It’s been many years since an older style World War II game came out. Specifically it was 2005 when Day of Defeat: Source was released. Now 12 years later we have New World Interactive has released Day of Infamy based on a modification to their game Insurgency. They brought game mechanics that made Insurgency a popular modern era game to World War II. Day of Infamy originally started out as a mod for Insurgency to later become a full fledged product. Does Day of Infamy have what it takes to warrant a purchase and take you back to yet to the beaches of Normandy and French towns? Let’s take a look.
Let us look at the visual quality of the game, including models, animations and environments. I’ll start off by saying that this game by no means looks amazing. It’s running on the Source engine so the game looks dated. Now that’s not a knock against the game by any means it’s more to let you know what to expect going into the game. While the graphical fidelity of the game can cause some people to loose interest in the game if you’re looking to push the boundaries of your computer hardware where this game shines is in the game-play.
This game proves that older style game play design can still be an exhilarating and enjoyable experience. The game play takes me back to yesteryear when things were simpler. Weapon switching was slower and had more weight to it. Not everyone has access to automatic weapons and just because you have an automatic weapon does not mean you will win the engagement. The weapon damage with regards to only being able to be shot once, twice if you’re lucky adds a lot to the suspense and realism to the game. Realism is something I think is lacking in today’s first persons shooters. The ability for players to take 10-20 rounds form whatever gun in other games lowers the ability overall of the player when they don’t have to aim and just sort of spray and pray. With Day of Infamy however you can only afford to get shot once. You only have one chance to make the right decision. These decisions vary depending on quite a few things. What path do you take to the objective? Do I take an extra grenade instead of additional rifle ammo? These types of decisions create for a very organic experience. Both sides depending on the game mode are either attacking or defending a position. This means that there is a very specific objective the player needs to adhere to. These objectives also influence the decisions the player has to make. I find the added realism to add yet another layer to these decisions and create a much more dynamic gameplay loop.
Along with the added realism of the bullet damage from guns both teams are also given a set number of waves of reinforcements. The number of reinforcements is determined by if you’re attacking or defending and what the maps is. The reinforcement mechanic adds yet another layer to the decisions that the player must make during the game. This also adds to the idea of being cautious because running out around the corner and getting shot and killed not only means you’re dead but that you have to wait for another wave of reinforcements before you can re-enter the action. So when you make a decision to follow your teammate around the corner perhaps you might think twice to if he is the right person to follow into battle.
This game has quite a bit customization if you compare it to older games such as Call of Duty 1-2 or Day of Defeat: Source. In Day of Infamy you can pick from different classes and each class has different weapons it can use along with different items that are specific to that class. There are 9 classes to choose from.
Different classes give access to different weapons. These include the MG42s for the MG-Schutze class or a flamethrower for the Flammschutze class. The classes also have a limit per team except for the Grenaider who you can have unlimited on your team. The Grenaider is the basic infantry unit has a basic rifle to start with.
You can only take into battle what you can put on your character in regards to weight points. At the start of the round you have X number of points and as you progress through the round you can gain additional points to spend on your character and weapon attachments.
It’s important to note that these choices are only round specific and are in no way permanent. There seems to be overarching progression that was added recently that I’ve yet to explore fully. They don’t feel like a grind at the moment and add some overall player progression to the experience.
The maps are your standard small scale first person shooter fair. They are for the most part well designed and provide good gameplay. They feel good and don’t over complicate things with being difficult to traverse. They all provide natural choke points that create some intense fire fights between teams. Visually they aren’t amazing but they do a good job of showing you what needs to be seen in order to make the correct tactical decision at the time.
This game is a breath of fresh air into a genre that has moved thematically past the natural balance that a game set in World War II provides. With the Battlefield series still trying to make a visually stunning game and succeeding at the cost of core gameplay and Call of Duty turning its nose up at any form of cohesion or acceptable level of tactical game play this game brings both of those things back into sharp focus. If you’re searching for that old school gameplay experience set in World War II with updated UI and game mechanics along with a very healthy dose of customization then this game is the best thing on the market for the time being.
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