Developer & Publisher: Driven Art
Platform: Steam Store
Release Date: January 26, 2017
Driven Art is marketing Days of War as a fast-paced hardcore shooter, and it doesn’t fail in practice. Weapon recoil is king in Days of War, and taming it is where most of your skills will be needed. Learning the in-and-outs of each gun is needs time, but is extremely satisfying when properly executed.
Adjusting your weapon’s aim is a battle on its own, but nothing really surpasses the feeling of coming on top in a gunfight. This, in essence, is the game’s most exciting mechanic, where players are rewarded for the challenge learning a weapon’s recoil and shooting dynamics.
Since Days of War is a multiplayer game, map design is critical. Unfortunately, most of the maps are uninspiring. We’ve seen countless Omaha beach maps, and the game does not do anything unique to add to this important phase of the war. In fact, the Omaha map is underwhelming. Allied players will find scaling the infamous bunker-littered hill mundane, as the entire map does not inspire the same immersion as various previous games have achieved. Yet, the game will support custom maps, which should make the game more interesting in the future.
Days of War incorporates the domination game mode. This definitely helps guide areas of gunfights during matches, as team push forward and repel attacks to gain supremacy in the battlefield. Capturing points is a bit awkward, as it takes less than 5 seconds, but it fits in with Days of War fast and frantic pace. You likely get killed and don’t even realize it until the respawn counter appears. This, in fact detracts from the overall experience, since danger is ever-present, quick and anti-climactic.
Overall, the game has a clean look, thanks to Unreal Engine 4, but has a generic art direction. This isn’t too surprising since gamers were bombarded with WWII games in the early 2000s, rendering the era’s sceneries with a high sense of familiarity.
The environment details are nothing to write home about. For instance, Omaha beach map is quite small and Days of War does not retain its own interpretation of the location, which does not make it stand out from other iterations of the same setting seen in other games. Carentan and Kaysersberg are typical WWII ruined urban maps that don’t stand out in any significant way, but the attention to details in urban rubble, demolished building and static vehicle is decent and adds towards the game’s authentic look.
The player models are decently textured, and their details look clean. There are wider color tones for characters and environments, where many WWII games tend to stick to gray and brown color gamut. However, all the weapons were laser scanned and it really shows. Days of War’s weapons look like newly minted weapons issued to soldiers before being deployed to the front.
The water effects continue Days of War’s overall mixed impressions. This is most evident in the Kaysersberg map. Players can access narrow man-made water ways, leading into strategic under passages. The water swishes and flows nicely, but looks awkward due to its rather contained nature.
Performance / Sound
The game’s first major update (18.104.22.168.1) is a vast overhaul in the graphics department from its initial release. However, the game suffers from wonky animations, and awkward body collapse when killed. Character movement is stiff, which is puzzling since the game touted its motion-captured soldiers.
Thankfully, Driven Art provides relatively stable dedicated servers for its players, reducing network errors, but it is likely players will experience some crashes.
The sound effects are not Days of War’s strongest attributes. The gunshots overall sound stale, and lack resonance on the battlefield. This somewhat takes away from the experience perhaps due to technical or financial limitations to spruce up the game’s audio quality, but this is purely speculation.
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Hard Knock Verdict
Days of War is an early access fast-paced WWII multiplayer game that pits up to 32 players in infantry combat. Days of War will steal the hearts of gamers looking for challenging and rewarding shooting mechanics. The game shines in its challenging, yet rewarding weapon recoil and shooting mechanics. If you are not a patient gamer, or unwilling to invest time in learning the ins-and-outs of your favorite WWII weapons, then this game is not for you. The graphics are clean, but nothing special. On the technical side, Days of War is a work in progress and will likely remain so because it is an early access game. Dull map designs and technical hiccups detract from the overall experience. At this stage, Days of War’s performance falls off the mark.