Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Review (PC)

Game:
Ten Ton Hammer
Ten Ton Hammer Rating
80

Multiplayer - 95 / 100

With huge server sizes (man, I love PC gaming) and huge maps, firefights break out everywhere and you are never far from your enemy or your allies.  There is a feature for spotting the enemy that killed you thankfully, so if the map gets too sniper-heavy, you can circle around and dispense justice with the business end of your pistol.  The maps themselves are really well done and detailed.  You can tell each one was handmade with various doodads and objects rather than a copy/paste operation from other maps or other parts of the same map.

Buildings are typically damaged and have lots of open space to fire into, and out of.  On the high population servers, some multi-level buildings can turn into bloodbaths!

Just be wary of friendly fire.   Most servers have this enabled and in a game where one bullet kills, one bullet from a friendly will too!

Value - 60 / 100

At 39.99, you’re going to have to really appreciate the multiplayer and realism in order to get your money’s worth.  Normally I wouldn’t be so heavily against a multiplayer-focused game at that price point, but we’re clearly not getting the complete deal here. From the game’s website under ‘coming after release’

“Co-op: Players can connect with their friends and battle AI in multiple game types including the Stalingrad Campaign, Skirmish Mode, and more.

Offline Challenges: Offline challenges such as the shooting range and assault courses let the player learn and hone their skills to perfection with all of the weapons and features in the game. Training with different challenges to achieve awards, win competitions and improve their skills the player can pit their best times/scores against the rest of the online gaming community.

New vehicles: We will roll out new vehicles for the game, including new tanks as well as armored transports.”

The hell?  All of this should come standard in a retail-priced FPS.  It might be a free download at some point, but if it is released as paid DLC, that’s just a travesty against our wallets.  As is though, the core gameplay is probably worth $20-30 if blasting people with a KAR rifle is your idea of a good time every night.

Lasting Appeal - 82 / 100

The true realistic shooter is drowning in a sea of Modern Warfare clones and sequels, so we have to embrace what we’ve got here. The good news is that it’s a well executed product and has a fantastic sense of the war with great weapons, great sound, and true gameplay. Those of us that purchase it will be sticking to it for a long time.. so long as the rest of the player base keeps populating the servers and doesn’t jump to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Super minimalistic HUD gives combat a great realistic feel
  • Excellent presentation in graphics and sound
  • Fantastic and detailed map design for the genre

Cons

  • Single player is pretty stunted.
  • With a lackluster single player, and 'many features to come’, was this even ready for release?
  • Competing against a few IP juggernauts for the same player base, I worry for the game’s online population in a few months

Conclusion

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is a wonderful game for those of us looking for a serious WW2 shooter, and mods are on the way to give us the combat from other eras as well. But with a full retail price and low amount of single player content, you have to really love the multiplayer gunplay in order to love the game. If you’re a fan of realism, iron sights, and one hit kills, you’d be well advised to pick this up immediately. For the rest of us though, let’s wait until the Soviets push out of Stalingrad with some more maps and content.

Overall 80/100 - Good

Metacritic

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