Verdun Xbox One Review
Description from the Developers:
Verdun is the first multiplayer FPS set in a realistic World War One setting. The merciless trench warfare offers a unique battlefield experience, immersing you and your squad in intense battles of attack and defense. The game takes place on the western front between 1914 and 1918, in one of the bloodiest conflicts in world history. The developers were inspired by the infamous Battle of Verdun in 1916. There are 4 distinct game-modes: Frontlines, Attrition, Rifle Deathmatch, and Squad Defense. There are also many historically accurate features such as realistic WW1 weaponry, authentic uniforms, gore, and maps based on the real battlefields of France and Belgium.
The Frontlines game mode is unique in its tactical complexity. The realistically laid out trenches are challenging to fight in and require tactical cunning to capture and defend. The Entente and Central Powers strive to gain control of frontline sectors. In one battle you’ll find yourself rushing the enemy trenches during an offensive action in order to gain ground, while in another you might be defending your recently conquered ground against a fierce enemy counter-attack. Players can choose to be part of one of the many squad types in the game, each of which have their own distinct tactical roles. By working together with your friends, you can earn experience that improves the power and versatility of your squad. As you gain more experience fighting and get promoted in rank, you also earn Career Points which you can use to unlock specializations, weapons and equipment. In the Attrition game mode, the Entente and the Central Powers are pitted against each other in a single battle. Each side has a number of tickets which represents the amount of manpower they have. When a player is killed and respawns, a ticket is deducted from the side they belonged to. When a side has no more tickets, players of that side cannot respawn – the last side standing wins! The Rifle Deathmatch is a free-for-all game mode, where all players are pitted against each other in a thrilling contest of skill using only bolt-action rifles. In the Squad Defense mode, the player along with three squad-mates will have to defend a position as long as they can against endless waves of AI controlled attackers.
Verdun key features include:
• Realistic World War 1 gameplay: Authentic weaponry with realistic bullet physics, skill based weapon handling, accurate gore, poisonous gas with a claustrophobic gas mask experience, and ferocious artillery barrages
• Tactical squad-based FPS: Unique squad leveling system, distinct squad types and roles, and voice chat
• True trench warfare: Real-time dynamic frontline with momentum-based attack and counterattack gameplay
• Authentic World War 1 setting: Typical WW1 music and style, historical battlefields set on the Western Front
• Challenging game modes: Team-based Frontline, tactical Attrition, skill-based Rifle Deathmatch and desperate survival in Squad Defense
So finally we received Verdun on the Xbox One but was it worth the wait?
After reading comments in the past saying things like this is a Battlefield 1 beater as well as being an extremely realistic shooter, I had huge hopes for Verdun and now I’ll tell you about my experience with this World War 1 Trench Shooter.
Verdun is set back in World War 1, 1916 when the battle for Verdun Began. The Battle was the longest battle of WW1, claiming over 700,000 deaths, MIA and wounded solders!
What Verdun tries to do is give you the gruesome images of how it was to be knee deep in shit while trying to hold the line fighting for your country, I first opted for the single player mode which is one mode only being Squad Defence. This mode is a Wave Defence mode and each wave will basically have a conveyor belt of enemy troops running to your location to take you down and capture the trench.
This mode gives you the opportunity to create a squad and select the team of solders you want to use, 12 different nations in total including the Tommies, U.S Doughboys, U.S Marines, Belgians, Canadians, Poilus, Chasseurs Alpins, Alpenjager, Landser, StoBtrupp, Poiniere and Schutzen. Each one has a description of their style, Roles and abilites.
I continued on the defence mode for over eight rounds and then had to turn the single player off because I was so bored, round after round you find yourself picking off troops as they skate across the land to enter the trench unless you decide you want a bit of target practice and pick them off as they approach seriously though back to the character movement issue, these lot look like they have ice skates on and just glide side to side across the surface! If you do run around in the trench it can cause a little bit of a challenge due to the enemy flanking you, but fear not most of the time they will run straight past you and stand in front of you to take aim anyway and still miss. I’m not even sure if they know how to aim as they seem to just glide about in front of you and completely miss with any shots they take! The other option you have is going up close and personal and just stabbing them, one stab anywhere to body and they will go down in heap and won’t be a problem again and when I saw one stab anywhere I mean anywhere even one to the little bloody toe and they are down. If all that wasn’t easy enough every round you survive you gain a mortar strike so if you do see a decent amount of them coming you can mow them down with a mortar strike, but be careful as the mortar strike could actually be the enemy you should fear most and was the only one to kill me the whole time I played single player.
