Rising Storm 2

In my mind, I thought I would be screaming through the jungle listening to Credence Clearwater Revival and fragging some “gooks”, however, in reality, I got shot.

A lot.

I died more in my first 30 minutes of playing than I think I have in the entire time I have played Call of Duty. OK, that’s not true but it really felt that way.

This then is not a run and gun frag fest. Rising Storm 2 is the middle ground between games like Call of Duty and Arma. It’s not a tactical simulation but neither is it a race to get the most kills. Battlefield 1 is closer than Call of Duty but still pretty far away from the experience. Those of you who have played Insurgency or maybe even Squad properly will feel at home but even then, this is a little more tactical than Insurgency without being as realistic as Squad.

Do you see what I am doing here, I am trying to explain a shooter that doesn’t fit into a specific pigeonhole, it is its own game and it has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, there are also some negatives which I will talk about next.

Graphically it isn’t the best looking game. I was hoping I would feel like I was in a forest instead I thought I had been transported back to 2010 and was very much playing a game. They are far and away not the worst graphics in the world but they do feel a little dated compared to other titles.

The community is a little toxic, there are people who love this game, they love it so much that they cannot understand how you don’t love it as much as they do and “how come you don’t even know what you are doing?” and “What do you mean this is your first match, join another team noob we need experience here.” I was in two teams that ignored me as they were “Working together”. Mates who didn’t really want me in their team but were happy when I was in a good position and furious when I wasn’t. I had a bit of a jibe about getting shot too much in a match and was immediately pounced upon but everyone that wants to have babies with the game.

This next gripe is, unfortunately, a hard one for any game developer to deal with and it’s the line between reality and a game. There is no indication of where the enemy is, there is no way to know which direction they will be coming from other than if you spot them. This is great and very realistic, however, this is a game, I have lost 90% of my senses and so I need that replaced with some additional information. For example, in Arma when you are being shot at there is a distinct pop and crack that let you know a rough direction of the shooter and how close they are to actually hitting you. In other games, there are red markers showing you where you are getting shot from so it would be nice to have a little more information given the nature of the game.

So minor negatives but something to consider before you purchase. Moving on.

After the initial irritation at being shot so much, you learn to calm down, stop running headlong into the enemy to get picked off by an unseen sniper and you begin to work with your team, carefully pushing positions and taking ground at a pace with your team.

Its now you start to see how to play, make no noise, watch for the enemy, move when its safe, bang, you are shot again but this time, it’s OK, you know where the enemy are, let the sniper on your team know their position, he will take them out and you can move forward, take the objective, hide and wait for the counter-attack.

It’s after this revelation that you start to see why this game is so loved by that core of fans. It’s not like any other shooter I have played. It’s really hard to get kills, it’s really hard to avoid dying and then when you start to do well in a match, it’s really hard to keep the smile off of your face as the sense of achievement at outplaying someone is fabulous.

The Vietnam was a terrible affair for all involved yet has lead to a rather iconic theme for movies, books, and gaming so it’s in keeping that the soundtrack for this game is incredible and I don’t just mean the music, the jungle sounds alive (could be the Edifier e25s doing their thing and making everything sound wonderful) and the sounds the weapons make is superb.

There are three game modes for you to choose from:

Territories. A two round game where the attacking team must capture all of the objectives before the round ends. The defenders win a round if they can hold on to the objectives. There is a ticket system akin to Battlefield.

Supremacy. A game with capture points marked A to G. The idea of this mode is to capture the points in a chain from your base. If you capture A, B and C and the enemy manage to take B you will not score points for C until you recapture B. It’s a really interesting take on this mode and I really like it.

Skirmish. It’s like Supremacy with four rounds and played on smaller maps with only 8 people per team. You can to capture all objectives and deplete the enemies spawn tickets to win. Spawn tickets can be replenished by taking an objective. It’s a great mode and far more tactical than you would think.

Forming the units you have a myriad of roles to play as some are limited but for the most part, if you join a server with a team you will be able to pick what you want to do.

The roles are:

Grunt: The basic infantry class, they come equipped with assault rifles, battle rifles, bolt-action rifles and hand grenades and are the mainstay of any faction, allowing themselves to be flexible and versatile. It is the only role without a player limit that can be simultaneously occupied by an entire team. The PAVN and NLF variants are called Rifleman and Guerilla respectively and carry a single punji trap kit.

Pointman: Acting as a team’s frontal assault unit, their main task is to provide advancing cover and to spot and disarm enemy traps. They come equipped with smoke grenades, shotguns, and submachine guns. More experienced players can use the Pointman as an infiltrator to root out enemy tunnels and ambush squads using Claymore mines. The NLF and PAVN variant is called the Scout and carries tripwire kits instead of Claymore mines.

Machine Gunner: This infantry support class makes use of light and general-purpose machine guns and hand grenades. They use their heavy weaponry to provide the team with a barrage of bullets. Other Roles can resupply the Machine Gunner with ammunition if needed. Machine Gunners need to be mindful of their weapon as excessive fire may overheat them.

Marksman: The quintessential sniper uses semi-automatic and bolt action sniper rifles to take out crucial targets. This class excels at long range engagements and is used most effectively if the player stays on the move. Also known as the Sniper for the PAVN and NLF factions, they can fortify their positions with the use of tripwires whereas the Southern Marksman can use Claymore mines.

