Thursday, 1 September 2011

Red Orchestra 2

It is rare I get excited about a PC game.  The last one that had me waiting anxiously was Shogun 2.

I have never played the original RO (a Unreal mod) as there is no Australian server per se; but I read some reviews which had the words  "brutal learning curve"  "realism"  "hardcore"  "simulated weapons physics"  "slower paced, cautious - keep in cover"  "teamwork essential" and similar things which got my hopes up.

This tends to indicate the game will NOT be played by 13yr olds with squeaky voices all twitchy and hyped up on Red Bull who run around pwning n00bs while bunny hopping and dual wielding .50cal sniper rifles  *cough* Call of Duty *cough*.

Well, I have the beta and I must say, based on the few limited maps, the game has lived up to expectation.  While less confronting than BF2's Total Reality mod, it definitely makes Battlefield Bad Company look like the puerile console port it is.

Some good features:
*Class limits. You don't end up with a team full of snipers.  In fact, you will only ever have 2 - out of 32!  Semiautomatic rifles, LMGs and SMGs are similarly limited to one or two per squad.  This means most players are carrying standard bolt action rifles.
*WW2 weapons.  Most modern assault rifles are pretty bland in their all-round utility.  In WW2, the weapon defines your role. SMG players run-and-gun, LMG players must set up their bipod and camp, laying down suppressive fire, and riflemen have the most versatility.  Marksman stay waaaay back behind the frontlines.
*A defined 'frontline'  exists unlike the confused spam and spawn camping of BF:BC or CoD.  I have never been spawn camped and the game respawns around 10 player simultaneously, resulting in a blob of players and a modicum of teamwork. 
*Weapons feel lethal and 'real'.  I.e. a 7.62mm rifle does NOT need 4 hits to down you; any hit to torso or head is an instant kill.  You can adjust the sights on your rifles just like a real gun.
*Russian vs Germans. Normandy is soooo old.  Some of the footage has been directly lifted from historic photos. Half the time I feel like I am in 'Enemy at the Gates.'

The game (beta) is not without its bugs (7 game crashes in 5 hours) and sometimes the gun would fire randomly when you finished sprinting.  However I am looking forward to the full release with great anticipation and this could give BF3 a run for its money in my summer holidays.

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