United 1944 PC Review

Who doesn’t like waiting in an empty lobby or match with nobody else to shoot at?

By R3GR3T, Posted 30 Dec 2023

Unexpected creations are a constant nowadays; gaming is no stranger to this concept, and neither is Novarama. This Spanish developer was founded in 2003, and it seems they had a rocky start with their first release, Fallen Lords: Condemnation, released in 2005. Sadly, their first release wasn’t as well received and is now abandonware, but this didn’t stop them from trying again with Invizimals in 2009. This is where things took an interesting turn since Invizimals was an Augmented Reality game for the PSP. With some positive feedback from the communities, they carried on and expanded on that release quite heavily in the form of sequels and expansions.

Fast-forward to 2022, and Novarama released Killsquad, an odd mix of retro visual and a top-down shooter with some hack-and-slash and RPG elements on the side that was quite well received. However, this studio isn’t quite done yet, but maybe this is where they should’ve reconsidered a few things when they released United 1944 into Early Access on 12 December. Now, before you jump the gun and look for a hill protest, read the full story, and you’ll see why they might have made a tiny mistake with their latest creation.

United 1944, Review, Screenshots, First-Person Shooter, Survival, Builder, NoobFeed

United 1944, at first glance, has amazing potential as a survival and builder first-person shooter set in World War II, but it might just be a case of bad timing or maybe a severe lack of interest because it seems it will be a cold day in hell before you see more than two other players in a server if any at all. The thing is, United 1944 is an online PvP release, so this means the game is dead without other players online who can team up with you or against you. However, the show must go on, and we’ll give you the juicy details where they can be found.

You start off with what might actually be one of the better tutorials to take place in recent game releases; you don’t get thrown into the deep end while having to watch tutorial prompts on the fly, which is a refreshing start that has become rare in recent times. You’ll be taught the basics of United 1944 in the form of Scavenging, Crafting, Building, Skills, and Base Conquest. Now, it can come across as somewhat basic, but there’s a lot more to your end goal than just flaunting your FPS skills because simply gunning down your opponents won’t win the game; you’ll need to survive and eventually destroy your opponent’s Outpost.

So, hypothetically speaking, you do manage to wrangle a massive group of players who want to play; here’s what to expect - United 1944 will first throw you into a tutorial where you’ll be shown the ins and outs of how to survive and build what you need. First off, this is an FPS, and you’re going to need a weapon because in a fight against people with guns, your knife won’t save you. So, you’ll have to craft a weapon using various materials that are oh-so conveniently scattered just about everywhere. Though you’ll only have access to a Makeshift Rifle, it gets the job done.

United 1944, Review, Screenshots, First-Person Shooter, Survival, Builder, NoobFeed

Next, you’ll be taken through the motions of firing at a few targets and then shown how different thrown items like grenades and Molotovs can be used to destroy metal and wooden walls, respectively; more on this real soon. Then comes the main objective and the biggest driving force for United 1944, retrieving Secret Files from nearby safes and taking them to an Outpost. In short, the tutorial is a great way to start the game and get the hang of everything, but that’s about as far as the fun goes. Now comes the part where you think you’ll jump into one of the two game modes on offer – Survivor and Domination.

As mentioned before, United 1944 doesn’t exactly have the liveliest servers at the moment, and this could be due to a lack of interest, no hyping, or maybe because the game is still too new. Regardless, both modes have their own unique appeal. Starting with Survivor, you’ll play in groups of 3, and your objective is pretty straightforward. You have to work with your teammates to gather resources, build guns and your Outpost, and then eventually gather up and turn in enough Secret Files to level up and craft the Extraction Flare to be rescued. Though this is all easier said than done…

Survivor will have you earning XP through various means, and levelling up will also expand what you can craft, though you start with nothing at least. You’ll be given a starting choice between 3 weapons and three abilities, both of which will need to be crafted. Though before we get too ahead of things, you’ll still need to level up to unlock the better crafting options, but you’ll have to spend Skill Points on the huge Skill Tree. Something to keep in mind is that you won’t be able to collect all the skills, so it’ll be wise to have a rough idea of the path you want to follow on the tree and stick to it while your teammates do the same. Striking a balance and dividing roles will be key in United 1944 when it comes to Survivor.

