The most entertaining multiplayer fps so far that has just the right amount of realism (this review is based on 'Realism' -mode of the game). Getting shot gets you killed (or disabled which is the same as killed in game terms) most of the time, depending on the weapon you get shot with: higher caliber weapons drop you with more certainty while pistols require more accuracy. Getting shot in the head or the heart (yes, the game lets you know where you were hit) kills anyone instantly. If you get lucky enough to survive a shot, you must spend a few seconds bandaging the wound or you will bleed out and die (yeah, not very realistic but very entertaining and exciting gamewise!). Also, sometimes you survive being shot for the few moments it takes you to bleed out from a serious wound that you cannot bandage: your screen starts to go black and you can no longer move, aim, reload or switch weapons. You can empty your current weapon in the general direction of the enemy sometimes getting lucky enough to hit them. Heroic effort, that! Nothing can save you from dying in this state, however.
The game simulates suppression by turning the screen gradually black and white while a loud thumping of your own heart can be heard. This indicates your soldier panicking in the midst of an artillery barrage (which causes the most suppression in the shortest amount of time), getting shot at (bullets hitting near you gradually make you panic) and finally fellow soldiers getting hit and dying near you. In game terms, you aim is lowered by the additional weapon sway and the screen effects make it harder (not impossible, just more difficult) to aim accurately.
The two sides (US and Imperial Japanese) are balanced in a way that - despite their numerous differences - offer a different experience in gameplay. Both sides have a set of limited roles ranging from the single team leader, several squad leaders, machine gunners, assault troops, snipers and an indefinite amount of riflemen up to the team size of 32 players. In addition the US get flamethrowers, and engineers carrying trench guns, while the Imperial Japanese have 'Knee-mortar' -soldiers.
Also the technology of the time is - to my knowledge - displayed accurately: the US soldiers are equipped with semi-automatic weapons (M1) most of the time while the Imperial japanese troops have to make do with their bolt action rifles (Type 38, Type 99). In some maps, like Guadalcanal, the US troops have bolt-action rifles (Springfield) as well since the M1-Garands had not yet been delivered to them (as is historically accurate). All in all, the US have more firepower at their disposal at any given time.
In return, the Imperial Japanese troops have bayonets from the beginning (which the US soldiers lack until upgraded) and they can banzai charge - resulting in higher suppression resistance - causing suppression in the enemy the more soldiers are joined in the charge - and the ability to withstand more hits than usual (headshots and shots through the heart kill instantly, as normally). The US troops suffer from suppression more easily than the Imperial Japanese troops. Japanese officers also get katanas, which are a cool way of disposing opponents.
In terms of weaponry, the Imperial Japanese soldiers can use their grenades as booby traps: 2 can be in place at the most by a single soldier at any given time. If you plant a third, the first one disappears. Yeah, again not very realistic but it balances the game. The booby traps can be seen plainly if placed on an open terrain with no vegetation and they can be detonated by shots, grenades or artillery fire. US soldiers walking over or very near one detonate it and most often die instantly while the Imperial Japanese soldiers can walk over them without triggering them. An US soldeir can, however shoot at a booby trap to detonate it in the face of any enemy soldiers (there's actually an achievement for this!). The knee-mortar (as inaccurately named by US troops of the time; some poor ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s actually tried firing it from their knee, often breaking their thighbone as a result) is basically a grenade launcher which must be setup prior firing. It can be deadly in accurate hands but is often a cause of accidental team kills among new players trying it, don't get discouraged if this happens and remember to apologize for team kills! A knee-mortar soldier gets 5 grenades to shoot at respawn, which can be replenished once at a single supply point like any other ammunition.
The flamethrower that the US have, is a weapon feared by many Imperial Japanese players. A mere touch of its flames will kill you almost instantly and the flames fill a bunker quickly and completely leaving nothing alive inside. In contrast, the fuel runs out rather quickly, the range is limited, and the US soldier carrying it is perhaps the most targeted soldier among enemy troops.
Both sides' team leaders must coordinate with their squad leaders to bring down artillery fire on, or near the enemy. This mostly acts as an area denial behind capture points so that the defending or attacking players are denied access to secure it. Soldiers finding themselves inside a barrage must get out of there quickly or get killed by the blasts: the game mechanic of artillery kills anyone inside the area over time. If you're very lucky, you can survive for a few seconds to run into safety.
The game has a honor system with ranks starting from 0 (new players) and ending in 100 - the highest rank available. The honor rank is account based and it is shown on a 'kill list' rotating on the upper right corner of the display (who killed who, how and where the shot it if a vulnerable spot) whenever you die or kill an opponent. You never know where the shot came from (unless you actually saw it your field of vision) as the camera locks instanly as you are killed so you can not look around to spot the enemy while dead.
The individual roles on a side (rifleman, machinegunner, squad leader etc.) get experience (team points) points based on performance in battle: staying near you squad leader or team leader grants you extra team points whenever you kill someone or help capture an objective (which in itself grants several points). Also extra points are awarded for killing someone FROM the object zone and even more if the TARGET was in the object zone as well. Normally, you get 2 ream points from a kill and -2 for a team kill.
A team kill can be forgiven by a player by saying 'np' in the public chat (the 'np' is not shown in actual chat) which removes the penalty from the player who caused it. It is generally polite to apologize for team kills and forgive them if the player causing it apologized. Sometimes you can guess with almost certainty that a team kill was an accident. Sometimes you just make the mistake of running into an area where someone just said they'd throw a grenade at or the team leader announced that the artillery barrage would strike in: in these cases you should own your mistake and 'np' immediately, especially in the case of team leader's artillery barrage which could result in numerous team kill penalties quickly. If you get enough team kills, whether accidental or not, you get kicked from the match and can't rejoin until the map changes.
Respawns in the game are periodic (a rotation of 16 seconds, I think) simulating waves of reinforcements arriving. The team leader has a limited ability (with a cooldown period) to instantly respawn all dead players. Both teams have a set number of tickets which dwindle as players keep dying. If the tickets reach zero, spawn protection is disabled and no more respawns can take place. Maps are also time limited and failure by the attacking team to capture an objective will eventually result in a lockdown period of 3 minutes during which they must capture the point or lose despite the time left on the map's time counter.