Rising Storm – 7.0 : PC Video Game Review
Crawling through a trench on your belly with a rifle as clunky as the mechanics held firmly in your hands. A vicious barrage artillery going off in one ear and the 12 year old squad leader bellowing orders down his mic in the other. Rising Storm doesn’t fail to deliver the authentic feeling of war…
Rising Storm is the new title from Tripwire Interactive. It was released May 30th, 2013 for PC only, you can find the title on Steam or other major retailers for £14.99-ish ($20). It is a first person war shooter that focuses on tactical squad combat between two teams.
GAMEPLAY AND MECHANICS
Rising Storm follows the same gameplay ideals as its precursor, the Red Orchestra series. It features extensive gameplay mechanics such as “self bolting,” a fancy way of saying manual reload. Which might be quicker than the auto-reload feature, strangely enough. It features a tricky cover system that is hard to use at first, but pays off in the long run and comes in handy when you find rifle rounds soaring towards your head. The thing I found hard to grasp was how the gameplay had changed so little since the previous iterations, but how the feel of it was so different. The large open maps test your ability to work in a team with other players or else the entire effort would fall apart in minutes. You can spend a lot of resources and time getting ground, and lose it as soon as communication breaks down.
For example, last night I was in such a game, we pushed through the sand of the beachhead and stormed the row of bunkers protecting the ridge that led inland to a series of trenches and an industrial depot. We managed to push through the trenches and were working towards a win, but unfortunately the enemy got our left flank and shattered it. We had to retreat under artillery bombardment and lost too many tickets and soon the battle. The thing about the artillery in this game is how a bombardment affects your soldiers well being. It can hurt you physically and it can put your soldier into shock. When the guns go off, it’s best to be in cover and it just goes to show how vital team communications are. The gameplay deserves a good score of 8/10 but loses points on clunky mechanics and less than intuitive controls.
VISUALS AND MAP DESIGN
The visuals aren’t stunning, but deliver a realistic combat experience in tandem with the excellent map design. The engaging nature of the maps forces your team into a combat line, to deliver a direct assault on your enemy with options to split into squads and flank your enemy to deliver decisive blows to the enemy team and force them to abandon objectives. The building models on the maps are real authentic bunker designs from the era. They have been modified to look combat weathered and look very authentic. It gives you a decisive defensive advantage to have a line of trenches and bunkers under your control and should not be underrated as an asset. In this game, as in war, every foot counts. The maps also offer a fair distribution between two spawn points to give equal coverage for your teammates to secure flanks and center. This prevents either a one man army wannabe or a squad of 5 or 6 with the same intent, to disrupt your line or to raid your spawns. One drawback I found was the ridiculous kill zones on the border of the map, and their complete lack of definition. Too many times I found myself on the wrong side of the 4 second timer and ended up dying because of this. The map design is good, visuals slightly less detailed and sharp as I would have thought given the pre release statement. Scores a 7/10, a healthy score.
If you play Allies, the sound is phenomenal… The Axis weapons sound comparatively wimpy and hollow in comparison with the thunder cracking excellence of the Allies’ rifles and other assorted murderballs. The disappointingly wimpy sounds of the Axis guns are unsurprising of late as traditional beefy sounds have been abandoned for more precise sounds to replicate the feeling of warfare down to the ground. The ambient sound seems to be taken from in game events, meaning that if someone fires on the other side of the map there is a good chance you will hear it as a soft crack, before you respawn that is. The sound is of course very important in a game like this. It can tell you where an enemy is, if there is one close to you, and if so, how close. I feel they dropped the ball effects wise, and that some if the gunshots fail to inspire any sense of effectiveness in your own combat experience within the game. They did well on the artillery however, capturing a real thundering explosion, coupled with particle effects and plenty of smoke from the impact, it delivers a frightening display of battlefield tactical supremacy. The sound I give a 6/10. While there are some good points to be said about it, there is just too much of a wishy washy feel to the guns in my opinion. Maybe they will even patch it?
Final Toast – 7.0
The game deserves no less than a 7/10. Where it has good points, bad points follow. TW have however made a concerted effort to improve on what they did so well in Red Orchestra 2 and this results in a frankly, solid title.