Verdun was the first modern FPS game to tackle the topic of the First World War. And despite the big budget arrival of Battlefield 1, it’s still perhaps the most realistic interpretation. There’s no ‘boy’s own’ story of single player heroism, or a wide range of planes, tanks and massively armoured Behemoths. Instead the desolation of the Western Front is a brown and grey panorama in which leaving your trench comes with a real risk of instant death, and precious yards are won at great cost. Now developers M2H and Blackmill Games tackle the Eastern front as the Tannenberg Open Beta Access begins.
The standalone expansion is now available on Steam Early Access for $17.99 (£13.99), and existing Verdun owners will get a 20% discount until December 1st, 2017. Also available is a Supporter Edition, with the game, special medal, soundtrack, artwork, scoreboard icon and bonus career points for $22.99 (£17.99).
Obviously it’s not the only Great War-based FPS game to expand and incorporate the Russian army. But it will include the Austro-Hungarian K.u.K troops alongside their German allies, fighting against the Russian Cossacks as part of the four distinctive squads in Tannenberg.
Four new maps, each with a range of different weather conditions, will aim to replicate the experience of the Eastern Front, along with 20 new weapons. And as the Tennenberg Open Beta access begins, there is also a new Maneuver game mode. This will put teams of 32 players against each other to try to control objective points to allow them to advance and cut off the enemy.
As part of the defined 1914-1918 WW1 Game Series from Blackmill and M2H, Tannenberg will obviously share some elements with Verdun. Some of that is graphical, while there are also familiar aspects of the gameplay, including an emphasis on co-operation. Verdun gave you an in-game incentive to remain close to your squad orders, and Tannenberg will reward you for team play by unlocking new squad abilities via co-operative XP.
The Tanneberg open beta access is for a game which is close to completion. All the content for release is in the game, and the Early Access period will focus on making balance, sound and performance improvements. There should also be a new user interface available before the full release in Q1, 2018, which will include easy switching between the Western and Eastern fronts in-game.
Tannenberg Map List:
- Tannenberg August 1914
- Carpathian Passes December 1914
- Battle of Bolimov 1915
- Brusilov Offensive June 1916
Verdun made the transition from PC to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Fans of the game will be relieved to know that it will continue to be supported and developed, with new content also expected early in 2018. Which means it’ll get the same visual and audio improvements used in Tannenberg.
Also in the new Tannenberg standalone will be full AI bot support, to ensure a full roster for epic battles whenever you play. That’s something which could definitely help versions of the game which have smaller player numbers (for example Xbox One). With more than 1 million copies of Verdun sold, the PC version should continue to be well-populated, and also get a boost as the Tannenberg Open Beta Access begins.
Player who have already tried Verdun will have a good idea whether they want to expand with Tannenberg to tackle the Easter Front. For PC gamers who haven’t yet sampled the 1914-1918 Game Series, a large part of it will be whether that period is of interest. Whereas triple-AAA studios will jump franchises through time to find the best period to sell copies, it seems Blackmill Games and M2H remain committed to developing around that conflict, which should have benefits from those willing to stick with them over time.
More TannenBerg Open Beta Access Screens: