Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Review – One Heck of an Immersive Military Shooter

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
Tripwire Interactive, Antimatter Games/Iceberg Interactive

We’d finally done it—the Vietnamese forces had been pushed back to their final stronghold which was the inner part of Hua City, courtesy of the U.S. Army. Our company of grunts had really jelled. The commander ordered the squad leaders on overall strategies. Likewise, the squad leaders were barking orders to us individual GIs, and we were executing them quite well.

My particular six-man squad was tasked with flanking one of the sides of the main inner city area. From there we’d sweep and clear our way through, and hopefully meet up and see the faces of the rest of our battalion within the city, or die trying.

As the squad’s designated point man, I was usually responsible for being in the front of my squad and always going in first. However this time around, since we were attacking a large compound that consisted of smaller rooms, we’d have our flamethrower grunt heat things up a little first since there would probably be enemy troops lying in wait inside.

Flames spewed forth from the barrel of the flamethrower as the soldier wielding it swept it back and forth. We suddenly heard screams from inside a couple of the rooms within the compound. That was our cue to rush in. Upon entering the interiors of the rooms we caught the last of the flamethrower’s effects. The bodies of several severely burnt enemies writhed in the last throes of their death squirms.

As my squad secured the area, I want a little further into the compound, which was my role as a point man. I could hear the Vietnamese soldiers talking among themselves close by, they were nearing my location. So I hunkered down in a kitchen chamber and angled myself so that I’d catch the enemies as they ran through the compound from the direction of their main troop base.

The first Viet trooper ran through the kitchen, only to have his back blown out by my trusty shotgun. Then another came cruising along, only this one, upon seeing the fresh corpse of his comrade laying on the ground, halted. Just as he was about to swivel around I’d already taken aim at his head and pulled the trigger. A third rushed in, resulting in a similar grisly outcome.

My squad mates suddenly chimed in—they were being assaulted by a large group of the enemy. Then, they were gone. Just like that. They’d been attacked from the rear. Apparently, a similar squad of enemy soldiers had gotten the idea of flanking, only they had outmaneuvers us. I could hear sharp-tongued chatter of Vietnamese as the enemy squad approached the kitchen area that I was hiding in. I braced myself for combat…

As you can probably tell, Tripwire Interactive’s brand new military-themed first person shooter, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, can be one tension-inducing experience. Two teams comprised of either U.S. Marines or U.S. are versus Vietnamese forces square off against each other in asymmetrical combat across eight maps. Each map has a very distinct character, such as the lush jungles of An Lao Valley, or the bombed out urban expanses of Hua City.

Although the U.S. side generally has better arms and equipment, the Vietnamese forces are armed with all sort of tricky devices, such as punji traps. On top of that, the nature of the rather confined maps makes them perfectly suitable for ambushes, and there are many specially designated areas that only the Vietnamese have access to. This makes for some particularly tense battles as the U.S. side tries to draw the Vietnamese fighters out, and in turn the Vietnamese constantly try to catch the U.S. soldiers and Marines off-guard.

RS 2: Vietnam also sports a pretty nifty progression system just like its predecessor, the first Rising Storm (set in World War 2), did. As you gain experience from not only killing enemy troops but also utilizing teamwork, you can unlock more talents and gear. You can also modify your uniforms—in that way when you see a GI with torn off sleeves and a cigarette pack pinned to his helmet, you know that he’s a grizzled veteran of many battles.

There’s a very organic ebb and flow to each battle, as one side seeks to capture strategic points and the other tries to retake them. One thing that can really change the tide of battle however, is the ability of both sides to call in devastating napalm and artillery strikes. These barrages are quite the show—once dialed in you can hear the oncoming “whoosh!” of an F4 Phantom as it approaches the area of the map upon which it has been ordered to drop its incinerating payload of napalm. Or, you’ll hear large artillery rounds slicing through the air overhead, forcing you to run for cover instinctively.

One reason that you’ll often see players scatter like rats when these types of heavy ordinances are inbound is because sometimes the commander or squad leader gets the coordinates of their targeted area wrong, and drop them on friendly troops instead of the enemy. When this happens, you’re just as likely to see see a kick vote appear indicating the desire to have the offending party removed from the match.

RS 2: Vietnam has some seriously impressive visuals that really capture what it must have been like in Vietnam in the 60s and early 70s. While they’re not on the level of a triple A developer, they’re good enough to really immerse you within its gritty and turbulent battlefields. Everything from the uniforms of the individual soldiers, to the weapon models that accurately reflect that time period— RS 2: Vietnam really oozes with authenticity, and you can really tell the developers did their homework.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is a blast to play, especially when everyone is using their microphones and is committed to utilizing teamwork and communication. It’s one of the best teamwork-oriented military shooters on the market, and certainly the most impressive digital representation of the Vietnam War that I’ve ever seen. I’m especially interested in seeing what further developments (including DLC) will come in the future for this exceptional title.

SCORE: 88%

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam offers some amazing graphics that match its Vietnam War theme. However, you have to have a pretty fast gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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