published on: 04/06/2023
Tannenberg is a first-person shooter video game set during World War I, specifically focusing on the Battle of Tannenberg in 1914. The game is developed by Belgian independent studio M2H and Blackmill Games and is a standalone expansion to the popular game Verdun.
The game offers both single-player and multiplayer modes, allowing players to immerse themselves in the trench warfare and battles of the era. Players can choose to play as soldiers from one of several participating nations, each with its own unique weapons, equipment, and tactics.
One of the key features of Tannenberg is its realistic and immersive environments. The developers have done extensive research to accurately depict the environments and weapons of the time period. The game offers a variety of maps, ranging from dense forests to open plains, and each map is designed to offer unique gameplay challenges.
In terms of gameplay, Tannenberg is a fast-paced and intense first-person shooter. Players can choose from a range of historical weapons, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The game features several different game modes, including the classic deathmatch and capture-the-flag, as well as more unique modes such as Frontlines and Attrition.
Another standout feature of Tannenberg is its sound design. The game features a dynamic sound system that accurately depicts the sounds of battle, from the thunder of artillery to the crack of rifle fire. This adds to the immersive experience of the game, making it feel like you're actually on the battlefield.
Tannenberg is not without its flaws, however. Some players have reported that the game can be difficult to get into, with a steep learning curve for new players. Additionally, some players have complained about the lack of customization options for soldiers and weapons.
Overall, Tannenberg is a well-designed and enjoyable first-person shooter set during World War I. Its focus on realism and immersion, along with its fast-paced and intense gameplay, make it a standout in the crowded genre of first-person shooters. If you're a fan of historical settings and trench warfare, Tannenberg is definitely worth checking out.
One blow is enough
Tannenberg was made of blood-soaked mud by the same writers as Verdun, and if you've ever died in the French trenches of World War I, you basically know what awaits you here. It's also a multiplayer first-person shooter, uses the same engine and plays quite similarly, only this time you find yourself on the eastern plains.
This, of course, brings changes. The most important thing is that other nations bite into each other furiously: the German black eagle pecks into the eyes of a Russian bear, the Romanian lynx digs its claws into the Bulgarian lion, and of course there is Austria-Hungary, which, as another black eagle, somehow did not fit into my animal story.
New nations mean new weapons, but if you were expecting an arsenal similar to Battlefield 1 that theoretically shares an era and environment with Tannenberg, you'd be very mistaken. Battlefield is more of a fantasy about World War I, with a bunch of people with automatic weapons running around its battlefields. Here, on the contrary, except for officers' pistols and static machine guns, they fight with pretty single-shot rifles. But if you hit, you don't need more shots.
An individual cannot win a war
There is a limited number of types of weapons and surprisingly you will not find a single sniper rifle with optics, but Tannenberg makes up for it with a nice squad system. They always consist of four soldiers who cannot revive each other, but it is crucial that they work together.
One of them is an officer to whom a generous state juggernaut has provided unprecedented luxury in the form of a handgun capable of firing several shots in quick succession. At the same time, he can use a phone hidden in the trenches or on the back of a comrade to summon artillery, a smoke screen or hideous green gas.
His efforts are supported by gunners, grenadiers and other soldiers, who always have a choice of several variants of armament. You can't build a class yourself that you would like, but the more fundamental choice awaits you at the beginning of the round. It is completely different to play as a grenadier who has three bombs hanging from a stick at his waist, but only a flimsy pistol in his hand, and as a grenadier who has only one explosive but wielding a perfect Mosin-Nagant rifle.
At the same time, the Mosin-Nagant may or may not have a bayonet mounted on him, the equipment may or may not include an ingenious field shovel, and an officer, for example, may or may not own binoculars.
In fact, two identical squads of Russian Cossacks can be armed completely differently and fight more effectively either at a distance or at close range. And without an effective squad, you won't be able to play much in the local competitive environment. A single group of four, led by a capable officer issuing the right orders, can easily turn the tide of an entire match if the opposing 32 players play as individuals and not as a team.
