Enlisted is the latest game from Gaijin Entertainment, famously known for developing War Thunder.
It’s a realistic WW2 infantry simulator with gameplay similar to old-school battlefield titles. You really get the feeling that you’re in a historical conflict where every life matters and every bullet counts.
But why should you play Enlisted if you’re already invested in the Call of Duty or Battlefield franchise, both of which release new games on a yearly basis?
Nice question, let me give you a few good reasons to pick up Enlisted and squad with your friends. Firstly, its gameplay is entirely different from the average AAA FPS.
Enemies are not bullet sponges, and gunplay is satisfying (both sound and recoil feel realistic).
Good positioning/ game sense is way more important than simply aiming your crosshair on whatever you want to kill and pressing fire.
On top of all that, Enlisted is free to play, making its money from in-game microtransactions.
But unlike Call of Duty or Battlefield, these microtransactions are far less intrusive and don’t interfere with gameplay all that much.
I feel microtransactions in a f2p game are somewhat justifiable, whereas the same thing in a 60 dollar AAA game is a very undesirable trait.
- What Makes The Gameplay of Enlisted So Unique?
- Explaining The Squad-Based Warfare
- The Various Troop Specializations In Enlisted
- How Does The Cross-Platform Play Work In Enlisted?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes The Gameplay of Enlisted So Unique?
Call of Duty is an arena shooter in which super soldiers with nanomachines in their bloodstreams jetpack around the map 360 noscoping everyone with their laser rifles.
On the other hand, Enlisted is a realistic squad-based tactical FPS with no regenerating health, extremely low TTK, faction-specific weaponry, and combined arms warfare (you can drive vehicles).
You aren’t focused on getting the highest KDA. Instead, you’re more interested in capturing tactically advantageous positions on the map and completing the mission objectives.
In Enlisted, it only takes a couple of bullets to kill someone. Even if you’re using a handgun or submachine gun.
And rifles actually feel like rifles- tremendous damage, lots of noise, and unwieldy compared to more compact firearms.
In contrast to modern shooters where you can run around with a full kit of gear at Mach speed, Enlisted makes you feel like you’re actually carrying a heavy load as a soldier.
Ammo, medkits, weapons, armor, etc. add weight, so you can’t spin around on a dime while charging full speed through the battlefield.
And while some may say this makes the game slower and worse, I say it actually feels like a massive upgrade over modern military shooters.
The added realism and attention to detail immerses you in the battlefield and makes every decision feel more impactful.
Every choice you make is deliberate and the consequences for messing up in Enlisted are quite significant.
If you prefer mud, dirt, sweat, and blood over jetpacks and nanomachines you’ll love this game.
And even though this game is primarily about infantry squads (enlisted soldiers), you can still drive vehicles (such as tanks).
That adds an additional layer of depth to the gameplay and complements the grand scale battles taking place on gigantic maps.
A lot of these in-game maps are inspired by famous WW2 battles, featuring everything from trenches to bunkers (and even artillery emplacements).
Explaining The Squad-Based Warfare
In most modern shooters you’re a lone warrior. A force of destruction armed with an arsenal of futuristic weaponry, dispatching anyone that gets in your way purely with your own skills.
But Enlisted isn’t just about you, it’s about your squad. Brothers in arms, who you command.
These squadmates are AI, and you start out controlling the leader. If you fall, you can take control of any squadmate you want.
This is why you should position them in strategically important spots on the battlefield. They can act without your command, but you can also give general instructions to your AI teammates.
And the best part is that each member of your squad has a specialization. Mechanic, medic, sniper, rifleman, etc.
There are a total of 12 specialist roles, all of which can be included within a squad. Specialists have access to various weapon loadouts and skills that are unlocked via training.
As you gain experience over time, you can recruit better soldiers to your squad.
Or train existing ones and provide them with higher-end equipment so they perform better on the battlefield.
Either way, Enlisted is all about team play- you can’t win solo.
The Various Troop Specializations In Enlisted
So, I mentioned how squad-focused this entire game is. But what about the specializations, and how do they impact the gameplay?
Well, let’s start out by mentioning what each specialization does since there are 12 of them.
These guys will form the majority of most combat units, and are available from the start.
Troopers are equipped with semi-auto rifles and bolt-action rifles, making them capable of dishing out high damage in medium to long ranges.
