There's certainly no shortage of online first-person shooters but playing one set over a century ago is an interesting experience.
Tannenberg is the second installment in the M2H and BlackMill Games WWI series; the first being Verdun which I haven't played. However, Tannenberg seemed appealing to me so I decided to give it a go and I'm quite impressed with what it has to offer. Seeing as it takes place within the Eastern Front of WWI, you won't be using high-powered modern firearms to take out your opponents. Instead, you have to utilize weaponry that generally takes a long time to load yet remains deadly nonetheless. Speaking of which, I appreciated watching my soldier reload the various firearms that I equipped as it's interesting to see him do things like place bullets one at a time into the barrel as opposed to merely snapping in a large capacity magazine. Therefore, if you love history then you'll definitely dig this.
The core gameplay of Tannenberg is exactly what you'd expect as you traverse maps while shooting enemy soldiers and trying not to get shot. However, there are many details such as the aforementioned methodical reloading that make it feel like a genuine WWI experience. With that being said, I'm fairly certain that they didn't have automatic respawn technology in the early 20th century. Anyway, the main mode is Maneuver where you try and claim territory on a map in order to gradually deplete the opposing team's resources. You can also enjoy Attrition team deathmatches and Rifle Deathmatch battle royal bouts if you wish although the vast majority of players are playing Maneuver mode. Capturing bases while the tug-of-war persists is a brilliant formula that offers oodles of online fun.
The maps themselves take place across Eastern Europe and they are each intricate and impressively large. Every map features plenty of trenches and occasional structures that add a level of strategy to conquering territory, especially when you factor in super-powerful turret stations. You can also get snagged on barbed wire, call in support at certain base types, pick up found weapons, throw bombs that emit poison gas, and perform melee attacks. Plus, as you play, you'll discover strategies and intricacies that you may not have noticed when you first started playing which is quite rewarding. Although the maps are elaborate and full of the tension of war, I found the environmental visuals to be decent although a bit drab which I guess is authentic but it also wore me down after a while.
Speaking of drab, the gameplay of Tannenberg is great fun but it does become exceptionally repetitive after playing it for an extended period of time. Therefore, it's a fantastic game to pick up and play for 30 minutes to an hour every once in a while so that the repetition takes longer to sink in. Another issue that frequently annoyed me is just how many times I perished. For the record, I'm terrible at first-person shooters but with Tannenberg in particular, almost every single death caught me by surprise because opposing players will sneak up behind you and kill you with 1 shot and there's no way to know that they're there in time. On the other hand, I sneaked through an enemy base solo once and shot a few soldiers in a row then claimed the base for my team which felt awesome. In the end, constantly waiting to respawn is annoying but if you have patience then eventually perform a cool feat on the battlefield, it pays off.
You really can't go wrong with playing Tannenberg, especially if you just want a quick online shooting fix after a hard day's work. The authenticity factor is fantastic and the constant push-and-pull of its Maneuver mode will keep you thoroughly engaged.
- + Authentic WWI shooting action that's great fun to play online with up to 40 players
- + Impressively large and intricate maps
- + Lots of facets and strategies to discover
- - Core gameplay gets repetitive fast
- - Frequent surprise deaths are annoying
- - Visuals are kind of drab