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Bulkhead Interactive's first-person World War II shooter, Battalion 1944, recently landed on Kickstarter and within the span of just three days the game managed to surpass its funding goal of $142,000. It's already accrued more than $216,000 and is currently gunning to hit those stretch goals.
PC Gamer is reporting that the shooter is one of the new indie darlings that's hitting strides in the gaming community, both in gathering crowd-funding and attention on Steam Greenlight. In fact, the game managed to zip up from the number 20 spot when it first debuted to land on the number six spot overnight.
So why is the game getting so much attention? Well, the gaming community has been starved of a really good World War II shooter. The last notable one was from Tripwire Interactive called Red Orchestra 2. That came out way back in 2011. It's a good enough shooter with a decent and replayable single-player campaign and a very robust multiplayer. The game didn't have physics-based destruction, but it did offer very realistic tank and vehicle controls, as well as very dynamic shooting mechanics for all of the weapons.
Very much like Red Orchestra 2, the upcoming Battalion 1944 will attempt to rekindle the fun and dynamism from Call of Duty 2 and Enemy Territory. It will offer skills and abilities but nothing overpowered like what's featured in the newer Call of Duty games where perks and Killstreaks can completely alter and change the entire structure of a multiplayer bout.
According to the Kickstarter and Greenlight page for Battalion 1944, they want to keep things as skill-based as possible and to avoid any kind of ridiculous elements that would break the balance and flow of the gameplay.
To help bring this realistic vision of World War II combat to life, the team is employing Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. The toolset will be used by veteran AAA developers that make up Bulkhead Interactive to create their vision of a new-generation shooter set during the last World War.
The popularity of the title has been called into question by some, but for most hardcore gamers this has been something they've been asking for on the forums, on Reddit, on news aggregators, and usually when new shooters are announced that either take place in modern times or in futuristic settings. Essentially the cycle has come around again where gamers are craving more World War II adventures.
Previously the AAA industry wore out the era by over-saturating the market with one too many shooters that were far too similar. After games like Brothers in Arms and Medal of Honor faded in popularity, Activision and Infinity Ward stepped in with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and they revitalized the FPS genre and started a wave of copy-cat modern military shooters. Gamers are now looking for a break from all of the clones out there.
The only major drawback for Battalion 1944 is that a lot of gamers (including myself) are wondering how they're going to fund this AAA-quality title with less than a $1 million? Maybe they'll get angel investors down the line, but trying to build a high-quality game even with $250,000 is going to be a tall order since that's the salary of paying for two decent programmers for one year.
We'll see how Bulkhead Interactive makes due with their Kickstarter funds by the time it begins to wrap up, but for now you can either learn more or contribute to the cause by visiting the official Kickstarter page.