Combat Engineer: This versatile Southern class is used to dislodge strongly fortified positions and bunkers using C-4 charges. Their main armaments are shotguns and submachine guns and they also carry M34 white phosphorus grenades, a more aggressive smoke screen utility with the added effect of causing burns to anyone that comes in contact with the smoke. The Combat Engineer can also specialize in using the dreaded flamethrower. A Combat Engineer equipped with the flamethrower is considered a high-priority target and particularly devastating to both the enemy and their own team if handled without care.

Sapper: The Northern Sapper is a defensive class specializing in covering a wide area with land mines. Given the nature of their limited offensive capabilities, Sappers are intended to be used with stealth in mind and to booby trap common enemy routes and important or forfeit territory.

Grenadier: Another versatile class to support the Southern forces is the Grenadier, using the M79 grenade launcher. Their main specialty is the ability to carry either a focused or mixed variety of munitions for their weapon including smoke grenades, buckshot, and high explosive grenades. The Grenadier is best used moving with a cohesive squad to take out priority targets or fortified enemies from afar and to provide additional smoke screens.

RPG Trooper: This Northern specialist class is the primary anti-air ground unit using rocket-propelled grenades. They are also useful for taking out clustered and dug-in enemy positions. RPG Troopers are additionally equipped with shotguns and rifles. They are a potential hazard for themselves and teammates considering the backblast of their weapon.

Commander: A crucial unit, the Commander leads the team and oversees the battle by assigning squads, calling in fire support and reconnaissance. The Northern and Southern Commander abilities reflect one another in most ways with the exception of the South being able to call in napalm air strikes and AC-47 gunships, while the North can counter these with SAM defenses. In addition, the Northern Commander has the ability to increase reinforcement speed and use undetectable scouts whereas the South requires a recon plane which is susceptible to attack. This class comes equipped with binoculars, assault rifles, battle rifles, submachine guns, smoke grenades and signal smoke grenades if the player is Southern.

Squad Leader: Every Role with the exception of Commanders and Pilots can be promoted to Squad Leader, allowing them to become mobile spawn units. Squad Leaders come equipped with additional binoculars and handguns. Southern Squad Leaders have additional signal smoke grenades. The Squad Leader issues squad orders and provides the Commander with map targets. The Northern Squad Leader can build spawn points in the form of tunnels using a mattock whereas the Southern Squad Leader simply needs to be alive in order for their squad members to deploy on their position.

Radioman: This class serves as a mobile radio for the Commander and can use assault rifles, battle rifles, submachine guns and smoke grenades. An effective Radioman essentially releases the Commander from being stationed at designated radios, allowing them to stay on the move with the team.

Transport Pilot: Players in this Role are limited to piloting the UH-1 Huey and can be assigned to a squad, allowing players to spawn in them. The Huey is tasked with quickly picking up and dropping off their teammates in crucial areas and comes armed with two mounted machine guns.

Combat Pilot: This Role limits itself to the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and the OH-6 Cayuse observation helicopter, also known as Loach. Both vehicles have room for two players. A Commander can use the Loach’s onboard radio for support.

Having played the game as many of the above character types I was the commander for one round, a role I quickly gave up as soon as I realized how important command is in this game.

The Commanders set the pace of battle, they can place LZs (landing zones) for friendly pilots to spawn reinforcements, they can call in artillery barrages and can use reconnaissance assets to mark objectives.

The first Artillery strike I called in as a commander was also my last, I made an error and killed my own team, I gave up being a commander and then saw how it should be done. Waiting for the artillery to strike the enemy before a push is awesome, then when it hits there is a scream as the round drops out of the sky and then a huge roar as the explosion rips through everything. I couldn’t seem to stay far enough back to avoid the odd suppression mechanic that fuzzes the screen for a moment and makes you sway and move slower. After that, you can storm an objective pretty easily as the enemies are in small pieces.

When you push an objective and there is a machine gunner or even sniper shooting towards you the same fuzziness overwhelms you, it’s a little frustrating, to be honest, and I hope it gets removed or reworked.

There is a fully simulated radio system and the radioman has a very important role to play well. I have lost many rounds but when I have been in a team with a radioman and a commander working well together you are practically unstoppable. It’s amazing the difference a good commander makes to how well you can play. You need to follow orders, you need to go where you are told, attack what you are told to attack and to hold objectives when you are ordered and if you only have a ¼ of a team playing this way, you are assured victory in most matches.

The movement in the game can only be described as cumbersome. I feel that adding things like the suppression mechanic only serve to make it worse. It’s especially frustrating when you are in a trench and cannot get out as you search for a place to vault out of. Coupled with the strange way the weapons feel after you have been sprinting it can feel very claustrophobic and the only way I can describe what I mean is by saying that I find myself pressing my keys way too hard. I hope that makes sense.

So it’s not perfect and in my opinion it could be improved in many ways, I would certainly score the game a lot higher if the movement system was replaced and although it is really good fun when you start to get kills, capture or hold objectives and in short, play well, I think the game’s ultimate downfall is where it has placed itself in the market. If you want a game with the teamwork aspect this game has, the realism that this game has, the radio options, a whole host of weapons, the differing roles but without the restrictive movement and the lack of frustration, then you should by Squad. If you want to play in Vietnam, buy this.

If you want a game with the teamwork aspect this game has, the realism that this game has, the radio options, a whole host of weapons, the differing roles but without the restrictive movement and the lack of frustration, then you should by Squad. If you want to play in Vietnam, buy this.

 

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