If you’re a fan of FPS games, the Battlefield series, in particular, you should have heard about World War 3 (WW3 going forward) by now. If you haven’t, you’ve probably lived under a rock, in which case I cannot help you. WW3 is a Battlefield genre styled game developed by Polish developers “The Farm 51.” If you’ve never heard of them before, don’t worry, neither have I prior to WW3. Upon research, they’ve only developed a handful of games, with what I would say the most popular prior to WW3 being Painkiller: Hell and Damnation. That’s not to say they are new to developing games, they’ve been in the business since 2005. WW3, I would assume, their largest undertaking by far, whether that’s a good thing or not is to be seen, as you will see below.
WW3 is a typical FPS game. It’s set in, you’d guess it, World War 3. The game plays out much like any Battlefield series you’ve played to date. You play on a large map with tanks and infantry (no Aircraft as of yet), and battle for control over objective points. You’re set onto one of two factions, East, or West, each with different weapons and armor. The difference between the Battlefield series and WW3 lies within the unique approach to the genre. WW3 takes Battlefield and mashes it up with games like Call of Duty and Escape from Tarkov. By that I mean you have a sort of “killstreak” that you can use to help you in combat, and a ton of customization’s for your character’s equipment. Each loadout can have up to 4 different scorestreaks to call in to aid the team. Whether it’s a carpet bomb, artillery, or calling in an APC for your squad to use, they’re all based on score alone, not kills. These are actually pretty great, and not overpowered like you might think. Having the ability to drop down an artillery barrage on an objective being taken by enemy infantry will allow you to not only slow them down so you can get there to defend but maybe even eliminate the threat altogether. They take a while to obtain, however. Simple abilities like a UAV are much cheaper to call in, let’s say 900 score points, compared to the 10,000 required to call in the ultimate barrage of death, which I’ve never been able to use. The developers took great note at Escape from Tarkov’s success with weapons customization and decided to put a spin of that system in their own game. This allows you to take your weapons and customize them to your liking, such as Optics, barrels, and other attachments like lasers and foregrips. These attachments all add weight to the weapon, and, in turn, that weight is measured on your character together with your armor and clothing. Too much means you’re fat and slow, but still fully capable. Having light weight means you move faster, allowing you to maneuver way better to dodge bullets than the heavier counterparts. Each weapon and its attachments all cost money as well. Currently, the fees are waived so that we can play around with the weapons, but in the final product expect a hefty grind to unlock the weapons and attachments you really want.
The customization itself make the game amazing, but it goes one step further with realistic armor. You can customize your character’s armor plates and helmets to your liking. Each armor plate has a rating, that rating tells you what it protects against. Basically small arms such as pistols will take much longer to kill someone than a high caliber rifle when used against say Level 3 armor. Basically you have to chip away the armor before you can kill your target. Take headshots, for example, if someone has a helmet on and you snipe them, chances are you will hit the helmet first. That helmet will go flying and you can now shoot the kill. Get a lucky shot right on the face and you’re golden. You’ve got to take into consideration what weapons are being used against what targets. Each firearm uses a different caliber cartridge. Each caliber is good or weak against different armor plates. It makes you take these kinds of things into consideration when choosing your armor and your weapons, adding that next level of tactics to the gameplay. I really like this mechanic. While I can see why some wouldn’t like it, I find it really realistic and awesome. It’s not “arcadeish” and it’s not a 1 hit kill either, depending on the placement of course. The game takes into account the armor and the ballistics of the gun you are shooting, what more can you want out of a game like this?
The maps leave plenty of room for want. Most are not optimized and rather bland. Others are great but feel too small at the same time. Sometimes objectives are directly on top of one another, making taking both a pain and chore. You take one, only to have the other taken back and you’re running back and forth, not really engaging in combat because of the many different routes to reach either objective. It’s early access, I’m confident the team will make great strides in map development as they go. Warsaw, in my opinion, is their best map to date. It has the best structure for cohesion of all of the current maps. Everything flows nicely, and you’re almost always able to engage in combat fairly quickly from death to spawn. Plenty of avenues to approach each target, it’s just a very well designed map with the exception of one or two objectives being very close together.
My largest complaint would be the clunkiness of the gameplay. The movement is so bogged down and glitchy that it takes away from the immersion greatly. You often feel like you’re gliding around on ice when you’re running around. You can barely jump, so when you’re trying to get over a small 3-foot wall you can’t. Just little things like simple movement feel overwhelmingly heavy. This directly translates to the animations you view as a player. They lead to lag, some clipping, and even invisibility of the enemy players. Once they knock these glitches out and smooth the character movement, the game will improve a hundredfold.
Overall, The Farm 51 is doing a fantastic job. They had a very rough start, let’s not ignore that simple fact, but the game is generally just great. Being early access, you cannot except a perfect game. You get an idea of what the game will be like, and ideas on how to make it better. I am looking forward to the final product, as the game so far has just been fantastic, bugs aside that is. Sure there plenty of bugs to go around, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the gunplay and gameplay, in general, was very fun. The game is on sale right now on steam for $28. If you’re a fan of the Battlefield series and yearn for something more realistic, give it a shot! World War 3 has also sold over 100,000 units over the first two days since its launch!