World War 3 came as a bit of a surprise to me. From the developers of Get Even and 2013’s Deadfall Adventures, it’s a modern military first-person shooter focusing on big multiplayer battles which takes a leaf out of DICE’s book. Basically think of Conquest from the Battlefield series, namely Battlefield 4, and spin it out into a standalone game – that is World War 3 in a nutshell.

Currently in Early Access, World War 3 hopes to take an already well-established gameplay style and spin it on its head with the addition of national armed forces, real locations, full body awareness, and customization. However, I couldn’t quite help shake the feeling of playing a Battlefield clone. Granted, it’s a bloody high-quality Battlefield clone, but a Battlefield clone nonetheless.

That being said, literally the day I decide to write this an update lands which introduces a new Team Deathmatch mode which takes the same gameplay but throws players onto a smaller map with one objective, kill or be killed. However, this mode did nothing more than heighten the frustration I felt with the bigger game modes – instant death.

World War 3 Screenshot

It seems World War 3 is attempting to be the next ARMA with the game’s full body awareness which seems to have any graze of a bullet cause almost instantaneous death. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not necessarily an issue as I understand being shot in the torso isn’t exactly going to have you taking a detour to Tesco to pick up some chicken nuggets while on the way to the hospital, but still.

Maybe I’m just bad at the game, actually no, I AM bad at the game, and World War 3 doesn’t offer any hand-holding either so you’re either going to have to enjoy the sound of being shot every couple of minutes, or simply… git gud – or whatever the kids are saying nowadays.

The Farm 51 have tried to smash together aspects of several different first-person shooters, at least, tactical first-person shooters – if you were to utter the phrase “Call of Duty” here it’s highly likely you’ll be physically shot. There’s aspects of Insurgency, Battlefield (as previously mentioned) and more. It’s a mixture which the developers hope form this fantastic cake, and in some respects, I can see it.

So far, the game has a lot going for it. The gunplay is actually pretty well done – at least with the default gun I’ve been lumped with – the vehicles are a lot of fun to use and pretty intuitive too, and overall the UI is pretty easy to understand. I also really enjoy the concept of a larger war being fought via smaller battles, a little like Heroes & Generals. Players choose their affiliation and then decide whether they want to fight for the West or East. As battles play out, the territories are claimed by either side in a regularly updated world map.

World War 3 Screenshot

One thing I have noticed is that the game requires a lot of commitment to gain any sort of progress. Weapons are ludicrously expensive so you’re likely going to be stuck with the stock MSBS, GZ9, or UKM (depending on the light, medium, or heavy armor choices) for a long time, which might be okay for those who dip in-and-out of the game, but for any real sense of customisation – one of the heavier focuses in the game – you’re probably going to have to put a lot of time in.

Overall, World War 3 is, as I’ve heard many times already, a more hardcore Battlefield game. While the maps are few and far between right now, there is plenty of potential being laid out, especially with the recent addition of Team Deathmatch which shakes up the gameplay somewhat offering a more core experience than the hardcore tactical-based mode on offer.

The Farm 51 are clearly committed to delivering a really great shooter and so far I can see that they’re on their way to achieving that. It’s not perfect, there were times the game bugged out, like the time I hit a dodgy rock and got shot up into the air. But what multiplayer game doesn’t have its teething problems. Provided players stick with World War 3, this could be the next great multiplayer military shooter – and there’s no Battle Royale in sight.

World War 3 is currently available in Early Access on Steam.

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