Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
Red Orchestra 2 : Heroes of Stalingrad is the next instalment in the Red Orchestra series
by Tripwire Interactive. Like its predecessor HoS is focused on the eastern front of the
second world war so the only two playable sides remain as the Soviet Red Army and The
wehrmacht. With the first Red Orchestra its main appeal wasn’t it’s fancy graphics or
customization but how its degree of realism effected multiplayer game play which has been
the focus of both games.
Red Orchestra 2 is a complete overhaul of the first game but it has also kept its main game
play appeal which is the need for tactical game play requirements for online matches. One
of the big changes in this game would be the addition of two single player campaigns one
for each faction. This is a nice addition to the game as in the first game where the only
option was to play the numerous multiplayer maps with bots which without a story got
rather tedious after a while. Some of the best features of this game come down to its new
game play mechanics which have enhanced the level of tactical availability of multiplayer
games. The most notable of these would be the cover system which for veterans of the first
game will know this is a very handy feature as this game series aims to be as realistic as
possible one shot could kill the ability to use two buttons to hide behind cover and to lean
out and fire to then return to cover is a very nice addition and this has the biggest impact on
the machine gunner class allowing them to hide after gunning down a few enemies.
While this game is still focused on the war on the eastern front its focus is on the battle
of Stalingrad and the areas surrounding the famous city. This means that the open field
maps of the first game are a thing of the past and this games maps are more focused on
heavy urban maps and maps focused on small villages and towns. This has impacts on the
class usage on the game as with the focus of building to building fighting the assault class
becomes very useful in clearing out the odd room or two. Snipers also gain advantages with
a lot of tall buildings on many of the maps snipers can get very good vantage points making
covering streets and windows much more challenging.
Graphically the game looks beautiful a vast improvement over the first game and with
improved graphics comes improved animations and the new character animations flow
beautifully this mostly shows in multiplayer where in the first game you had to stand still
and press the prone button now when your sprinting across the battlefield under a hail of
bullets press the prone button and you’ll dive to the floor this adds a feel of a very chaotic
battlefield where making one wrong step will get you killed.
The main focus of this game as with the first is multiplayer and this game comes with three
different game modes Firefight, Territory and Countdown these games modes are as they were
in the first game with your standard death match to attack and defenders. While the bulk
of multiplayer game play has remained the same the addition of new weapons and smaller
game play functions have kept the multiplayer function of the game fresh. However there
level up it increases the stats of the weapons such as reload speed increase and reduction
in weapon sway also as you gain experience in the individual class sets you can unlock
weapon modifications such as scopes and bayonets. As this game tries to be as close to
realistic as it can get confusing out there as a Russian in a shadowed area can look like
a German at a distance making friendly fire inevitable. However this game has a system
that can deal with those who use team killing to ruin a fun game. This is done in the form
of a honour system. They way this works you gain honour points for capturing/defending
objectives or gaining kills and lose it for killing team mates. If you like to go around killing
team mates for fun then you honour will continues to go down till it reaches a certain level
to the point you can only join ranked servers for people with a low honour level mean that
team killers will end up on a server killing each other……everybody wins.
Sadly every game has a dent in its armour and RO 2 is no different. The way this game
earns a negative point is with tank battles. In the first game large open field maps involved
massive combined tank and infantry battles with a wide verity of tanks including medium,
head and tank destroyers. The way it work was a player would take one of three roles in
the tank driver, gunner or machine gunner. In RO 2 you can be in a tank of you and four AI
crewman taking over the roles you haven’t this can make tank combat on low populated
servers very irritating and hard if you’re playing with people in a tank and you’re not
coordinating very well. Also the fact that there is only one tank per side can make these
battles very bland.
All in all this game is an unknown gem it’s mixture of tactical combat and weapons available
will mean this game will give you many moments that you’ll remember for a long time.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when your squads use of teamwork has allowed you
take that apartment block from a group of well entrenched Russians. I would recommend
this game to people who are fans of game that require them to think tactically and work as
a team to achieve victory. Also Tripwire have announced that they will continue to give free
DLC to add new maps and tanks and other vehicles to the game which show that they like
to look after their community.