Bleak, hyper realistic, and lots of bleeding to death on an earth scorched field. Here is my PC Review of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad.
First of you should know there is is not a single-player story with RO2, there is a tutorial that comes off like it might be an actual story, but it’s not. It’s instructions with multi-player maps and retarded bots. Literally, if you formed a Company in WWII of soldiers with mental deficiencies and they put you in the mix, that’s it. It would be your own mash of enemy killing dummies that resembles the RO2 Campaign mode. There is no point in rating the single-player or actual story in this game because it does not exist in any meaningful way, which is a shame. I’m sure the development time for creating a compelling story did not make sense with their budget, so whatever. Just know that RO2 at its heart is a MULTI-PLAYER ONLY GAME.
I am disappointed big time with the graphics in RO2. The character models look bleak and lifeless, the scenery is equally as lifeless. I realize they were going for realism here, and in terms of combat style and game play, they hit the nail on the head. But realism only went that far, in terms of how the game actually looks, it is disappointing considering the standard of graphic quality in today’s PC games.
Let me just say this about the graphics and visuals in RO2. Weapons and vehicles look good, everything else looks dated. Even the Source Engine pours on prettier visuals WWII style in DOD:Source. I would think no matter what engine your using as a developer you could at least match the quality we’ve come to expect if not improve on what we’ve already become accustomed to.
Some other graphical issues that bugged me were: FPS drops randomly for some reason when rendering certain animations… especially in menus and when finding servers, quite unnecessary and annoying. Also there are crashes due to some other issues as well.
Here are the recommended specs and what I’ve got to give you an idea of what you’ll be dealing with here.
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
- CPU: Dual Core 2.3 GHz or better
- RAM: 2 GB
- GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce 7800 GTX or better / ATI® Radeon® HD 2900 GT or better
- DX: DirectX 9.0c
- HD: 8GB free hard drive space
What I got:
- OS: Win 7 64bit
- CPU: AMD Quad Core 3.2 GHz
- RAM: 10 Gb
- HD: Plenty
- GPU: ATI Radeon 5770 HD
- DirectX: 11
The sound in RO2 is one of the most compelling aspects of the game. Crank this baby up and get immersed and frustrated at the same time. Weapon sounds are great, they have a real crack to them and take me back to Mother Russia in a compelling way. There is also the character sound of “charge!!!” and the like that are fun to listen to once you respawn.
Tripwire did their homework here. The soundtrack in the game is also a welcome addition too. Gives it a bit more life. Don’t forget what I said, crank this one up, and crank it up loud!
The one sour note about sound with RO2 is that I’ve experienced the sound to cut out entirely when a server changes levels, quite an annoying bug that I hope is ironed out soon.
Fun Factor — 8.5 / 10
Red Orchestra 2 grows on you. Like a fungus or cancer making its way into your body and mind eventually becoming a bit of an obsession. If you like to think of yourself as a FPS god, then the difficultly and learning curve in RO2 are not something that may easily turn you off. Put in the time and it will pay off. With most video games this is not worth it, either entertain me now or screw off. But with RO2 there is hope, hope that after the learning curve and patches, a gem of a game may emerge.
It is also interesting that a game so challenging can actually offer moments of fun that most games cannot. And without the developers pouring their hearts into the mechanics of the actual hyper realistic game-play, this would just be another boring generic game. Let me just put it this way, the highs are high, and the lows are pretty damn low.
Playing as a German or a Russian you’ve got your work cut out for you. This is not a “pick it up for 5 minutes at a time” type of game. This is an investment in realistic and challenging game-play that pays off. RO2 has obvious issues that the game should not have been shipped with.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet, 64 player maps. This is pretty cool and adds another dynamic aspect to this basically multi-player only game. If you’re tired of the same old run and gun type of shooters and are looking for a challenge, get RO2. If your looking for a run and gun CS, COD type FPS, take a pass on RO2 and never look back, this one is not for the casual gamer or the faint of heart.
Total Score: _____________________________________________________ 83 %