A talented NCO's paradise
Fighting works differently here than in Verdun and gives significantly more room for tactical creativity. Verdun limits his players with a strict system of attack and defense: one side always tries to run across no man's land and conquer the enemy's trench, then the tables are turned and the attackers become defenders.
But the Eastern Front has never degenerated into that crazy mole hell that was invented in France, and Tannenberg is fought in open spaces. The main Maneuver mode here is most reminiscent of Conquest in Battlefield. 64 players fight over various sectors on a vast map and compete for key churches, hills and houses.
Each controlled sector of the team will receive a benefit. One will speed up respawning, another will increase the frequency of arrival of reconnaissance aircraft, and the most important ones will multiply the number of victory points earned. And if you cut off a sector owned by enemies from their base, it is impossible to revive there and it will be much easier to capture such a weakened position.
As a result, battles gain a completely different dynamic than Verdun. On the Western Front, it was quite easy to run through the trenches without thinking, or on the contrary, lie in cover and shoot at the attackers according to what the game commanded. Here you have to decide for yourself, or as a group. Is it better to throw all your forces at the central bunker multiplying points? Or at least someone should try a diversionary attack over the flanks, conquer some less important point and lure a few enemies from the center?
It works very well on all the diverse maps that Tannenberg has to offer. Some are full of huts and cottages, others are basically one huge forest, in others you run around open hills and valleys.
In addition, all of them have night variants, you may be surprised by fog or bad weather, and even after dozens of hours, no map has started to annoy me, although favorites (Poland suitable for shoulder blades) and unsympathetic places (Galicia, specifically its armored train, where I died perhaps a thousand times) have drawn up in my head.
So the maps are adequate and play nicely, which is of course fine. But they can also do something else. Along with the strict gameplay, which rarely requires more than one precisely aimed shot from any weapon to kill, it forms that elusive but crucial feeling of authenticity.
Tannenberg makes me feel that this is how the soldiers on the Eastern Front must have felt. Well, they didn't stand by the flags and watch their team's spikes jump or cross hair hovering in front of their eyes, but quite possibly they ran across the field on the officer's orders and then collapsed to the ground without hearing the shot that killed them. Perhaps in an opaque gas mask they were looking around in panic and too slowly to see where the grenade they heard hit somewhere in the trench was. Quite possibly they didn't hit an enemy standing nearby with a rifle, so they pulled a shovel from his waist and smashed his head with it, even though back in 1913 they were completely normal Franz and Alexei, who would not do something like that even a pig on a pig-slaughter.
Compass over gold
Tannenberg is a cruel game, especially when you turn on more brutality in the menu and study with scientific interest the ability of heavy artillery to turn a healthy person into a bloody tangle of rags. Unfortunately, the players themselves will also receive their own kind of torture, not just their unfortunate, war-torn avatars.
Specifically, those players who do not have an absolutely excellent sense of direction. Do you know what does not suit a game dependent on team coordination and cooperation? Difficult orientation in the field. "The enemies are coming at us!" I shout into the microphone. "From where?" asks a perfectly reasonable question. "Well... Just like from the left," I reply uncertainly, whereupon the entire disoriented squad falls victim to a determined bayonet attack.
You can see a tiny arrow indicating north on the compass, but in the heat of battle, when you're zigzagging between bullets, it's sometimes hard to find. It would be nice if all cardinal points were marked more prominently on the compass, or if the whole 360 degrees were written there. I know, it would probably break the real soldier illusion that I used to praise so much, but I think it would add a lot to the gameplay and would be no more of a sacrifice than the ammo indicator, which of course is there.
Another pain for many pampered players could be graphics. The Battlefield series, boasts one of the most beautiful visuals in the industry, Tannenberg is... rather at the opposite end of the scale.
It's not a downright ugly game, but it shows a hell of a miniature budget. You have to figure out some things (nicer textures on the boulder you're crouching behind) and some things (ridiculous saber chopping animations that look more like you've gently crushed the enemy with a guard).