Not Dun Yet: Verdun Trailer Shows Updates For WWI FPS

I’ve been harboring a desire to return to Red Orchestra 2 for a month now, but perhaps I might be derailed for duty on another muddy frontline. Verdun is a multiplayer first-person shooter set in World War 1, about trench warfare, slowly shifting frontlines and squad tactics. It’s currently in alpha, and there’s a new trailer showing the game’s impressive progress below.

One of the best things about RO2 is the in-game dialogue, whereby your own team always sounds like they’re speaking (heavily accented) English but opposing teams sound off in their genuine Russian or German. It’s fantastically engrossing, alienating, horrible to hear the man you just shot yell something panicked you can’t understand. So it’s a good thing that one of Verdun’s latest updates is French and German barks for its soldiers.

Although the alpha contains maps set across the frontlines of the Great War, the game is chiefly inspired by the battle of Verdun, one of the most costly in human history. According to Wikipedia, an estimate in 2000 put the number of casualties at 714,231; “377,231 French and 337,000 German.”

Now I feel sad, which seems only fair. The final game is due this summer, but it currently costs £13 for Early Access through Steam.


  1. Drake Sigar says:

    I think a good WW1 game would have to be a plodding RPG/life simulator rather than an action-packed shooter, possibly ending in a teary Blackadder 4 suicide charge.

    • Synesthesia says:

      I’d play the hell out of that WWI life simulator. Ha! imagine the microtransaction hell if ea picked it up: THe trenchfoot pack! The buddy who is totally not going to be killed by shrapnel pack!

  2. Gothnak says:

    I dunno about this one.

    It feels weird having a game about one of the most harrowing conflicts in the history of warfare. Sure, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam or the Battle of The Bulge weren’t a walk in the park, but i think you can do them a bit more justice. The form of warfare…’Sit in a stinking muddy trench for weeks or months at a time, getting under cover from artillery bombardment or finding your gas mask against chlorine gas. And then, when told to attack you have to walk slowly towards enemy gun emplacements.

    Sure, the game won’t be anything like that, it’ll be quick team vs team battles running around with completely different individual soldier tactics (worryingly most gamers know more about military tactics than those who actually took part in WW1) taking cover and actually taking objectives rather than fighting over the same patch of land for 2 years…

    Doesn’t feel like the right setting for an FPS imo, a strategy or wargame, certainly…

    • Henke says:

      It’d also have to have parts where you’re digging graves for your fellow soliders in the bottom of your trench(beacuse there’s nowhere else to put the bodies) and shitting in a spare helmet and then tossing it out into the no man’s land(because there are no toilets).

      I listened to the latest episode of the Hardcore History podcast today, which is about “The Great War”. Dan Carlin paints quite a picture. All those young guys who have been brought up with tales of wartime heroism going out there and discovering this modern style of war where you’re just cowering in a trench and enduring inhumane conditions for months and years until you go mad from the constant shelling or drown in the fluid from your own lungs when the gas rolls in, is nothing like war in the old days.

      • Synesthesia says:

        May I have a link to that podcast please?

      • sventoby says:

        Hardcore History is great, highly recommended. They aren’t really typical podcasts anymore though, more like super long audiobooks.

      • Smoof says:

        Thanks for the podcast name. Always looking for new ones and this one sounds insanely interesting!

      • Universal Quitter says:

        Not to diminish the horrors of modern warfare or the Great War, but all warfare is worse than it sounds in romantic stories. The American Civil War had boys brought up on Ivanhoe, running of to relive what they read in that. This wasn’t exactly a new concept in World War I, and it probably wasn’t new in the 1860s, either.

        I mean, once upon a time, losing armies were slaughtered to the last man, but they rarely put that in the great Medieval works, and when they did, like with Roland, they made it sound pretty and noble.

    • nearly says:

      Any particular soldier was actually very unlikely to have been in a frontline trench for months at a time. Soldiers were regularly cycled through in various patterns of time in and time out. Doesn’t make it any less bad if your turn coincides with a push or heated fighting, though.

    • wengart says:

      Honestly, you sound to have a lot of anit WW1 bias in your post. None of the games we play represent the war that was fought. I mean you are complaining that we don’t get to spend months in the trenches. So what about patrols in Vietnam where you never see your enemy, but your best friend gets killed by a pit filled with sharp stakes? The games we play are very rarely represntative of the actual conflict. We see this ideal of war, and even if it is horrible it is just an ideal. We only play the part where two opposing forces meet/ We never have to deal with the ceaseless combat patrols where no contact is made, but your squad gets hit by artillery and people die.

      WW1 infantry tactics were also in a constant state of flux. The opposing armies didn;t spend 4 years marching in 1860 era formation at each other. WW1 saw the development of small unit tactics as we known them.

