We set our media guru Damien "Damo" Harris the task of reviewing the Rising Storm BETA, it looks like the big fella managed to pry himself away from the game to write a few words.
When I first noticed that the Rising Storm beta was live and pre-orders of the game gave instant beta I nearly tore my wallet in half in a rush to get my card out to pay for it. Having racked up quite a large number of hours on both Red Orchestra and Red Orchestra 2 I knew this was going to be well worth the money.
Rising storm is a standalone expansion to Red Orchestra 2 and as such uses the same game engine and uses the same game mechanics as Red Orchestra 2. The setting is the pacific, lining up the forces of the US against the Japanese in major historical battles such as Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.
My initial expectation for the beta was not set very high. I played Red Orchestra 2 during beta and while I found it to be very enjoyable there were quite a lot of bugs during the beta, ranging from performance issues to things simply not working as they should. Rising Storm on the other hand seems to run very well with no performance issues and I have not had a single glitch or crash as of yet with over 15 hours of game play.
As far as game play goes I will admit it is not a game everyone will enjoy. The game play is a lot more realistic that a lot of other FPS games on the market currently. Rifles often kill in one shot, and machine guns don't struggle to hit the side of a barn like they do in a lot of other games. Using the games cover system and suppression system is vital to staying alive. As frustrating as it can be to get killed from the other side of the map with no idea where it came from it also feels a lot more rewarding when you get a kill or capture an objective.
The weapons are a little bit unbalanced as the US receive more automatic and semi automatic weapons compared to the Japanese however this is made up for in several ways. One is the ability to lay booby traps, allowing you to hold narrow passages on some of the maps with ease. Another ability is the infamous banzai charge which causes suppression effects on nearby enemies, reducing their ability to aim accurately. Having a good commander that can co ordinate a well timed banzai charged can be a spectacular sight (and sound, so much screaming) and game changing. However a poorly timed one can result in a lot of easy kills for the US and if the Japanese are defending can result in having too few people left to defend vital points.
Graphically the game is lagging a little bit behind some of the other new releases. The textures and particle effects such as smoke and fire don’t look great. As an upside it doesn’t need the latest and greatest to be playable and will run on older systems reasonably well.
The audio has been very well done. Gunshots can be heard from a fair way away and the snap of a shot whizzing over your head when you're hiding in a trench will often make you jump. Soldiers will often make random comments during firefights or when being shot at. While certainly not game changing small touches like that give the game a very polished feel.
Overall it is a very enjoyable game and while the learning curve can be a bit steep for new players and the graphics are amazing it can be quite a lot of fun and for a price of $20 on steam at the moment (with discounts for owners of RO2) I would highly recommend checking this out.
If you fancy a free key to the BETA, like and message our Facebook, and if you want to purchase the game head over to the official Steam page.