Today we release our WW1 FPS Tannenberg on PlayStation 4! Veterans who have played our previous title Verdun will recognize the devastating gas and artillery barrages, the ferocious melee combat, and the variety of authentic weapons, uniforms and maps.
Tannenberg has been carefully optimized for top performance on the PlayStation 4, with 40-player battles on large maps — including the brand new fortress of Przemyśl! Up to 20 bots can fill out the roster when a game is getting started, and the (optional) gore effects are of the same standard seen in the remastered version of prequel Verdun. Those who own a PS4 Pro will benefit from a higher resolution, more detailed shadows, and many other graphical extras.
As icing on the cake, we’ve also created eight PlayStation avatars featuring soldiers and officers from the Russian, German and Austro-Hungarian armies. The avatars are added in the WW1 Games Bundle together with six avatars from Verdun.
Battle on the Eastern Front
The main game mode in Tannenberg sees 40 players fighting for control of key sectors on the battlefield, each one offering a distinct strategic advantage. The war on the Eastern Front was much more mobile than on the Western Front, and the gameplay in Tannenberg reflects that. It’s certainly very different from the gritty trench warfare that typified the Western Front as depicted in our first game Verdun!
Choose a squad from the major powers of Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary, or fight for a smaller nation like Roumania, Bulgaria, or Latvia. Every squad in the game has several roles, each with different equipment loadouts. Whether you fight with a saber and carbine as a Russian Cossack or a Bulgarian soldier with the venerable but outdated Martini-Henry rifle as a Bulgarian soldier, every weapons has been painstakingly modeled based on references from literature and, where possible, real guns used by re-enactors.
Similar attention has been paid to the uniforms and map design. While the battlefields of Tannenberg aren’t real locations, they are directly inspired by actual regions where fighting took place, and based on extensive libraries of reference photos and drawings from the period. For instance:
The new map added in this release is Przemyśl.
This fortified town was the site of the longest siege in the First World War, with the Russians eventually capturing it from the Austro-Hungarian defenders after 133 days. The presence of large fortifications make this a very different battlefield compared to the generally more open areas seen in many Tannenberg maps. There are fields around the buildings of the fort itself, but much of that space is filled with hastily dug trenches and gun emplacements abandoned as the battle sweeps over them.
Designing the maps
When designing maps we use a lot of historical reference materials. Photographs of course are invaluable, but still quite rare during WW1, particularly on the Eastern Front. Maps are very useful to get a sense of how trenches might be laid out or what terrain was considered tactically crucial at the time. Sketches by soldiers offer a similar insight to photographs, especially those done by military artists – though this was again more common on the Western Front, where positions were more static. Things moved faster in the East, and intelligence could quickly become out of date. Finally, you can read history books and the accounts of soldiers themselves. Even better, you can talk to expert historians who have dedicated their lives to the topic! This is a great way to learn about details and sources that might be missed in more commonly available books. We’ve used all these methods when creating Tannenberg and putting together maps which feel like real battlefields.
We can’t wait to see what the PlayStation community thinks of the Eastern Front. Remember, keep your rifle ready and your gas mask close. Good luck out there!