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Verdun review: A thoughtful, squad-based take on WWI

Hayden Dingman | May 19, 2015
It feels like they'll never stop coming. Through my rifle's oversized scope I watch German after German bob and weave across the battlefield, their spiked helmets popping up for mere instants before sinking back down into another crater, edging ever closer to our trench.

All I can do is speak to right now, and right now the servers are fine. I've never waited more than a few seconds to get into a match, and although the community is small games always tend to fill up to the full roster of 32.

The netcode could also use some work, however. I occasionally encountered issues with enemies teleporting as the netcode struggled to catch up, as well as some bouts of intermittent lag — though with the latter it was hard to tell whether it was a server issue or someone's ping. I did see someone with a ping of over 900 in my server at one point, which was...eye-opening.

Bottom line

As a history buff, I've read a lot of books and watched a lot of films about World War I, but there's something different about experiencing that sort of event from the first-person perspective. Verdun isn't necessarily going to enthrall every shooter player (though I personally love the crack of its bolt-action arsenal), nor does it fully capture the horrors of World War I. I'm not sure any game could, at least with our current technology.

But I really enjoy Verdun. With how important the Great War was, it's satisfying to see smaller developers (or small teams within larger developers, in the case of Valiant Hearts) getting the chance to explore this tragedy through more niche games.

Combine that with an approach that actually makes sense for a shooter — Verdun's Frontlines mode really is sort of ingenious — and I think this is definitely one worth checking out, especially if you're already interested in the subject matter.


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