After leaving the single player I jumped straight into the multiplayer, 4 modes are available which include: frontlines, rifle deathmatch, attrition and squad defence. I selected frontlines which was described as a squad based trench warfare mode, from here you will be given the options to join a new game or create your own. Once a map is selected you are ready to go! The main objective in frontlines is to take the other teams trench area and will be a turn based system of attack and defend, clearly after a couple of minutes playing real people and not brainless bots you realise how bad the AI actually is! If you go running over no mans land and you will get shot down by the player opposite waiting. On a few occasions I found myself dying when really well hidden and then you see that from the out zooming death cam showing you laid out face first in the dirt, your character is actually showing as a bright pink or white marshmallow man, basically making you a very clear and bright target!
Next up I tried Attrition which is basically team deathmatch, after ten minutes of waiting in the game I was put in not one single player turned up so I left for rifle deathmatch. In rifle deathmatch it’s just all out war, kill anything that moves! There is the main problem with this mode, it’s a campers paradise and again with only around 4-6 people in the match you will struggle to find anyone unless you have a bit of a Rambo in the game that is willing to move around. One thing Verdun will do is make you pick your shots carefully as if you are trigger happy you will miss and by the time you have loaded up the next bullet into the barrel you will be dead, Verdun will make you stand still and take aim! I did however on a few
occasions experience lag, one time online the player in front of me glitched around a corner and then appeared from nowhere and shot me down! What would also have been nice is if you could have taken the gun of your fallen foes and switch your loadout, sadly you are stuck with what you have throughout.
The final mode in the multiplayer to try was squad defence, described as squad based wave defence. I personally didn’t hold out much hope for this mode as it was basically the same as the single player mode but with friends. After waiting for around 15 minutes to join a group or anyone to join mine I gave up waiting. The game does show the amount of players playing and at the time of writing this frontlines had 59 players, rifle deathmatch had 7, not a single player on attrition and 6 people on squad defence. It’s clear to see the game is really struggling to get players online with the issues the game has and unless you have a group of people you know playing there isn’t much to see in any of the multiplayer modes available.
Verdun does have a progression system in place and will require you to unlock weapons and attachments for the guns but this is still very weak compared to some of the customisation around in today’s games. Career points are earned while playing and can be used to unlock guns to use in the multiplayer modes, all stats for the game can be viewed in the account menu also showing things like the amount of deaths and kills you have got in total and playtime amount.
Another place where I felt suffered was a lack of atmosphere, there are sounds of bullets and the odd shout in the background but it’s not enough to immerse you into thinking you are actually fighting for your life in a body filled trench with friends around you dying and crying out for help! When using an automatic gun it sounded out of sync with what was showing on screen, as well as if you are moving around it can sound like someone is moving behind you but its actually the sound of yourself lagging behind the game slightly which can be extremely irritating The controls also feel sluggish at times and can frustrate when aiming!
Patch Coming Soon:
In it’s current state Verdun feels broken, textures popping in and out, lack of atmosphere, glitchy character movements and bullets missing while clearly hitting it’s intended target! Hopefully the upcoming patch that i’m told will fix the pink and white character glitch will also fix some of these other issues if not all of them, the main problem will be getting the players online! If the patch will be enough to save Verdun from being another example of a badly ported PC game is another thing completely!
Verdun can be brought digitally from the Microsoft store for £15.99 but I seriously recommend waiting for the upcoming patch to see if some of the problems are resolved before putting your hard earned cash into a game that honestly feels half finished!
It’s impossible to recommend Verdun at the time of writing, dead Multiplayer, lots of graphical glitches, terrible AI, control sloppiness and just a general lack of a finished product. At £15.99 it’s not on the high end of the price scale but paying that bit more for Battlefield One will be worth it as Verdun doesn’t even get close! Future patches may improve things but there will need to be some serious improvements to make Verdun a classic war game to remember with a few new features that need to be added.