Shell Shock – “Day of Infamy” Review

Day of Infamy might borrow liberally from Insurgency, but it’s far more than a World War II reskin project.

In many ways, Day of Infamy feels like the careful evolution of mechanics popularized by the now cult-classic Insurgency brought the Second World War. The brutal, realistic combat where one bullet can mean death is as satisfying as it is infuriating. Day of Infamy enhances squad-based gameplay by pushing players to put the team’s success before stacking up the enemy body count.

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Like other team shooters, composition of squads and teams as a whole is well balanced by putting limits on how many players can play certain roles. While it can be frustrating to be cut off from using a sniper rifle, it forces assault and support players to push closer to the objective. The wave-based respawns also makes teams who aren’t using communication to stay together as a group and make effective pushes toward the objective.

As far as map design goes, Day of Infamy is full of maps that depict an entirely dilapidated European theater. While most maps are a fair balance of attack and defend objectives, there were a few maps where it felt like it’s a little too easy for a team playing defense to lock in and hold off waves of attackers. Adding a defensive team that uses in-game chat and matches often feel like steamrolling. This isn’t the fault of the developer; it’s just the reality of good communication in team-centric games like Day of Infamy, Insurgency and even Overwatch. The emphasis on supporting other players regardless of role might alienate gamers who are used to the lonewolf gameplay popularized first-person shooters, those who are willing to put the team before themselves will earn the team’s praise and lock in more multiplayer wins.

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Visually speaking, Day of Infamy if serviceable. Effects carry the somewhat dated look of the game, but there are also a myriad of mods that can be added to the experience to enhance the look. The game also feels pretty stable and runs as expected without unwarranted framerate loss. Simply put, Day of Infamy won’t necessarily wow with it’s look but steady performance and tried and true gameplay more than carry the experience.

Like Insurgency, Day of Infamy will likely maintain a smaller player base, but those who play the game will likely find themselves enthralled with the challenging and rewarding gameplay. Just like Insurgency, the game’s biggest champions seem to be content to crank out new mods to further polish the experience and keep the community engaged.

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The Verdict

Day of Infamy plays well and feels like a natural departure from the Insurgency formula that works hard to make small but meaningful differences, besides setting and era, to justify the game’s existence. Like any squad-based shooter, Day of Infamy is totally accessible to anyone, but those willing to communicate and work with their teams will get the most out of the experience.

Day of Infamy might still feel like it’s in the shadow of Insurgency, but there’s enough gameplay tweaks that make it easy to recommend to fans of hardcore first-person shooters.

4:5

Day of Infamy was reviewed on a Xbox One press copy courtesy of New World Interactive and Evolve PR.

Interested in Bear Claw Gaming’s review process? Check out the official scoring FAQ!

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