18.06.2024

PREVIEW: Six Days in Fallujah

3

Six Days in Fallujah – long construction, what else to look for. In fact, the game was killed shortly after its announcement in 2009. The American public was outraged, the publisher Konami was frightened by the negativity and abandoned the project, after which it quietly died, although formally the game was not canceled.

That’s how it seemed to us throughout the 2010s. In 2021, some of the people who were involved in the original version of the shooter, announced that it will still be released. For now – only on PC and in early access.

  • Developer: Highwire Games
  • Publisher: Victura
  • Release Date: Early access

The hysteria of certain segments of the population is understandable. The so-called “Second Battle of Fallujah” was criticized in the U.S., among other things, for the use of white phosphorus by U.S. troops (which affected civilians) and the killing of the wounded. Whether this will be emphasized in the story campaign is unknown, because it is not ready yet. Early version is modest: there are only four maps for cooperative firefights, the squad can be up to four people.

You are free to guard the convoy or clean up the high-rise buildings alone, but it is almost impossible. First of all, Six Days in Fallujah is a realistic FPS. One or two hits – and you will feel bad at once, and your hand will reach for the first aid kit. You live here a little longer than in a similar situation in Rainbow Six, SWAT 4 or Operation Flashpoint. The Islamists act unpredictably: they try to pile up in a crowd, running out into the middle of the street with machine guns, they hide behind walls, looking out through doorways and holes, or they run through distant yards, coming in the back. It’s hard to describe my surprise when, trailing a line of Marines entering the building, I saw a five-man band of thugs creeping up from the side of the seemingly cleared houses. It’s very difficult to spot a sniper lurking in the distance, so it’s hard to wander through procedurally generated locations (even though part of each level is clearly prescribed in advance) without cover.

Secondly, it is unclear what the promised AI-assistants will be like. Minimalistic interface (by default you can’t see anything, if you want to know the number of bullets or look at the compass – press the corresponding keys) and the need to communicate with live partners mainly by voice do not give a clear idea about possible control schemes of computer comrades. Will it be interesting in single-player modes? Mystery.

However, here they do not give boredom. Of course, if the case does not throw to you in the squad of fans to fly out into the crossfire. Such can be revived by approaching an armored personnel carrier near the starting point, but at the end of the stage the desire to return there disappears. And as in any online game, the slightest difficulty sometimes provokes the weak of spirit to leave the party. Not fighters! If the quartet acts harmoniously, then there is a chance to fulfill the task at hand. You have to move slowly, constantly looking back. As if this is not enough – the scoundrels fire at us from mortars (try to understand where it comes) and launch “shahid-mobiles”, which for some reason can not always be stopped by a machine gun.

On the other hand, in 4 hours (on 4 randomly given maps for 10-15 minutes with random and extremely limited equipment) I didn’t meet a single civilian. Also, the current version doesn’t change weather conditions and time of day. Not very realistic for a game “based on true stories”! So far the loud statement is supported only by a couple of short clips – video chronicles from 2004 mixed with interviews with Iraqis and Americans. The latter in addition give out wise thoughts on the loading screens from the category “grenades are overrated” and “it’s scary to enter a building occupied by the enemy”.

…especially if your machine gun doesn’t have an underbarrel light. Then your chances of seeing anything in the pitch darkness are nil. The picture has certain flaws, but in general the shooter looks acceptable for its budget (probably small) and status (actually “demo”). But the price bites: the equivalent of $40 for a game that now has fewer features than other tactical shooters in Steam Early Access like Ready or Not or Ground Branch? That’s a lot. And as Six Days in Fallujah develops, the price tag promises to go up.

There are currently no dedicated single-player modes in Six Days of Fallujah. However, you can still play battlegroup missions on your own, but you have to be prepared to die a lot.Combat doesn’t get any easier when you enter a match on your own, and there are no artificial intelligence teammates to help you out. Once you’re down, there’s no one to revive you.Playing alone introduces a whole new level of difficulty. You can’t establish fire superiority when facing multiple insurgents alone, but you can’t go unnoticed throughout the mission.

You can succeed with masterful stealth, reflexes, and clever thinking, but when you play this way, it becomes clear that it’s not the way you planned to play this game. After about a dozen solo attempts, I only managed to complete the mission once.

Highwire squeezed every last bit of energy out of Unreal Engine 4 to make the visuals of Six Days of Fallujah as realistic as the gameplay. The faithful recreation of battle-scarred Fallujah looks stunning.

For a military action game, the game is pretty quiet. You’ll occasionally hear explosions in the distance, but most of the time it’s just your footsteps and those of your teammates.

The sounds of gunshots are immediate and satisfying, and the alarming screams of rebels echo throughout the empty corridors and streets of the city. Overall, the sound design is top notch, as it should be in a title where even the slightest noise can give away the position of the rebels.


Ironic that the main potential lies not in the promised plausible story based on eyewitness memories. In any case, so far we have only four maps, where dashing terrorists are running around, with a plot like “we are under attack, shoot back!”. Much more interesting is the random generation of locations and presumably advanced AI – it will ideally be able to entertain us for as long as we want. Sounds ambitious. Such projects get stuck in Early Access for years, and it’s hard to believe that the novelty will grow to version 1.0 in 12-18 months, but I really want to believe it.


PROS

  • Great tactical gameplay
  • Intelligent enemy artificial intelligence that follows real-world tactics
  • Well realized procedurally generated environments
  • Realistic depiction of urban combat

CONS

  • High price for an early access game with only one game mode.
  • No AI companions for single players

3 thoughts on “PREVIEW: Six Days in Fallujah

Leave a Reply