We had an opportunity to play Rising Storm 2: Vietnam last weekend at PAX South and this is what we discovered about Tripwire’s new FPS.
Authenticity is the name of the game in Rising Storm. The team at Tripwire has gone to great efforts to painstakingly recreate the environments, weapons, and historical details of the Vietnam War. They continue the aspiration of realism with its gameplay. While shooters do take liberties with reality for the sake of gameplay, Rising Storm tries to keep these to a minimum. Gameplay feels frantic and intimidating. There are no physics defying jump mechanics or healing, weapons have serious recoil, and movement and sightlines feel challenging.
This makes Rising Storm an unforgiving shooter that emulates warfare better than most games with warfare in the title. Players have to approach it differently, as lone heroics are not nearly as rewarding as sticking to the games squad mechanics. There are different classes of soldiers, each with its own weapon specialty and vehicle class as well. Working as a team to secure and defend objectives is imperative to success.
Tripwire has built a squad system into the game that makes it easy to create custom squads and lock them in so you won’t lose your friends or be stuck with a player you don’t want. Using the squad mechanics give you access to bonuses such as dedicated squad text, VOIP chat, and score bonuses for specific actions. Actions like defending your squad leader, working together to capture objectives, and assisting your team all yield significantly more points when working with your squad.
This conflict allows players to experience what Tripwire calls asymmetrical warfare. The two factions, the US Armed Forces and the People’s Army of Vietnam, have vastly different equipment and tactics. US troops have more high tech weapons and aerial support, but the Vietnamese forces utilize guerilla tactics to even the battlefield.
What struck me most about Rising Storm was the sound. It was incredibly intricate right down to the different footsteps that Vietnamese soldiers take compared to the US troops. Listening closely, you could actually judge enemy movement and anticipate them. The weapons and equipment share the attention to detail. Perhaps one of the impressive or disturbing sound effects are those when you take a bullet. The sound of dying sticks with you.
The two current online modes are Territory and Skirmish. In Territory, players must secure points on the map while Skirmish is 8 v 8 mode where players must constantly capture objectives to increase the time in your spawn window. Once that window closes, the fight becomes a tense sudden death mode where the team with the last man standing wins.
Rising Storm 2 also give players air support. Depending on your class you can scout or could call in an artillery barrage or napalm bombing. Players can even take control of the game’s helicopters to support your squad. Be wary, however as operating these vehicles is tricky. Similar to ground troops is requires teamwork.
When it launches, Rising Storm 2 promises players massive 64 player matches, which means massive battles in the jungles and towns of Vietnam. One online mode has yet to be announced however it is likely another objective based mode as the game is developed around its squad mechanics. There will also Steam Workshop integration to encourage the community to create new challenges and keep players engaged.
The original Rising Storm earned PC Gamers multiplayer Game of the Year, and the sequel is in a good position to follow suit. It may lack some of the luster of recent shooters, but it makes up for it with solid online gameplay. While you can approach it as you would a normal FPS, Rising Storm rewards working as a team. It feels like a tactical shooter if you are working with a good squad. Tripwire has poured a lot of detail Rising Storm 2 and it shows. The weapons all feel unique and the sound work in the game is exceptional.
If you are interested you can get your hands on the game early by applying for the BETA on the Rising Storm 2 webpage.