Remember World War 3? It was one of the surprise hits from Gamescom a few years ago. It’s run into a bit of trouble since then, being pulled from early access last year, but the developers overnight have announced some massive changes to the game.
It’s the first major announcement about World War 3 in about a year. Farm 51 has divided some of its time lately across another project that’s looking quite promising — Chernobylite, the STALKER-esque survival shooter that’s leaving early access in a fortnight.
But World War 3 isn’t dead at all. When it was pulled from sale last year, the developers announced they were working on a complete revamp of the experience to improve the mechanics, gameplay, performance, sound, visuals and UI.
And in a pretty lengthy video, some of those changes can be seen for the first time. It looks like almost a completely different game from what I played in Cologne.
For one, this mini-thermal scope looks sick:
World War 3 is also still playing with ideas that just seem really cool. One of the new ones is a backpack which will let you customise your loadout on the fly. It avoids the problem you see in a lot of Battlefield 4 servers today, where you functionally have to play as an engineer because the only way to move forward is to be in a tank (or repairing a tank).
Sliding has been added to help traversal, and the studio is promoting a lot of what they call “playable realism”. It sounds a little at odds with the hardcore Battlefield-style experience that I remember from years ago. Much of the gameplay looks a lot faster, and the HUD now includes a lot more information. There’s also a kill cam which I’ve always appreciated — there’s no better way to catch a cheater, after all.
The full development update runs for 5 minutes, and you can catch the video below.
I’m fascinated to see what Farm 51 does with World War 3. We hear a lot about games that do well, and games that don’t do so well at launch. What’s often more interesting are the tales of developers who don’t succeed at first, but then bite the bullet to rework a project different into something new that finds an audience.
That might not happen with World War 3. Most games, after all, are statistically guaranteed to not succeed. But something I always appreciated was the ideas Farm 51 wanted to bring to the table. Some of those are still kicking around in World War 3. There’s no release date for WW3‘s re-release on Steam, but the developers said they would unveil more over the coming months. Hopefully, that overarching metagame between battles is still there.