Isonzo Takes Warfare to the Alps During World War I

World War I has been a fan favorite period of history with video games and Isonzo is another feather in that cap. This new indie first-person shooter takes place at the northern peaks of Italy during the thick of “The Great War.” This game was faithfully crafted by the developer Blackmill Games to capture the essence of that time. The developers went on trips to Italy and documented everything for assurance of the authenticity of the Italian front. Even though there is a slew of FPS war simulators out there, very few managed to recapture the sense of desperation and grit that this game will. Blackmill Games are well versed in World War stories, sense this new title is actually a continuation of Tannenberg and Verdun. These games are well-received throughout the gaming community and excitement is definitely buzzing with the release of Isonzo later this year.

The story with this entry follows the conflict of capturing the Isonzo River Valley that is located within the Alps. This new installment will introduce a whole new type of warfare that will mostly take place in the mountains. Even though Isonzo will have a rather hearty single-player component with bots, it will also come with a healthy dose of actual multiplayer, too. This series of World War I games is known for their extreme attention to detail. Naturally, this new title won’t be the exception. Even though games like Battlefield dabbled with World War I, they explored the number of different fronts that the various armies needed to trek through. Isonzo is aiming to be a more concentrated and intimate portrayal of World War I that very few games managed to duplicate.

Honor and Glory

What sets Isonzo apart from its kin is the fact that this game will focus on mountain warfare. It will give combat a sense of verticality and vulnerably while under heavy fire. Bullets, mortars, debris, and armored vehicles can come in quite literally any direction. Not to mention the number of pitfalls that will always be a menace. This title will take players through the belly of the Alps, followed by dilapidated towns, ruined rivers, and steep enemy fortifications. All the levels will vary in design, that range from crumbling claustrophobic streets, jagged cliffs, barbed wired trenches, and gnarled structures. Each will come with its own challenges which will force players to constantly switch different tactical maneuvers. The mountain tops will be a haven for snipers taking pot shots while urban warfare will be riddled with machine guns, mortars, and poison gas.

Additionally, the trailer showcases the player manually cutting barbed wire with cutters. This is only a taste of how “hands-on” the gameplay will be. Of course, all this depends on which class the players will be using. Only the engineers will be able to cut the wire and foil other fortifications. Depending on if a player is on the side of Italy or the Austro-Hungarian Empire will affect will class types that will be available. There will only be a select number of slots open to choose from. Not everyone can be a rifleman or engineer in a single squad. It is not realistic and it will throw the composition of the squads off balance. The developers made it where the players will need to think strategically on which class is best suited for them within their designated map. Currently, the classes are; Sniper, Assualt, Rifleman, Officer, Engineer, and Mountaineer.

Blood, Bombs, and Bayonets

With Isonzo, there will be a new game mode called “Offensive.” What this entails is having one team overtake a position while the opposing team tries to prevent it. It’s very much like Conquest in the Battlefield games, except this game is more unforgiving with its terrain. The attacking team can’t just “plow through” the map. They will need to fight tooth and nail to get to their position. This mode will be dynamic and will be ever-changing based on the outcome of the fight. If the attacking team manages to take all the posts, the game won’t be over. Instead, the defenders will simply regroup and re-position themselves. There is one main goal and several side goals peppered throughout this mode. For instance, on the map of Monte San Michele, the ultimate goal of the attackers is to seize the town of Gorizia. If they fail to take over all of the defender’s posts, the attackers will never see the map of Gorizia. If one post was captured, then the fight goes to Gorizia and it’s a final fight there. Lastly, if the attackers manage to capture both of the posts, then they will be rewarded some extra loot to gear up for an epic showdown in Gorizia.

The weapons in Isonzo will be truly authentic with some never seen before in any other World War I game. There will be the Villar Perosa, which is two machine guns welded together that can spray enemies into dust. There is also the Flat-Revelli Model 1914 which is a cumbersome mounted machine gun that can shoot up to 500 rounds per minute that also comes with the option of single-fire. Thusly, maps will also be riddled with artillery which players can look at but are not really useful. They are just there as props, unfortunately. However, officers can call in for heavy firepower whenever warranted. The brief clip of a soldier using a mortar in the trailer is a hint of what can be used as an actual backup.

The Great War Remembered

It’s nice to know that the developers have a healthy respect for the World War I period. They are clearly working their fingers to the bone to make this multiplayer game something special. There is still some work to polish off, but it appears that this game is on track to be released sometime this year. Fans of the World War I titles from Blackmill Games should have this on their radar. Isonzo will be available for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC upon release. Hopefully, the actual release date will be announced soon.

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