Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm
The staccato of automatic weapons firing cut into the Sergeant’s gruff yelling of orders. Pieces of debris blown off of the group of boulders that our five-man squad was hunkered down behind flew everywhere as the Japanese machinegun sought us out, spraying at us like a fire hose.
But we were Marines. We didn’t have an off button. We came to the sands of Iwo Jima to take it from the enemy no matter what. One of our squad mates however, got a little too overzealous and jumped up as if to run and was promptly perforated. As his body lie and his blood ran into the Pacific, our Sergeant shouted at us over our coms. “Get ready to push! When I say go green you move your as*ses!”
With that, he popped a smoke grenade between us and the next piece of cover; more monotonous grey boulders. As the smoke billowed out, we made a mad dash for them and made it across as bullets plopped into the sand all around us. We repeated this several times using the same smokescreen tactic until we were nearing that ever-so-deadly machinegun nest.
Between burst of fire and explosions far and near, we could hear the Japanese yelling at each other; men of war in their own right. Our Sergeant gave us our last do-or-die orders as we crouched in the shadow of the last bit of cover between us and our adversaries. I could feel my clammy palm rubbing against my mouse. The anticipation was electric.
We popped the last of our smoke out, and with nothing but guts catapulting us forward, ran straight toward the enemy. A brief exchange of close quarters combat saw two of my squad mates go down to the sand a final time. We took out twice their number, but now it was me and my hard-boiled Sergeant against the two Japanese soldiers remaining. My Sergeant got into a death dance with one soldier, each trying to kill the other with rifle butt and bayonet repeatedly.
My adversary wasn’t so lucky. He’d just drawn his razor-sharp katana when my rifle butt smashed headlong into his head, splattering a nearby bunker wall with streaks of crimson. Hearing a cry from behind I turned around to see that my Sergeant had gone down. I quickly advanced on my last enemy and pulverized the soft matter under his helmet as well. I took a moment to take in my surroundings; I was the last man standing, but as I looked at the silenced enemy machinegun and then further down the beach to waves of advancing fellow Marines, I knew that victory would soon be ours.
Sound like a brutal beach assault? It was; and that’s the type of unforgiving thinking man’s war game that you get with Tripwire Interactive’s Rising Storm. But let me rewind; when people had asked me if I was into WWII shooters, which feature valiant Americans or uber-tough Russians fighting the dastardly Nazis, I would have paused. Not because I couldn’t think of any, but because unfortunately, I could think of too many, and had to mentally tally a list. If you’d asked me how many games I’d play which focused on the US fighting against the Imperial Japanese Army across the Pacific theater, my answer would be simply “Rising Storm.”
Yes, in this deluge of WWII-themed shooters which are centered on the Western and Eastern battlefronts, Rising Storm comes as a breath of fresh air in the stagnant, over-saturated WWII market. It also gives players the opportunity to engage in some of the most unforgiving and visceral combat available to the gaming PC community. Yes, that’s right, players looking to have their hand held will see it swatted away. You will not see any bright, cutesy friend/foe indicators above players’ heads. You actually have to aim down your gunsights in order to target enemies, and the only thing counting your ammo is you, not some artificial HUD number in the corner of your screen. Want to bunny hop to safety after getting shot upwards of 6 or 7 times and miraculously insta-heal after a few seconds? Ain’t gonna happen here. One well-placed shot can put you down, at least in the ever-popular Realism mode which is really the only way to play the game.
This encourages, and in many cases downright forces players to strategize before their next move, lest their lives come to a quick end. You probably won’t notice many people sprinting out in the open haphazardly anyway (unless in the case of a Japanese Banzai Charge); for the most part they’ve fled off to cartoon-world gaming nirvana within the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises.
Let’s face it, WWII didn’t have a vast array of weapons, so you’ll find the usual suspects here for the Americans, the M-1 Garand, etc. But what’s interesting about Rising Storm is that players are presented with a whole new assortment of weapons which the Japanese utilize. Most people by now, at least in the gaming PC and console crowds, already know most of the US, Russian, and German weapons by now, but the novelty of Japanese weapons such as the 7.7 mm Type 99 rifle, or the ever-deadly Type 100 SMG, had me looking them up online with curiosity. Factor in the game’s realistic bullet drop and trajectory, and each weapon’s unique handling, and you’ve got some variables to play with. Those who are particularly blood-thirsty will just love the flame thrower, and its brutal, close quarters effects.
The fact that the majority of Japanese weapons come with bayonets is indicative to the game’s more close quarters style of combat. You can be creeping across a battlefield at night, not knowing how far off the enemy is, or slinking through dense jungles with equally limited sight. This can result in some intense (to put it mildly) close-in action, which feel closer to an engaging war movie than a game.
Even though this game is a couple of years old already, the graphics are lovely. Guns look nice and have a weightiness about them; as opposed to feeling flimsy. Player models look crisp and the rather gloomy environments that the action takes place in are all rendered with an incredible attention to detail. And if you have 4k gaming capability, the resolution is simply astounding. The sounds are all well done, and the minimal music is engaging.
Pick up a copy of Rising Storm if you are into less hand-holdy games; I wouldn’t even call this much of a shooter since it transcends that stale genre, it’s more like a WWII infantry combat simulator. Just make sure that you have a good internet connection; there can be latency issues on some of the larger servers.
Even though Rising Storm is a couple of years old, it still requires a decent rig to play on. On higher end gaming PCs it can be stunning, so long as you are patient enough to learn it’s more paced and teamwork-oriented gameplay. It’s also suitable for the gaming laptop crowd. Here’s an example of a gaming rig that is just right for task at hand:
Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!