechanics. The game is still brutal for newcomers and veterans alike. You can be gracefully plucked away from your mortal coil by a single bullet at any given time. Taking cover is essential to survival, coordinating with your team is necessary and I probably wouldn’t play this game without a headset, as communication is key to a successful war. The ‘weight’ system from Insurgency is also present, ensuring you don’t “carry” too many items with you. The lack of changes has been a good thing, as Insurgency nailed down the brutal and tactical nature of war and Day of Infamy picks up from where Insurgency left off.
Alas, not everything was coming up Millhouse. The game does have a few niggling issues, but given it’s in an alpha state right now, and the fact that the devs have continuously churned out updates so far, I’m certain that most of these will be fixed upon launch day. For starters, the game does use a terrible font in the game menus. Maybe it was just me, but I found it extremely hard to read some of the in-game tips. Moreover, the game does have a few performance issues, it crashed on me more than once and I did get a few frame drops here and there. It wasn’t No Man’s Sky levels of bad, but it did slightly detract from the overall polish of the game. That said, in the grand scale of war, these are some minuscule issues.
Overall, whether you’re a new recruit looking to get a feel for the rather unpleasant nature of war, or a seasoned veteran from Insurgency looking to get a change of scenery, Day of Infamy is my favorite slice of WWII on the PC. It perfectly captures that nostalgic feel that comes from a good day’s raid on the beaches of Normandy. No game has managed to quite encapsulate that sense of despair that is a result of war, as you engage in close-quarters combat with the enemy in order to win a battle. With mod support also very accessible, this is a definite purchase for any fps aficionados.