The original Rising Storm came out in 2013 which was a spin-off from Red Orchestra 2 and took place in the Pacific Theater of World War II and the sequel that is set to release early this year, takes place in the Vietnam War.
The big feature of the Red Orchestra and Rising Storm games are big battles, 64 player warfare and the sequel’s are just as big but there will also be a feature that will support smaller scale battles of 16 players. Each game is team based and objective based, one side controls the US forces and the other controls the Vietcong Armed Forces. Besides taking place in the infamous war, the major benefit of Rising Storm 2 is the maps. The maps faithfully recreate the battle grounds of Vietnam: from Saigon to the deadly jungles and they evoke imagery of the Vietnam War.
This past month was the Closed Beta for Rising Storm 2, it ended on December 12th and the 19th for the Skirmish game mode, I didn’t want to write about it until I got Game of the Year and other reviews out of the way, I’ve been sitting on this for some time and I really wanted to write about and now I have the time. During this period, I played the Skirmish game mode and what follows is a insight look into the game:
I hopped into a 16 player Skirmish game mode on the United States side and I picked a soldier with the M3 Grease Gun, a famous weapon that was used in WWII. The game doesn’t lock weapons, classes, or more behind an XP bar like most modern day FPS games do with the full access of weaponry from the 1960’s. The soldier was lightweight, unlike my fellow teammate who carried the M60 LMG and the game mode was all about controlling three points on the map.
The unique twist of Skirmish was that both sides have a 120 second timer to respawn, during this time, everyone will respawn if they are killed and once the timer is up, the only way to respawn was for your team to capture points. If you lose or don’t capture the points, you will lose and guess what: We lost.
To be fair, Vietnam hasn’t been done alot in videogames. The only time that I remember playing a game set in Vietnam was Men of Honor, Shellshock: Nam ’67, the disastrous sequel Shellshock 2, Battlefield: Vietnam, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Vietnam hasn’t been done to death like World War II or Modern Warfare or now Future Warfare as seen in games like Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, the recent Call of Duty games and a number of other titles so it’s refreshing to go back to a historical time. Vietnam has alot of different feelings and was very controversial, hence no game wants to do it so it’s refreshing to see a game take on a controversial setting and don’t take sides.
Rising Storm 2 isn’t realistic like Insurgency, Day of Infamy, or most certainly ARMA. Rising Storm 2 is all about the authenticity and how technology of that era worked and how armies are different to one another, with less restrictions to make it fun and accessible to something like ARMA or Day of Infamy where it’s concern with realism and very slow paced combat. One thing that is very exciting is that I remember the original Rising Storm and the asymmetry of that game where everything felt different to one other, you roll up to a bunker and lit it up with your flamethrower and somebody on the other team would cut you down with a samurai sword and that asymmetry shines in the sequel as you’re up against M16’s, Flamethrowers, Choppers, and different equipment on both sides.
When you play as the Americans, they are very loud. You can hear helicopters and tanks rolling in and the VC are very quiet, almost stealth-like. They bolt through tunnels, both actual tunnels in-game and spawn tunnels at the beginning of the round and also act as mobile spawns. The VC play stealthy, you can escape the sight of a Huey if you hide within the bushes or going fully prone and they can take you by surprise and it’s fascinating to see these two armies at work: They play very differently and act very differently.
When I was playing as the American forces, I couldn’t see the other team because they played it very stealthy. I had no sense on where to find them and it takes me a little bit to get adjusted to the playstyle of Red Orchestra or Rising Storm and eventually I found a good spot right inside a hut and spotted a few enemies, I got a cool double kill until someone figured out where I was and lobbed a grenade inside the window.
The game is hard to control, because unlike Battlefield, the game’s weapons are extremely hard to use. The guns are held at the hip and when you bring them up, depending on the weapon, the iron sights are bulky and overbearing especially in the case with the Grease Gun and they have a bit of sway to them with exhaustion, they don’t fire at a invisible crosshair instead they fire wherever you point the barrel at. You have to fire in bursts and have time to recover your weapon.
Before RS2, I was a big fan of the earlier titles especially Red Orchestra 2. I got into the series with Red Orchestra: Ostfront ’41-’45 way back in the mid 2000’s and Red Orchestra 2 was a big step up to the original. In the case of Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, it looks to be a step up from the original and that’s all a plus. It’s nice to play a slow shooter once and a while, make sure to stay tuned once Rising Storm 2: Vietnam releases sometime in early 2017.