|Rising Storm 2: Vietnam|
|Developer||Antimatter Games, Tripwire Interactive|
|release date||June 2017|
The Red Orchestra series stands apart from military shooters. They may not be the most mainstream games, but thanks to their hardcore and certain historical accuracy, they have earned their audience of fans. After Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, the developers decided to move away from the theme of battles on the Eastern Front and released the Rising Storm addon, which allowed players to clash in battles in the Pacific theater of World War II. A few years have passed, and a new standalone game has appeared with the title Rising Storm 2. This shooter is not related to the previous parts, as it sends us back to the period of the military conflict in Vietnam, but in terms of game mechanics it is a direct heir to the entire Red Orchestra series.
The game was developed by the Antimatter Games studio, whose team stood at the origins of the first part of Rising Storm. This is purely an online shooter. There is no story campaign, and it is unlikely that it will be added to the game with updates. Although a solo adventure could replace training for beginners. And that would be nice, because even experienced players need to get comfortable with some features. If there is no experience of any game of the Red Orchestra series behind you, then acquaintance with Rising Storm 2 will begin with pain and humiliation — the enemy is not visible, but you are constantly dying. It is not clear where they are shooting from, because the camera does not show the winner, and the player is guided by the general situation on the battlefield and by the direction of the sounds.
An important feature of the series is the dependence of accuracy on the movements and fatigue of the fighter. After a run, your hands tremble and it is problematic to aim. The stability of the sight depends on the position of the body and most accurately you hit prone. Therefore, there are no long runs with simultaneous shooting. Players move from cover to cover, constantly crouching and crawling. Shooting from the hip is effective only at close range, you can hit the target at a long distance while sitting and lying down.
The game has suppression by fire. The enemy’s line may pass by, but this will affect you and the shaking of the weapon in your hand. A massive air strike even more affects the state of health — the picture blurs, the hands tremble more. In such a state, it is extremely difficult to get into someone. However, according to subjective sensations, suppression is now working weaker.
The ability to “stick” to shelters has disappeared. And this is only good, because it saves you from stupid situations when you clung to the wall in the wrong place. Now you just crouch behind the box and look out, changing the aiming mode — it works more conveniently and faster.
Coordinated teamwork plays an important role. It is necessary to focus on partners, monitor the general situation on the line of contact, cover with fire and support in attacks, it is useful to periodically check the map on which the allied forces are marked. It is also useful to indicate the direction where the enemy was seen. And it works more accurately than in older games. Therefore, such marks help the entire squad to navigate the battlefield and act more efficiently.
The updated set of weapons makes its own adjustments. Now the main weapons are automatically rifles. This means that you can shoot bursts, but this is effective only when clearing corridors at close range — strong recoil affects. Therefore, the single-fire mode is the main one, and this may be unusual for fans of modern shooters.
The set of weapons depends on the class of the fighter and the team. You can play as both the Vietnamese army and the invaders. In different teams, the classes are comparable, but the set of weapons is slightly different. The bulk of the team is made up of shooters who are armed with M14 or AK, plus grenades as a secondary weapon. The remaining classes are represented by a limited number of machine gunners, snipers, grenade launchers, scouts and radio operators have appeared. Having a powerful weapon is combined with a carbine or a pistol as a secondary weapon. In the US Army, a fighter is equipped with an M79 hand grenade launcher, which is effective against infantry, and a Vietnamese fighter of the same class is armed with an RPG, which allows him to shoot down helicopters as well. Vietnamese NLF soldiers can set booby traps, some put tripwires, and some American soldiers have anti-personnel mines in their arsenal.
Leaders play a key role. The platoon division system is now more explicit, you can see your squadmates right away. Platoon leaders support the advance with smoke grenades and point out artillery points. They are also a respawn point for comrades, Vietnamese commanders can still dig special respawn tunnels in a convenient place. The chief commander of the team uses special radios for reconnaissance and calling artillery support. The American commander has more opportunities, since there are still air strikes, including napalm that burns everything out. Also, some experts have learned to indicate points for impact with the help of signal checkers.
The capabilities of each class determine the behavior of a fighter on the battlefield. Someone acts as attack aircraft, someone better stay in remote positions, and commanders support the advance, allowing reinforcements to be deployed faster near them. At the same time, the game always has a direction of hostilities and a sense of the front line. The main modes are tied to capturing points, and this encourages teams to constantly move in a certain direction. The main mode remains «Territory»: one team defends, and the second tries to recapture all control points in stages. Here the system of team interaction is fully revealed, and much depends on the experience of the team and the skillful cooperation of the players.
The intricate level design of the game provides a lot of room for movement. City blocks are dotted with narrow passages, there are many empty houses around the streets where you can go to balconies and upper floors, and a system of tunnels stretches below. In the open area, you will find a complex landscape with elevation changes, dense groves and separate open areas where it is easy to get caught in the crossfire. Position plays an important tactical role. Experienced players quickly occupy key places and try to keep the main areas in the firing zone. But there are always a lot of passages, manholes and trenches that allow you to look for workarounds. And this is where support is needed, a smoke screen and crawling in thick grass.