United 1944, Review, Screenshots, First-Person Shooter, Survival, Builder, NoobFeed

Before you can channel your inner Rambo and slaughter your opponents, you’ll need to build an Outpost and ensure it is properly defended. Welcome to the wonderful world of building walls, doors, traps, and defending your position. Luckily, United 1944 draws a clear line with the starting options for abilities such as Wooden Walls, Smoke Grenades, and Bandages, or to look at it from an archetype point of view: Gunner, Builder, and Medic. Sadly, as mentioned before, you’ll need a ton of crafting materials to build anything, and defending your Outpost is no small matter. However, a little teamwork can go a long way, and United 1944 will reward you with better weapons and construction options.

Now that you’ve built your Outpost, built a few walls, and set some traps, you’ll need to keep an eye on the health of what you built as well. What goes up must come down eventually, and your walls are far from unbeatable… But they can be repaired if you have the materials to do so. This doesn’t necessarily mean you can just keep repairing your Wood Wall if it’s burning because of a Molotov that hit it; if the fire doesn’t kill you, it will definitely destroy your wall faster than you can repair it. Once again, teamwork makes the dream work, and a little strategy on top will make your life in United 1944 so much easier.

Speaking of repairs, your weapons will eventually break because they have set durability, too. Carrying a spare seems to be your only option, but the ability to repair it would also be nice if materials are scarce. Sadly, this is a little difficult to confirm if you’re stuck on one of many dead servers and with your only XP coming from Secret Files. The alternative is getting the level 9 perk, Weapon Master, which removes the wear and tear from your weapons, but even this comes with a string of required skills before you can get it.

United 1944, Review, Screenshots, First-Person Shooter, Survival, Builder, NoobFeed

If Survivor isn’t your cup of tea, United 1944 also has Domination, which is a nice change of pace. Domination’s objective is a bit more difficult and possibly complicated, too. You’ll need to either destroy all the enemy squad’s bases or control more than them for a set time. This is a nice change of pace, but it’s still similar to Survivor; the biggest difference is that you’re fighting with a much bigger team now. The fight for territorial control will definitely become a bloodbath, and you’ll have to be strategic with how to destroy bases or take control of them.

United 1944 has one more major feature to offer that will appeal to just about any player, glorious cosmetics. Why look like everybody else when you can show off your own style by unlocking some of the various cosmetics for your character, though you’ll need Dog Tags to buy them? Luckily, they’re actually quite easy to come by if you do a few of the weekly challenges. The challenges aren’t all that difficult to get through, just a little tedious, but playing usually will also unintentionally finish some of the challenges either way.

On the visual front, United 1944 shows right off the bat that a lot of care went into the design of the different areas and even the weapons. You could say the developer went all in to try to keep everything as accurate as possible to WWII while throwing in the occasional future twist for interest’s sake. However, United 1944’s visual side isn’t perfect either. Having to collect materials to craft what you need is great, but when the materials are literally everywhere, to the point where you see more materials than the ground you run on, it can easily be considered cluttered. On a different note, crafting and building are great, but this might be better suited to bigger areas or even going open-world, though this would also need a bigger player base, which is currently non-existent.

United 1944, Review, Screenshots, First-Person Shooter, Survival, Builder, NoobFeed

United 1944 doesn’t draw too much focus on sound engineering or music, though this is understandable since it is still a war-themed game. There is one thing that semi-redeems some of the more flaws that can be found, and that is the ambient sounds and sound effects. These are usually quite easily overlooked when it comes to things like footsteps. Sadly, one good thing for another bad thing… Collecting Secret Files will play a voiced prompt to “Deliver the documents to build a new Outpost”. You probably heard it the first few times, but it becomes painfully repetitive when you’re on a lengthy streak by quickly snagging Secret Files. A little variation or maybe even silence would be better than hearing the same line over and over.

Overall, United 1944 has endless potential, but it might end up being a ‘failure to launch’ if the player base doesn’t grow. Online games thrive on their players because that’s what keeps them going and what makes them fun; sadly, United 1944 missed the mark with that one, and you’ll find yourself sitting alone in a lobby with a very slim chance of just one person joining. Visuals and interesting sound engineering won’t save this release. Still, time might be able to steer this game away from becoming another piece of abandonware if enough players develop an interest in the game.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Novarama
Developer(s): Novarama
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: World War II, Survival, Builder, PvP
Release Date: 2023-12-12

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