DIVIDED WE FALL (EARLY ACCESS)
By Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers on September 15, 2016
Real Time Strategy (RTS) games have a long history in the gaming world. However, there have been little to no signs of innovation in the genre. The basic idea always stayed the same throughout the years: get funds, build bases, recruit/build your army and try to dominate your enemy. Florian Käding looked at the genre and thought to himself: "let's change that!". So, despite still being a student, he released a game called Call of Combat all the way back in 2002 which, during the game's lifespan, garnered a loyal and active community of over 100,000 registered players.
Sadly, due to technological advancements the games development was stopped in 2012. And although this sounds bad, it in fact made Florian able to spend all of his attention and time on creating a successor. In 2013, a year after halting development of Call of Combat, Florian founded KAVA Game Studio and together with a talented team of avid Call of Combat fans, he started working on the new game, which was released for an open Alpha in February of 2015. KAVA also launched a Kickstarter Campaign which closed in march without making its goal. The developers at KAVA weren't to be deterred however and kept building a game that already showed a lot of promise. In March 2016, they decided that the game needed its own name and the close combat multiplayer game Divided we Fall was born! It was released on Steam Early Access on September 7, 2016.
After reading up on the history of Divided we Fall, we drop into the game and get acquainted with its unique style. The game is set in world war II and offers something quite different from the regular RTS gameplay. In Divided we Fall, you command a team of 4 soldiers. These 4 soldiers are all you have and that's where the real strategy comes into play. You have to move your soldiers across the battlefield, making sure they are behind cover. However, you'll quickly find out that you'll have to be really cunning, because even if you have cover the enemy can easily flank you. This means you'll have to protect yourself from attacks from all sides, only using the four soldiers you have at your disposal.
Of course you don't have to go into battle alone; you can team up with up to 14 people for a total of 15 v 15. Keep in mind that each one of these players has control over a squad of 4 soldiers so in this case there will be 120 soldiers on the battlefield. During battle with teammates, you quickly find out that the game's title actually holds up on the battlefield. If you don't work together, your army will most certainly get picked off on the battlefield, one lonely soldier at a time. Before a battle starts, there is a planning phase in which the team leader can delegate his or her squad leaders. This is done by marking routes on the map and assigning them to individual players in the team.
After planning your team's strategy, every player gains control over his squad and can do whatever they want, they can choose to follow the orders they have received or choose to go their own way, even though that could mean jeopardizing the entire mission. Keep in mind however that this game plays out real time so every player has to be aware of what is going on and if one soldier or even squad gets pinned down by the opposing forces. It's at times like these that straying from your path could eventually win the game, if done right!
Even though the game has only just released on Steam Early access you can see that a lot of work went into it already. There are 11 maps in varying sizes, which can be selected for battle. Apart from that, multiple game modes are available for play. There even is a Clan system called Regiments, in which you can team up with people and climb the leaderboards together. Even though the in game graphics are pretty nice, the game isn't all that demanding on your PC, meaning that you don't need the latest and greatest machine to start strategizing your way to victory. It must be said however that The developers certainly still have some optimization work to do. If you are playing on the highest settings, the game tends to drop its normally rock-steady framerate, making it look slightly choppy. downscaling these settings is easily done and, best of all, doesn't really impact the graphical style all that much. What it does do is make the game run smooth as butter, which is pretty important in this game.
All in all, I think that the people at Kava Game Studios have created something that could eventually turn into a new genre in gaming. I would advise this game to anyone who is even a little bit interested in strategic games. And if we do meet on the battlefield, never forget: Divided we Fall, United we stand. (unless you happen to be on the opposing side. In that case, please do forget it!)
DIVIDED WE FALL (EARLY ACCESS)
KAVA Game Studio
September 7, 2016