Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
Rising Storm 2 is a ruthlessly authentic depiction of America’s most famous military folly. Up to 64 players can assume the roles of either American Marines or Vietnamese PLA soldiers, waging war across several large and varied virtual battlefields. Both sides have multiple soldier classes, such as snipers, heavy machine gunners and explosives experts. There’s also a Commander, who gives orders to squads of players, and provides support in the form of helicopters, napalm strikes and artillery barrages.
Bullets are usually lethal, while cover and terrain elevation can provide significant advantages, as can both sides’ distinct classes and abilities. The PLA soldiers are experts in guerrilla warfare, able to lay traps in the undergrowth and dig tunnels from which players can respawn until the tunnel is destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Americans employ shock and awe tactics, using flamethrowers and devastating napalm attacks. The result is spectacular. Despite limited developer resources, Rising Storm 2 represents largescale conflict with a similar quality to the Battlefield series. Running towards the frontline as artillery shells explode around you is terrifying.
Meanwhile, the inspired and varied maps range from the lush jungles and paddy fields surrounding the village of Cu Chi, to the imposing Hill 937, where the Americans must ascend a steep, artillery-blasted mountainside that’s been reinforced by the Vietcong.
When you play with an experienced Commander and a team that listens to orders, Rising Storm 2 is captivating. Being part of a flanking manoeuvre that obliterates an enemy position and forces enemy players back to the next line of defence is incredibly rewarding.
However, when one of these two elements goes awry, the game becomes a miserable trudge to the front line to be murdered in one of several horrible ways. If you’re a new player, the misery will likely be doubled, as learning how the game works and how the different classes function takes time, much of which you’ll spend staring at a respawn countdown timer.
Rising Storm 2 demands a lot from players, and the payoff can be fantastic if you’re willing to meet it halfway. Just be sure you want a game where teamwork and tactics are an entry-level requirement. Otherwise, stick with Battlefield.