      • Fiyenyaa says:

        You’re right to say that all wars are horrible, and that the portrayal of them is never accurate.
        However, there is something of a definitive quality to the way the Great War unfolded; you have millions of people who are used to colonial wars and wars like the Franco-Prussian war (which the Prussians effectively won in months) – wars of mobility and of knock-out blows – millions of people who believe in the glory and romance of war, and these people from the lowliest reserve trooper to the highest general are then presented with a scenario where defense almost always trumps attack, where tried-and-true tactics are suddenly useless, and where the amount of men you churn through – through injury, through death, through disease, through being so psychologically shocked from being under fire all day every day – is so huge that incomprehensibly vast conscripted armies seem like they fail to provide enough bodies.
        It’s a turning point in a lot of ways.

  3. Tams80 says:

    Verdun… so we can play as the French and get thrashed

    Of course this will be even more unrealistic than other war games, as reality would not be fun to play and with current general knowledge the tactics used ridiculous. It’ll just be a WW1 skin in effect.

    Now as for the tactics that were actually used, it’s rather a mixed bag. There is a little leeway for the most well known (and horrendous) ones at the beginning, but only just.

  4. rinseout says:

    My great-grandfather died at the Battle of Loos. They marched from Scotland to the south coast, got on a troopship, landed in France then marched to Belgium. When they arrived at the battlefield they were ordered into action straight away. It was the first battle to make use of Chlorine gas – opening barrels of it and hoping it drifts in the direction of the enemy. The soldiers were ordered to advance through the chlorine clouds. Their poorly fitting gasmasks gave them low visibility so many soldiers discarded them. Many soldiers died at that stage. Those who survived managed to scare away the boche and take the village. In the meantime they were told resupplies and reinforcements would be sent. The commander, General Hague, refused to send the resupplies and reinforcements and when the Germans counterattacked they retook the village and all the allied soldiers were lost. As a consequence of this Hague was promoted to Field Marshall as he blamed his superior for the lack of reinforcements. He then went on to make the same mistakes at the Somme.

    TL:DR – WW1 was a joke and cost the lives of a generation of young men

  5. Jexiah8bit says:

    Verdun is not historically accurate at all, but its still quite fun. As a video game set around WW1 era weapons and such, it does a good job of letting the player enjoy him or herself in their world. If you are a history nut (not unlike myself) then yeah you will pick this apart instantly – but its still a pretty decent game.

  6. Scumbag says:

    “One of the best things about RO2 is the in-game dialogue, whereby your own team always sounds like they’re speaking (heavily accented) English but opposing teams sound off in their genuine Russian or German.”
    Just point out they patched that about 2 years ago so you can switch all people to native voices.

    Regarding Verdun: This kinda looks interesting. I’ve been holding off due to some rather harsh things said by some of the RO2 community e.g. its CoD but with trenches. Then again people on the internet never seem pleased.

    Also on the trailer, from about 0:54 onward: Is that a Chauchat? How is it not breaking???

    • FredZepplin says:

      I’m a big RO2 player. I bought Verdun during the Steam Christmas sale. It’s kind of cool, but there was no voice-communication when I played, and it seemed a free for all with little way to coordinate with your team. Calling in mortars is kind of neat, but during the cooldown phase, you’re stuck with a useless pistol and little to do. In the end, the game ended making me want to just go play RO2…

  7. Chuckleluck says:

    “about trench warfare, slowly shifting frontlines and squad tactics”
    Are we shifting squad tactics or is the game about shifting frontlines and squad tactics? Use the Oxford comma, man!

    As for the game, I haven’t played it but it sounds like a good idea on paper, bad idea in action sort of thing. “Everyone’s doing modern and WW2 has been overdone, we’ll just go back in time!”

  8. Shooop says:

    WWI is undoubtedly one of the worst things to make a video game about.

    I wish someone would make a proper game about Mogadishu. Plenty of opportunity for shooting action and not be jingoistic pricks when writing the story.

    • Subject 706 says:

      Mogadishu : Modern Clan Warfare?

      • Shooop says:

        I said opportunity not to be jingoistic pricks when writing the story!

        Ridley Scott did it, why can’t anyone else?

        • Subject 706 says:

          But, I meant it like you were supposed to be part of a somali clan militia battling it out with other clans/al-shabab/un-forces/americans.

    • Gap Gen says:

      There was Delta Force: Black Hawk Down (although that too raises questions of Americans gunning into a city and killing thousands when it all goes wrong).

  9. Biaxident says:

    Been waiting for a good first world war FPS for years, will be keeping an eye on this.

  10. sventoby says:

    Are there any good WWI strategy games? Looking for something more RTS and less Grand Strategy. Also I think a city builder type trench warfare game would work well.