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Foxhole's persistent battlefields get a major overhaul today

Strategic MMO shooter Foxhole is an interesting beast. Clapfoot’s isometric multiplayer warzone is equal parts Running With Rifles and World War 2 Online, with hundreds of players (over a thousand at peak) sharing a persistent battlefield over the course of weeks. It’s been in early access for a while, but today’s update – Foundation Of War – is the biggest change yet for it. On top of a visual overhaul making it far nicer to look at, the game now features building interiors, more complex urban combat, huge tanks that need up to five players to fully crew and a bunch more. The game is also 40% off – see the update trailer below.

Brendy took a jaunt through Foxhole’s battlefields back in August last year, and comparing his screenshots then to the trailer below is eye-opening by itself. While I was initially put off by the focus on the logistical side of war (I’d rather leave ferrying resources to AI units, which there are none in Foxhole outside of static defensive structures) the developers sent me a key to take a look around the game. I had to hitch a ride to a forward base in a player-driven troop truck, but once I was there and had it set as my spawn point, I got quickly into several running messy firefights. There was a lot of (surprisingly clear) voice chat going on, and everyone seemed to have their eyes on the prize. Not overly serious, but competitive.

As mentioned, there’s now huge five-man tanks filling the ‘ultimate weapon’ role, although the group I was with was saying that we didn’t even have the resources for grenades on this front. On a faction scale, there are Ballistic Rocket sites to claim around the map. Once fully secured and activated, these can be used to wipe out whole towns, permanently, in one shot. Not quite nukes, but given that every building is somewhere to hide or navigate around, that seems like a whole lot more impact on game flow than anything in Fallout 76.

Clapfoot point out that a lot more than the above trailer has changed since the game’s early access debut in July last year. The primary mode for the game is now World Conquest, a persistent world war set across several large linked maps, meaning that players aren’t too spread out across its otherwise-large world. Unlike Running With Rifles there’s no AI, so players can build defences and need to ferry resources from home base as they secure territories to allow troops to spawn at each front. From the little bit I’ve tried, it’s exciting on the micro scale and intriguing on the macro, and surprisingly lag-free – definitely one to play more this weekend, then.

The Foundation Of War update is live now, with patch notes here. Foxhole is still in early access with no planned release date, and currently available for £9/€12/$12 on Steam, 40% off its usual price.

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Dominic Tarason

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