United 1944 is a WW2 shooter where you make your own guns

Killsquad studio Novarama has revealed its new project, a multiplayer FPS set in the Second World War. It's called United 1944, and promises to blend shooter action with strategy and crafting.

The gameplay in the reveal trailer up above looks pretty straightforward as these things go—gunfire, explosions, ruined buildings, and rousing music—but a more detailed explanation of how the game works reveals that there's more going on. Each map in United 1944 has two HQ buildings, one for each team of 16 players, where players will spawn; from there, they'll fan out across the map in search of "secret documents." Finding and delivering those documents to HQ will allow players to craft "outpost kits" that will enable teams to capture and control points on the map.

But you're not going to be capturing or controlling much of anything without guns, and this is where United 1944 starts to diverge from most other such shooters: You begin the game "literally with nothing," and must craft your weapons from scavenged resources. 

You'll also have to be careful about how you use those weapons, because apparently you are not the world's greatest gunsmith and the firearms you create can (and almost certainly will) break—not something you want to happen in the middle of a firefight.

Teams are based on the usual Axis and Allies standard, but there are no preset classes: Instead, there are five skill trees (engineer, recon, sharpshooter, explorer, and support) that you can select from as you see fit. Capture points also aren't fixed, meaning you can drop outposts anywhere on the map you like. But outposts can be taken by the opposing team, so if you want to keep them you'll also need to construct fortifications and defenses to help keep the enemy out. 

(Image credit: Novarama)

Novarama also noted that United 1944 features more than 100 unique death animations, which I thought was interesting, if maybe a bit odd as a talking point.

"Remember our focus is immersion," the studio said. "Early on, we felt killing someone didn’t have the 'omph' factor we wanted: it felt out of place. We invested a lot of time and effort into doing lots of death cases, so gunning someone down is a satisfying experience."

Fair enough, I guess. It all sounds very ambitious, but the trailer looks none too shabby, and if Novarama is able to pull it off United 1944 could be a genuinely interesting twist on a genre that, with all due respect, is maybe a little too familiar these days. We'll get a better idea of that in the hopefully not-too-distant future, as the studio said a closed beta is coming soon. You can sign up to take part in that on the United 1944 Discord.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.