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United 1944 Early Access Review – Promising but Needs Players

United 1944 is a multiplayer WWII shooter that combines weapon crafting, base building, and team strategy. It is developed by Novarama and launched on Steam early access on December 12, 2023. The core gameplay experience is like Day of Defeat and the Call of Duty games that were based on WWII, except this time you have resources spread everywhere and can build fortifications. You’ll also need to find blueprints and level up to unlock items in your skill tree like weapons, medkits, grenades and more. This game has the potential to be great as it’s quite unique, but during my multiple attempts to play, there were no players in any of the servers.

There are low-ping Asian servers for us in Australia which I appreciated, however the times that I did find players was only in the survivor game mode and even then, it was just against one or two teams. I would be able to sneak around and find files to be able to build a mobile HQ, then sneak around some more to collect wood and create walls and a door around the HQ to protect it. It then became a hunt for treasure while trying to stay hidden from the enemy or engage if I could. I had chosen the shotgun as a starting weapon for my character which made it difficult to go up against snipers and assault rifles.

There are two game modes available, Domination and Survivor. In Domination, players fight for territory in 16v16 urban guerrilla battles in three historical maps: French Countryside, Northern Africa, and D-Day France. In Survivor, up to 24 players explore a city in ruins as a lone wolf, scavenging, building, and raiding. United 1944 also features a skill tree with over 40 abilities, a diverse arsenal of over 20 weapons, and a comprehensive communication system.

Gunplay feels satisfying with authentic sounding weapons as well as decent realism with recoil and bullet physics. The maps are small enough but have a decent range of options from sniping towers to rooms that you can sneak around to try get the upper hand. Players can also lay barbed wire which is a quick deterrent, and any sounds players make are pinged on the map. This is especially evident when there is a firefight between players or if you or someone else is trying to break into a safe to obtain documents to return to their HQ.

The environments in the three starting maps of United 1944 are very well detailed, depicting war-ravaged cities and blasted ruins of buildings. There is also a quick transition from daytime to night, and the affect this has on enemy visibility. You can easily vault up to higher ground and there are sometimes connecting boards and walkways between buildings to maintain high viewing capabilities while you scout for other players. You can also place pings on the map signifying your base or your last known death location. When you are killed, you will drop everything you were carrying at the time, and if you are able to successfully run back to your death location, you can loot your backpack if no one else got to it first.

There is an extensive early access roadmap that looks like it has some exciting content on the way, like a new map and sticky grenades coming in February. It’s just such a shame about the lack of players. I tried playing at US peak time on the weekend and there was only one server in half capacity. I was at least able to see several other players and get into some firefights, but as I was solo up against 2-3 other squads of players, it was tough trying to scavenge the resources I needed. I hadn’t found any grenade blueprints so I couldn’t blow up doors of enemy HQ to try steal their documents.

Overall, United 1944 has great potential to stand out amongst the multiplayer WWII shooters with its fresh crafting and building mechanisms. It contains all the hallmarks of a good multiplayer FPS with a decent voice and ping system, and team hierarchy with squad leaders and comms. It is just unfortunately severely hampered by a lack of players in the various sessions over the past week, especially in ANZ peak time. I am going to keep checking back in as the early access roadmap looks like it has some great content. I hope it can find more players and fast before it loses relevance.

This early access review utilised a key provided by Evolve PR and United 1944 is available now on Steam early access.


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