An extremely versatile class of soldiers, troopers can assist with just about any operation. They pack heavy firepower and are quite effective at sending it downrange.
Especially if the fight takes place outside a building or house where there isn’t much cover to hide behind for the enemy.
Mortars are infantry killers. In the real war, mortars contributed to a significant chunk of infantry kills.
Tanks need infantry to support them, and mortars are capable of obliterating entire squads in mere seconds.
Mortars typically fire exploding ammunition that fragments upon impact and causes damage in a wide area to unarmored units.
If you take away infantry support from tanks, the tanks themselves can be picked apart as they are reduced to slow-moving metal coffins.
The best thing about mortars is that you don’t even need a direct line of sight in order to fire them. Mortars can be angled and fired from behind cover.
You can shoot whatever is on the other side of a wall or building without exposing yourself to enemy fire.
A highly trained marksman armed with a powerful scope on his rifle, the sniper is a deadly force on any battlefield.
Snipers lie hidden, far away from the frontline. They take out key targets such as machine gunners and mortar crews without ever revealing their position.
Yes, sniper rifles are often bolt-action types similar to what some troopers use. But the increased barrel length combined with a powerful optic makes them much more effective at long ranges.
Snipers are also very useful as scouts since they move alone and generally stay hidden from sight.
Armed with a long-distance scope, these guys can spot enemy squads and relay the information to the rest of their team who is following from behind.
Once you know the number and type of enemy units, you can construct a plan to pick them apart.
Perhaps this class should be renamed “the anti-armor unit” because that’s their primary purpose. To kill enemy vehicles. Especially tanks since bombers are armed with anti-tank rocket launchers and anti-tank rifles.
Anti-tank rifles can take out light tanks with a few well-placed shots. Even medium tanks are at risk if you flank them from the rear and score a hit on the engine/ fuel tank with an armor-piercing round.
If needed, the rocket launchers and giant rifles can also be used against infantry (although machine guns and mortars are far more effective against squads of ground troops).
Fast-moving shock troops who breach buildings and fortified structures, clearing the interiors of all hostiles. Armed with submachine guns, assaulters are extremely lethal at close ranges.
The high rate of fire combined with excellent maneuverability in tight quarters makes submachine guns an ideal weapon type for these soldiers.
Once your tanks and mortar crews have cleared out all enemy defenses surrounding a structure, you can send in the assaulters to clear out anyone hiding inside.
Or, you can have them be the first wave of force to support an extended battle.
While all the previous specializations focused on direct assault or offensive abilities, engineers are a support troop.
They make sure the rest of the squad can do its job by building fortifications.
Engineers can also build fixed gun emplacements that provide you with a means to take down enemy aircraft, tanks, and infantry.
Armed with machine guns, a gunner can lay down suppressive fire that forces enemy troops to keep their heads down.
Machine-gun fire is great for holding a position against advancing enemy troops.
Especially if your machine gunners have the high ground and are protected by something like a bunker.
Gunners can cover a wide area with dense, fully automatic fire for extended periods of time.
And they are basically a death sentence to any group of soldiers rushing towards the machine gunner position without cover.
However, machine gun crews are vulnerable to snipers. And heavy armor such as tanks can make short work of machine gun crews who are hiding inside buildings.
8. Radio Operator
As a radio operator, you can dish out insane amounts of damage on the battlefield.
Everything from infantry to armored vehicles is another potential target for you. But you don’t actually fire the shot.
Instead, you use your radio equipment to call in artillery support over an area.
Howitzers need to know their target coordinates, and you’re the one who provides said coordinates. The more precise your calls, the better your damage output.
Artillery can take out any unit on the battlefield, including heavy tanks. But it’s slow and takes quite some time to reload.
9. Flame trooper
Possibly the single scariest troop type you can come across in a close-quarters encounter. Flamethrowers are devastating since they don’t just spew a cloud of flames.
The flamethrower fuel also sticks onto you and keeps burning over time, so you aren’t safe even after moving out of the fire zone.
Basically, your body disintegrates over time if a flamethrower spill so much as touches you for a brief moment.
And the range on these things is actually longer than you’d expect, they are capable of reaching out to 6 meters (18 feet).
For balance purposes, the range of these devices had to be shortened because real WW2 flamethrowers can reach out to 16 meters (48 feet).
You can even blind tank crews by using your flamethrower on their viewports.
