Isonzo is well, great. Lately, we have gotten a lot of great hardcore first-person shooter games and I am happy to say that Isonzo is one of them.
The guys behind Isonzo are BlackMill Games, the same well-known developers who already brought us Verdun and Tannenberg, both set in WW1. So you can think of Isonzo as the third installment of this great WW1 series of games.
Isonzo focuses on the Italian front as you will battle your way across the beautiful landscapes of the Italian Alps, the Dolomites, and the Adriatic coast. When it comes to the presentation, the game looks absolutely stunning. The maps are all gorgeous and massive with spanning landscapes and forests with vibrant blue skies and lush greenery. The weapon models look incredible along with their reload animations and are period appropriate. The sound design is also great as you’ll hear bullets whizzing no matter if you are storming or protecting the front. Mortar and artillery shells rock the ground and the sound of mustard gas dropping and spreading out is a great indicator for you to get the hell out of that place.
Being a hardcore FPS, you’ll die a lot of times. Like a lot of times. It usually takes just one bullet either from a rifle or even a revolver and that’s it. Now, I personally loved Battlefield 1. I absolutely loved the WW1 rendition that DICE created. Fast-paced, everybody coked out of their mind running full automatic weapons, you just had to be there. However, that wasn’t a true WW1 experience.
Back then it was all about rifles, revolvers, and artillery. Sure, there were a couple of fully automatic prototype guns, but that was extremely rare. Isonzo captures what I imagine to be the true WW1 experience. What I am trying to say is that here, in this game, you will not just run around the map jumping all over the place scoring tons of kills.
This is a hardcore experience and what that means is you will find a “safe” place to hunker down and one-shot everything that comes your way. But remember that the other players will do the same. Very often, like too many times, you will engage in close combat in the trenches. In that scenario, it all boils down to actual skill, who gets the first shot. But since you are playing with a controller and maybe the other player too, you might be presented with “funny” situations where you both shoot, miss, reload, shoot and miss again, then one of you just storms the other one for that satisfying bayonet kill.
There are multiple classes to choose from and while most of them generally have the same weapons pool, each class has unique perks and gadgets that will help you on the front line. You might use a class that has a perk that reduces weapon sway or another one that offers up more protection against bullets or explosives.
The Officer class is a unique class, and like the Sharpshooter equipped with a sniper rifle, there can only be 2 players in a match. What this officer class allows you to do is to basically call in score-streaks like artillery shells, recon planes, and as you might have probably guessed, mustard gas. You fire a flare where and where it lands you can use one of the phones in the battlefield to call one of the powerful kill streaks. These have a massive impact during the match as they can alter the course of each battle.
Progression is also interesting as new weapons, throwables and perks don’t just unlock by leveling up, but you need to complete challenges. These might be difficult to complete in full 48-player battles, but luckily you can set up private matches against dumb bots that you can farm for unlocks. That’s what I did as I got access to the game before the official launch. Once the game was live, I already had access to one of the prototype full auto guns which absolutely decimated the attacking team in a couple of matches.
The community of Isonzo is also a very strong point that is well worth mentioning. Players who play these types of hardcore games play because they loved these games and not because everyone else is playing them. So you can expect players to fulfill their class roles. Officers call down artillery strikes, snipers pick off targets long range, the dudes equipped with binoculars tag enemies, players will actually revive down players, and so on.
Isonzo is a great hardcore FPS game. The presentation is great as it looks fantastic and runs incredibly well uncapped on the Series X, apart from a couple of hard crashes here and there. The gameplay is fantastic too, slow and strategic for most of the time, but gets twitchy and heart-pounding if you miss that first shot in close combat. If you are a fan of hardcore FPSs then I absolutely recommend giving Isonzo a try. Thanks for reading!