Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Multiplayer Hands-on (PC)
Posted by Michael Oliver, Sep 12, 2011 15:37
On paper Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad looks great, in fact on paper it looks like the best title to come out on PC for years: a PC gamer’s wet dream. It’s PC exclusive, designed from the ground up for modability, a theatre of WW II that is often ignored by most WW II games, has a dynamic cover system, realism based features implemented well, solid player animations, multiple game modes and maps, tank combat intertwined with ground pounding, pretty much everything but planes! The problem is it’s almost 2012, and this game feels like it was made in 2008. With the amount of work that went into player modeling, it’s a shame such lack of detail plagues the level design. The tank levels are miserably bad to look at. If it weren’t for the super detailed tank mechanics, interiors and precise controls I would have a hard time playing them. Simply because the landscapes they fight in look terrible.
The infantry gameplay mechanics is where this game shines. With the exceptions of a couple bugs, the game plays pretty fluidly. The detail in realism here is astounding in certain areas, and in others I face palm with anguish. Why do developers feel it helps to remove a crosshair? Any competitive gamer worth their salt will simply put a piece of tape and use a marker to recreate one. And if the developer is trying to give a more immersive experience by limiting the HUD or encouraging players to use iron sights: fine, but the only way to do this is to make it effectively inconvenient for players to not use iron sights. Right now Tripwire has made a concentrated effort to force players into using the iron sights by repositioning the gun model often so the player loses their bearings on the middle of the screen. The issue is it’s still better to fire from the hip half the time, especially in close quarters with or against the assault classes. So removing the middle crosshairs only hinders the casual gamer, tipping the scales even more in favor of the competitive minded players.
Secondly, the spawn camping is horrendous in a couple maps. A barren street flanked on all sides by 5 story buildings with a plethora of windows comes to mind. Smoke grenades are slightly effective, but even a novice team can enforce a camp on this map. And to say the least, the game itself encourages camping in nearly all facets. It’s a lethal game where damage modeling is perfect except for this reason. Those players who find the best camp spots usually turn the tide of battle. Lastly – it’s a little bit frustrating to be winded after a fifteen second sprint, especially in a game that prides itself on realism and especially considering this is the best way to counter camped positions, sprinting and flanking. I guess some things must be sacrificed in the name of gameplay no matter what in the eyes of some developers, but boy could this title be enhanced by doubling the sprint capability of players. Not to mention relaxing up the damage mechanics where falling a couple feet results in losing the majority of your health.
Rating: 3.4, votes: 16