These guys are essentially modern light cavalry, driving motorcycles on the battlefield. Each motorcycle has a sidecar that carries a light machinegun.
Motorcyclists are fast and can dish out lots of damage, especially in close to medium ranges.
Because of their speed and evasiveness, motorcyclists are perfect for breaching through the initial line of defense.
They can wreak havoc on any infantry that is stranded in the open without cover.
Plus, motorcycles can be used to transport other members of your squad around the battlefield.
Pretty self-explanatory, you charge into the battlefield with your very own tank and crew. A big main gun reduces bunkers and enemy tanks to dust.
While a co-axial/top-mounted machine gun gives you excellent protection from infantry trying to flank you with rocket launchers and grenades.
Tank combat in Enlisted isn’t anywhere as detailed or realistic as World of Tanks, but it’s still pretty enjoyable.
You have a variety of tanks that are painstakingly modeled to mimic every detail of their real WW2 counterparts.
You can swap between gunner and commander positions any time you wish.
Possibly the coolest role of them all, as you fly your very own fighter/ bomber aircraft.
No, the flying isn’t as deep or immersive as War Thunder but it’s still pretty good.
You are limited to solo flight, so no crew-operated planes are allowed. Mostly small fighters and bombers that require just one pilot.
With machine guns, cannons, and bombs, you can change the landscape of battle single-handedly.
How Does The Cross-Platform Play Work In Enlisted?
This may have been patched up at the time you’re reading my article, but right now Enlisted has a weird crossplay system.
For example, let’s say you’re on PS5 and wish to play with your friends who have Xbox at their home.
You can do it since everybody is on the same server. And the netcode of Enlisted is tuned to level the playing field and make each experience similar (at least on consoles).
The game has crossplay but it currently lacks some basic functions.
You can get into matches with other players who are using different platforms, but you can’t lobby up together or add them to your friend list.
If you want to queue up with a friend who’s using a different platform, your best bet is to queue together in the same region.
And pray that the matchmaking system pairs both of you together.
Plus, your progression won’t carry over from one platform to another.
So if you log into your account after downloading the game on Xbox when you originally played on PlayStation, your progress won’t carry over.
But if you upgrade from Xbox One to Series X or PS4 to PS5, your progress will carry over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Enlisted pay-to-win?
A: Not really, even though many of the good firearms and units are locked behind microtransactions.
You can grind your way to a fairly effective squad, equipped with some awesome gear.
And superior tactics + game sense will always beat inexperienced players running around with high-end gear.
Q. Is this game well-optimized?
A: Yeah, you don’t need a super beefy rig to run it if you’re on PC.
A mid-range graphics card combined with a quad-core and 8GB of RAM can handle Enlisted on low to medium graphics and 1080p without any framerate drops.
Q. How is the experience on 8th generation consoles?
A: If you’re on PS4 or Xbox, you won’t have the best experience.
Sorry, but the hardware just isn’t capable of keeping up with a grand-scale war game made in 2020 featuring gigantic battlefields and dozens of units fighting at the same time.
Hopefully, you’re lucky enough to find a PS5 or Xbox Series X in stock that isn’t selling at scalper prices.
Q. Is the in-game community nice?
A: Well, this is a free-to-play WW2 shooter. Of course, it’s going to have trolls and troublemakers, like any other online multiplayer game.
For the most part though, Enlisted attracts a certain group of gamers who are looking for an authentic WW2 sim experience.
So you can expect to have an intelligent and productive conversation with them.
And if you play with friends, you don’t have to worry about toxic players and trolls who teamkill in every match.
Q. Is the game polished and bug-free?
A: For the most part, yes. You rarely encounter game-breaking glitches or bugs. That’s quite impressive for a f2p game of this scale.
Unlike, for example, Battlefield 2042 which turned out to be a massive bug-riddled mess.
In summary, Enlisted is a truly excellent world war 2 infantry-focused shooter with deep combat and a realistic portrayal of war.
You can drive tanks, fly planes, and fire giant cannons.
There are flamethrowers, sniper rifles, machine guns, mortars, and LMGs- everything you need to have some fun on a giant battlefield.
The gameplay is layered and diverse, with every match feeling very different from the previous one.
Specialist roles are similar to a class system, and each specialization has its unique benefits.
You can have multiple specializations in one squad and gain experience through battle which lets you level up and learn new skills for that particular specialization.