World War 3, the ‘hardcore Battlefield,’ returns from the grave.

World War 3, a multiplayer modern military shooter being developed by The Farm 51, was described as “a more intense Battlefield” in late 2018. It wasn’t a perfect experience, but it was just a few weeks into Early Access at the time, and our in-house shooter specialist Morgan thought it provided a promising pre-release experience.

Development continued apace for a time, with new content and free weekends to attract new players and keep them coming back, until June 2020, when the company announced a new collaboration with Warface publisher My. Games, and suspended Steam sales ahead of a planned redesign and relaunch. At that point, it had mostly dropped off the radar, and The Farm 51’s attention seemed to have shifted to the looming Stalker-like Chernobylite.

But it turns out that development on World War 3 has been ongoing, and today the company released a new video—the first in more than a year—showing off what’s changed. Maps have been modified to make them more accessible and “interesting,” as have various movement and weapon animations, and scopes have been given a “major overhaul to suit contemporary military requirements.”

The mobility system has also been revamped, allowing players to “double run,” climb, leap over barriers, slide, and go prone, as well as a slew of new weapon and character customization choices, UI enhancements to aid in navigation and opponent spotting, and, of course, a kill cam.

Taken as a whole, the update gives the appearance that The Farm 51 is abandoning its “hardcore” approach to the game, but the company has stated that it is dedicated to finding a balance between realism and accessibility.

“One of our aims with World War 3 is to provide realistic simulations with an overall pleasurable experience,” the video adds. “We term this ‘playable realism’: gameplay elements that increase credibility and immersion without detracting from the enjoyment.”

The announcement coincides with a major information dump regarding the upcoming Battlefield game, which is strangely fortuitous (and possibly terrible) timing. Still, it’s encouraging to see that the World War Three wheels are still moving, and maybe we’ll be able to get Morgan to jump back in and see how things are going. Unfortunately, there’s no word on when he’ll be able to do so: no date has been announced for the return of World War 3 sales on Steam. More details regarding the game’s progress will be revealed in the coming months, according to Farm 51.

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