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Home » Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update Review – A Shot in the Arm for One of the Best Shooters of the Year

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update Review – A Shot in the Arm for One of the Best Shooters of the Year

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update
Tripwire Interactive

Tripwire’s Rising Strom franchise took a big chance recently, by departing the rather safety net and familiar territory of World War 2, and switching that up with Vietnam. While I did like the original Rising Storm, which pitted the Americans against Japan in the Pacific theater, WW 2 games have just gotten so stale that I’m pretty much over them. There are only so many times I want to hear the distinct pop of the M1 Garand as it’s magazine ejects, or shoot a bolt-action Kar98 as a German.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam debuted about six months ago and was met by some pretty darn good reviews. People particularly seemed to like its emphasis on realism and gritty, visceral gameplay. I considered it a perfect blend between Squad and the Battlefield series; not too tactical but not run-and-gun either. RS 2: Vietnam is a brutal game in which running off by yourself will get you blasted into your next life very quickly. There are also no medics, just a last-ditch chance for you to bandage yourself if you are lucky enough not to take a lethal wound.

As stated on RS 2: Vietnam’s Steam description page:

“For the first time, the authentic gunplay and visceral first-person action of the Red Orchestra series is coming to an era of automatic rifles, man-portable grenade launchers and more modern weapons systems. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam casts players into a brutal, authentic recreation of the Vietnam War.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam offers intense tactical action for up to 64 players in battles between the US forces and the Vietnamese, with each force having their own unique abilities and tactical advantages such as Napalm Strikes, Artillery Barrages, surface-to-air missiles, traps, ambushes and more.”

As you see, they indicate that players can expect to play in massive, 64-player battles, and have access to 30 plus weapons. Although these statements are all true, there was one thing that was irking gamers, and that was RS 2: Vietnam’s lack of maps. The game shipped with just a handful of maps, which frankly grew a little tired after a few months. What was worse is that I didn’t see any stated commitments from Tripwire that they were planning to develop any new content for the game.

Well, Tripwire surprised everyone by dropping their new Bushranger Update on us. The Bushranger Update introduces a new faction (ANZAC), a smattering of new weapons, a new chopper, and a new commander ability. Most importantly, however (at least for me), is that this timely update comes packed with three new maps to play on.

ANZAC, the new faction, represents the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. However, in the game you’ll only get to play as the Aussies on the battlefield, since the New Zealanders are relegated to a support role. This is a very welcome addition, and the Aussie forces come with their own charming banter, hilarious slang, weapons, and uniforms. Tripwire should really be commended on their voice acting, because it really helps to immerse you further into the game.

One of the main attractions, weapon’s-wise, is the new L1A1 SLR semi-automatic rifle and its fully auto L2A1 LMG variant. There’s also the tanky-looking Owens SMG, which has a somewhat fiddly aiming sight, but can really pack a wallop. You can also switch off to the new Browning Hi-Power pistol if your primary weapon runs out of ammo; its 13 round magazine is sure to make it popular.

The new chopper, the titular Bushranger, is a fully-weaponized Huey that is just bristling with weapons, and can really take the fight to the communist forces. It can not only be used to spray metal death down on bad guys, but also as a quick-action transport, shuttling in troops and dropping them off behind enemy lines.

And let’s not forget about the new commander’s ability, the Canberra Bomber Strike. These big babies are based on the American Martin B-57 Canberra design, and let’s just say that when you hear them, you’d better run for some cover—fast. Combined with the Artillery Barrage and Napalm Strike, RS 2: Vietnam can be a very, very explosive game.

The three new maps top off what is a much-needed update. Probably the most unique of the bunch is Long Tan, which is a rubber plantation in the middle of some wetlands. This may not sound too exciting, that is until you factor in that the map is played at nighttime during a torrential downpour. This makes for some pretty visceral guerrilla action. Rung Sac is a beautiful Vietnamese marshland with a large fortress at one end. And last but not least is my personal new favorite, Operation Forest, which takes place across an expansive area with diverse geography, including farmlands and swamps. It also boasts RS 2: Vietnam’s “longest engagement distances to-date.”

The Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update really breathes some new life into an already immersive and fun gaming experience. It offers a plethora of new content that has already boosted the game’s server populations, and should keep us fans busy well enough until Tripwire’s next content drop or DLC; I know that I’m sold, that’s for sure.

SCORE: 90%

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update features outstanding graphics that make its military action gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy 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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