Tannenberg PC Review
Hard to see enemies
First Person Shooters are more than anything, an action oriented genre. The fast pace action puts you in the shoes of usually a soldier fighting for his life in places where death is practically imminent. However, with this frenetic action, there’s usually game mechanics that take you out of the feel of the moment, especially if you are playing in an environment that should be worth looking at, but so many just pass by. Blackmail Games has taken a different approach and has you play a solider in the famous 1915 battle of Tannenberg, but this time with as much accuracy to the environment, gear, and weapons as possible making it more like a painting that’s trying to kill you.
Tannenberg is another of their WW1 series, in which Verdun was their last creation. This is a different battle, but also a better game as its much faster than Verdun, and allows for a lot more movement and use of the battlefield for strategic supremacy. Tannenberg really does have the feel of surviving with your squad by hiding, running through the trenches, and has an interesting mix of both natural environment and urban combat. The attention to detail is really quite amazing as everything is so period specific and has such a real feel to it. The level design offers so many paths to take and yet all of them are so different so you can charge ahead, you can go for a turret, or crawl the trenches to surprise from behind so it adds a lot of re-playability and caters to so many play styles.
While the details are quite good, and the graphics are nothing to sneeze at, the actual gameplay can be a bit of a steep learning curve. It’s fairly unlike most FPS in that its more squad based, and you have to worry about terrain and conquering a territory while sticking close to your squad and doesn’t really reward the lone wolves out there. While I do appreciate the period accurate weapons and dress, I found it very hard to notice who was on my side, and who wasn’t, and because of the 65 players per map max, that can be a literal life and death thing to know. This might increase the realism, as no one in real life has a red marker above their head, but even more of a subtle indication might help the gameplay without killing the illusion.
The enemies might also be hard to spot because it’s still in early access, and the player base never seems to fill a game, so there are a great deal of bots around to kill, but that really diminishes the experience since the AI is not great, and easily predictable. However, given the passion seen in its development, and the lower cost of this versus a AAA game with the same ideas, I can see this becoming much more popular and the AI itself could be improved with time and effort, fixing both problems.