This Rising Storm 2 and stands out from the usual military shooters. Instead of fun hunting for frags and ostentatious entertainment, there is an atmosphere of teamwork and the effect of immersion in a military conflict, which are determined by a clear structuring of roles and complicated mechanics of movement and shooting. The game fills you with drive not only from a dead enemy, but also from teamwork in defense or capture, from a successful maneuver that allowed you to take an advantageous firing point and conduct aimed fire. At the same time, a successful attack can easily be interrupted by a bullet hidden in the bushes or in the attic of the enemy, and an air raid will burn your entire squad under terrible screams.
Military equipment is partially present. Helicopters are available to the American team, which are used for massive air fire and quick landings. But the effectiveness of the use of such equipment depends on the skill of the pilot. Getting comfortable with a helicopter is difficult. Sometimes his presence has little effect on the course of the battle, but some players are able to turn the tide thanks to the skillful control of a flying tank. At the same time, it is very problematic to shoot down such a car, although opponents have RPGs.
«Territory» remains the most popular mode in which the game is revealed to the maximum. And it is somewhat reminiscent of «Operations» from Battlifield 1, because it gives a similar feeling. There is also a new Dominance mode, which is about the same level — there is not a stage-by-stage capture of points, but a battle for all points at once and simultaneous control. There is the usual team fight, but almost no one plays it.
It is worth noting that the overall dynamics of the game has grown a little. It affects the presence of automatic weapons instead of conventional rifles. Fighters are more maneuverable and change position faster. At the same time, the tactical advantage is still determined by the correct choice of position. It is necessary to have time to assess the situation and identify dangerous areas. The abundance of greenery, and in some places real thickets, greatly affect the ability to notice the enemy. If in Red Orchestra the enemies were lost against the general gray background, then here it is difficult to distinguish them against the background of dense vegetation. Therefore, you need to carefully look out for a few pixels moving somewhere in the bushes in order to reveal the hidden soldier. There are small markers for friendly fighters, but they appear with a slight delay. Therefore, with a chaotic team action, friendly fire from newcomers can become a problem.
A little confusing is the lack of a single uniform. The game has elements of visual customization. As rewards, you can get new camouflage and clothing items. And although they are designed in more or less the same style, even such differences on a barely noticeable figure can play the role of a confusing factor.
The weapon upgrade system is gone. In past games, kills have given you new levels of weapons, providing small bonuses for them — faster reload, more ammo. All improvements were small and did not provide real benefits. Now all players are strictly in the same conditions, where the possession of weapons depends only on your personal skill. There is a general pumping with a set of points, but it only affects the overall rating, there are no upgrades.
Of the negative points, sharp bugs can be noted. In particular, there are bugs in the action restriction system when you are in an enemy controlled area. In the «Territory» mode, the game does not allow you to go into the rear, blocking the possibility of shooting. But a couple of times I personally managed to stay and act in the rear when the front line went far ahead.
Visually, the game resembles an improved first part. It is still based on the Unreal Engine 3, and the technological backwardness of this engine is already clearly visible. But this is offset by careful study and high detail. Therefore, the overall impression of the picture is positive.
Physical interaction remained at the same level. There is no destructible environment. If some individual houses can burn down from napalm, this does not affect the overall situation in any way.
The system requirements of the game are moderate. Our testing will allow us to judge the real performance. We will use the results of one of the recent video card tests, slightly supplementing and expanding this data. Testing during a real battle will not work, because the situation is constantly changing and it is impossible to achieve the same actions. Therefore, a certain sequence of actions was performed in the free play mode at the training ground where weapons can be tested. We threw grenades, fired machine guns and rifles at the near zone. All this provokes rich shooting effects with dust, smoke and image blur.
Graphics quality set to maximum with high quality FXAA anti-aliasing. Disabled frame rate capping.
NVIDIA graphics cards clearly dominate this game, delivering the best performance. At the same time, even the GeForce GTX 950 and GeForce GTX 960 give out a high frame rate. In a real battle, the load will be higher, and the performance may decrease, then the potential of such solutions for the game is enough. Much weaker than Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R9 270.
More powerful accelerators can provide comfortable performance at higher resolutions. Below are the results of their testing at 2560×1440.
A serious gap between the GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 780 Ti and the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 480. At the same time, the overall performance is high for all tested solutions, but with GeForce you can count on a stable 60 fps without drawdowns below this level even in the most difficult moments.
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is an atmospheric and authentic shooter about the Vietnam War, even without a story campaign. Massive battles for 64 fighters in urban areas or in mountainous terrain give an incredible feeling of complete immersion in the world of intense military confrontation. And in a number of aspects, all this is perceived more authentically than the ostentatious military show from Battlifield. Based on the familiar mechanics of Red Orchestra 2, the new game is a full continuation of the series, albeit with a different name. This is a hardcore shooter where tactical teamwork is important, there is an element of positioning and direction of a military clash. The structure of the squad, a simple system of commands and tips help to work together even without direct and continuous voice communication. At the same time, the game does not go into the side of a simulator like the Arma series, so it’s easier to get used to. However, it takes time to understand the mechanics of combat and the basics of interaction, to get into the right combat rhythm. Therefore, it will be difficult for newcomers, and this still remains the main obstacle to expanding the audience. Visually, the game looks nice, although there is a certain technological backwardness. It is worth noting the high-quality sound component with good localization of sounds. Fans of the Red Orchestra will love the new shooter, maybe the Battlifield audience will like it too. If you are a fan of high-speed shooters in a small arena, then this is probably not your game.