New World Interactive’s pseudo-prequel to Insurgency, a PC sleeper hit, Day of Infamy, does absolutely nothing to change the formula for WWII shooters, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t any fun.
Disclosure: Press copy of Day of Infamy provided by developers.
I’ve been following the game’s development since before it first hit early access, when it was just a mod for Insurgency, and I can confidently say I notice absolutely no difference in the way the game plays, save for a much better user interface. Having said that, the final product is still very well polished.
Day of Infamy is a WWII class-based shooter with somewhat realistic gameplay. You won’t be seeing tanks driving around the maps, but don’t expect to bunny-hop around the map either, quick-scoping players with a hundred less hours logged than you in the game. This isn’t Call of Duty WWII.
Taking Insurgency’s slow paced combat and making it even slower by giving everyone bolt action rifles seems like a bad idea, but only further proves the game has never been about complicated and flashy gunplay, but teamwork and strategy. The dynamic between classes and their different weaponry is surprisingly well executed, and a team’s ability to work together is half of what determines who wins a fight.
The easiest way to determine how good a multiplayer game is how often you’re cheering, or laughing with strangers on the internet. I found myself enjoying most of the time I played the game, and when I was frustrated, other players were on the voice communications annoyed too, so you didn’t feel like you were shouting at a brick wall. When you peek out a window, and see a missile flying right at you, theres a mix of terror and comedy you cannot replicate in any other way. I might as well bring up my Call of Duty joke again, and ask those who’ve played COD before: how many times did you have a sense of anger when someone blew you up with a rocket launcher?
There’s an inherent sense of seriousness in the desire to win each round as well as a casual fun in teamwork. That’s really rare in modern multiplayer games where its all fun or all seriousness in competitive gamemodes.
Now, there are quite a few flaws to the game, such as the aforementioned lack of innovation. There are games which do everything this game does, and more. Red Orchestra 2 came out 6 years ago, and yet it has vehicle combat, plenty more weapons, and much better map design.
Speaking of 6 years ago, Day of Infamy looks like it was made in the late 2000s. Of course, the game is made in the source engine so expecting Crysis is unfair, but making a game on a decade old engine is ill-advised. You end up with images like this:
That just looks outright ugly. Nevertheless, its not like the developers were trying to make an ugly game, as the previous two screenshots can attest to, but graphics of course are not everything in a game. Like I said, the game is pretty fun to play so its easy to ignore the graphics.
There are also a ton of small technical issues, like the game crashing if I make any changes to video settings, or my microphone being disabled during the end of the round, but they aren’t gamebreaking and are only small annoyances.
The sad, but clear fact of Day of Infamy is that its the best thing we can play right now, as its the only populated realistic WWII shooter. Thankfully however, its a good WWII shooter, just not groundbreaking. I enjoyed most of my time since the early access release, all the way up to today. Anyone fond of Insurgency or any other WWII shooters will have a good time with Day of Infamy.
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