Look lively soldier, the country is at war. There are grey-uniformed murderer-men spilling over our barbed wire. Enemy motorcycles zooming around our roads, uncontested. They’re killing your comrades soldier, are you just going to stand there and take it? Good! Glad to see that iron resolve flaring up, glad to see y– JESUS CHRIST put that rifle down. No, no. That’s not what I meant. No. We need truck drivers. You’re a truck driver, Brian. That’s how you help the war effort. What, you think these giant steel bars are going to deliver themselves?
Foxhole is a game about being a bullet delivery boy.
I exaggerate. There is shooting and grenade-tossing and fiery death. It is a big persistent multiplayer war game set in a vaguely WWII-era conflict. Imagine Planetside 2 but viewed from the top-down (and muddier). Servers aren’t gargantuan, but they’re still big enough to make the maps feel like a sprawling war zone (or they did when I wrote our Foxhole early access review).
But it is the logistical war effort that stands out. Players on either side scramble for strategic points in the landscape. Scrapyards with piles of metal, bridges to use as choke points. As a single soldier, it feels like you can do very little. You help gather supplies, or drive trucks full of troops to the frontlines, or you simply run out into the open and get shot to bits by a hidden machinegun nest.
Yet these small acts can be useful. Maybe you’ll deliver a stockpile of ammo just when your team is running out, or fix a hole in a besieged defensive wall while under enemy fire. These moments of individual strife can feel like episodes of micro-heroism, and then you realise that you’re not the only one doing your part. A squadmate was firing at the enemy while you fixed the wall. That road you trucked down? A soldier cleared it of debris and obstacles fifteen minutes ago. Dozens of other little troops, all doing their own thing, but working towards the same goal: a nice big war.