Rising Storm. If one would look at it’s gameplay and mechanics, they would probably, yell out it was a direct expansion pack for Red orchestra 2. But this is part of what amazes me.
This game started out as a modification for the original title, but after being recognized by Tripwire Interactive, in a spectacular co-workforce between the mod team and many developers from the original title.
So how does this first of a kind alliance between producers and fans fare?
As many fans of the original Red Orchestra series know, this game portraits a very authentic and immerse experience, asking players to almost act as if they were in the military because in matches, you will notice that in almost every case, the faction that actually acts as a team, uses tactics and makes a good use of patience, will win the round. Which is also another great point about this game. You will notice a very serious and dedicated community, who plays to win while using tactics, talking to each other and actually helping newcomers to the franchise.
Of course, while this can make it a good experience to some, it can also ruin it for people who are used to fast paced, more lone wolf kind of games. I often noticed players who were obviously out of their comfort zone dying countless times out in the open by lack of caution and team play, because the majority of the hardened and patient players where dug in, checking their sights for targets of opportunity.
You have a variety of classes ranging from Rifleman to Heavy MG, a light mortar class, Sniper and Assault trooper and the game gives you a class limit which is a great thing, so that this way, there won’t be quiet, 64 player sniper waiting games. The game even has a commander mode, where your goal changes to supporting your team in the field of battle. You can achieve this with recon flights, artillery strikes that have a cool-down period, and you can even force spawn players who are waiting on queue to enter the battle. While these classes made the game pretty dynamic and balanced, i kept feeling a medic class was missing in action, a feeling which only got worse when you notice the brilliantly in-depth player damage system shown on the lower left screen.
Instead of a health bar, the places you get shot are actually taken into place and will display in this marker including the stomach, arms legs and fatal shots like the heart and head, of course. Which of course, sounds great and looks great, but the problem comes in the actual functionality of this system, which appears to be nothing but cosmetic. You can either get shot and bleed slowly, while having a chance to apply a bandage by pressing the ctrl button, or get shot fatally and be left standing while slowly blacking out as you hear your soldier crying for help while you can’t do anything to stop this, before finally dying after 5 seconds.
It would have been fun to have a medic class who could actually help you out in these situations, which would require fatally wounded players to be left crying for help a bit more of course, but i think it would add to the experience.
Another strong point of Rising storm, was the absolutely top notch voice acting and sound design, surprising for a game of this kind. You will be amazed by how much emotion these lines are able to express during a firefight, (even more if you use the original languages option) with each player’s character screaming out when they sight the enemy, kill them, but even more when they are either suppressed or fatally wounded, with dramatic cry outs worthy of an Hollywood movie. You will be able to feel sorry for every team member dying regardless of the faction you’re playing in, because unlike many other games, the Japanese soldiers actually sound and talk as normal, real people too.
It’s just a shame that the in-game AI bots are really weak, even on the highest difficulty setting. They usually keep mindlessly sprinting towards the enemy (which is a pretty suicidal tactic in this game unless it’s done in coordination with the team) and ending up getting killed, making it harder for their own team instead of helping. It’s a shame, really, because many online matches use them to fill the server’s capacity.
Adding to this, we have a fair selection of 6 very distinctive maps, which are very well detailed and seem to tell us a story in every corner. They are also pretty dynamic, mixing jungle warfare, with close quarters combat in small towns or in besieged airfields. Adding to this a 64 player capacity, and 3 game modes, all for 14 euros, this title sure leaves a feeling of satisfaction for the money spent.
So, my final opinion is:
Rising storm is a brilliant, polished standalone multiplayer game which uses the Red Orchestra 2′s mechanics, which ends up on delivering a very tactical and fun to play experience. And with a low price tag of 14 euros, it is definitely a very appealing game. With a dedicated online player base, realistic mechanics and total immersion, it’s a must have for fans of tactical online first person shooters. However, the game might not appeal as much to more faster, single minded players looking for short matches.
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