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Rising Storm

By Merc18-06-2013
Mokman (editor)
StuntmanLT (editor)

The Defence

Tripwire Interactive
Tripwire Interactive
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Quad Core 2.6 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
AMD Radeon HD 5750
3 GB
8 GB

The Case


World War 2 shooters are not a new concept to the video game industry, if anything there have been more than necessary. Then along comes Red Orchestra, a different take on the World War 2 genre. Rising Storm continues the trend and is very different from any of the other games with the same setting. It was a shame that Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad was almost completely broken when it was released. Rising Storm, on the other hand, is an offshoot from Red Orchestra 2 with a different setting, weapons, armies, and more. So, does Rising Storm make a successful beach landing or is it sunk in the water before it even starts?

The Trial


How many times have you played a World War 2 game? I bet at least five or even more. You probably feel that you have had more than your share of Normandy Beach landings. However, you should really not dismiss Rising Storm on that account because you will be doing yourself a great disservice. Rising Storm has no story, there is no single player, or any of the traditional trappings possessed by most shooters today. The setting is the Pacific Theater of World War 2 but you experience innumerable stories just by playing the game. There are countless moments that are intense and that cannot be found anywhere else. You will see your friends die in a horrific fashion because war is terrible. The game really captures the feel of what we imagine WW2 was like and that is all the story that is needed.

War is terrible.

War is terrible.

If you played Red Orchestra 2 you will be somewhat familiar with the gameplay mechanics that are present in Rising Storm. The guns still feel similar, which is a good thing and the fighting continues to feel just as chaotic as the previous game. The soldier you control is rooted in reality and moves as close to reality as possible within a video game. If you are used to Call of Duty types games this will take some getting used to. It all takes time to learn but is worth the effort. The new mechanics introduced in Rising Storm is where the game truly stands out amongst the competition. Since this series is about authentic military campaigns, each side has strengths that are true to how the two armies fought. The Americans have the M1 Garand, flamethrowers, the BAR, and other fine military weaponry. The Japanese in World War 2 did not have the best military weaponry, so the game has to reflect that. The Japanese have bolt action rifles but lack other weapons that pack a punch like the M1 Garand. So to make up for it, the Japanese get to banzai charge, plant improvised mines, and a knee mortar to name a few things that separate them from the Americans, creating two asymmetrical factions.

The gameplay in Rising Storm is solid, fun, chaotic, and different than most other multiplayer shooters. The teams must work together to achieve victory. All of the mechanics from the previous game are here including the cover system, running and prone mechanisms. The teams are structured in the same way as well. It all blends together for a tactical fight to the death that is absolutely thrilling to be a part of. Clawing your way up the beaches at Iwo Jima is unlike anything I have ever played. This game is not for the faint of heart though - you will die, and it only takes you popping your head over the wrong hill to lose it. Despite this, it is not frustrating because you are part of a bigger team trying to win the battle. Yes, there are few flaws in the gameplay department, maybe some glitches here and there, but otherwise this game is a joy to play.



Rising Storm uses Unreal Engine 3 and as a result does not look as detailed as many other games out there. Is that a bad thing? Nope, because the game looks absolutely stunning, just not super detailed like say, for example, Crysis 3 or Battlefield 3. Each map looks fantastic and feels like a real place, where actual events are taking place. Storming the beaches of Iwo Jima, battling through a jungle in the night with bullets flying, explosions everywhere, it all looks absolutely amazing.

The sound design is another area that shines brightly and is some of the best in the industry. The only other game I know of with this level of amazing sound quality is Battlefield 3. The guns sound brutal, the artillery barrages are terrifying and the screams of a banzai charge are nail-bitingly chilling. When you have a huge battle taking place the sights and sounds are truly amazing and fun to be a part of. The music is also well done and gets the player hyped up for battle. Though some may find the music distracting and prefer it turned off to hear everything the grittiness of the battle.

You will spend quite some time in one of these.

You will spend quite some time in one of these.

There are not many criticisms to be leveled at Rising Storm, it looks great, sounds great, plays wonderfully, and anyone that likes multiplayer shooters should give it an honest try. It is brutally difficult to get into if you are uninitiated but staying the course brings great rewards. The cover system works most of the time but at times is clumsy and buggy. Other glitches pop their ugly heads up occasionally, such as grenades not exploding or bayonets not killing, but they are rare.

The Verdict


The frantic, brutal, intense combat that soldiers faced in World War 2 can never be truly understood unless you were there. Rising Storm captures the horrors of war in a way that most video games have never been able to come close at achieving. Hopefully people support Rising Storm and show that we, gamers, want compelling multiplayer experiences, where we are the authors of our own stories. If you are looking for an amazing online shooter, look no further. Team up with some friends, and get ready for an experience that you will not find anywhere else.

Case Review

  • Steady Aim: Gun play is satisfying and realistic while being fun.
  • Thats Crazy: Bullets flying, teammates dying, banzai charges, its looks insane
  • Music to My Ears: Sound design is some of the best in the industry.
  • Refreshing: A wonderful new World War 2 game.
  • Not Spotless: Some glitches here and there but do not detract from the experience.
  • Eww Textures: Not a highly detailed game, but still wonderful to look at.
Score: 4.5/5
If you are looking for an amazing online shooter, look no further.


Rising Storm was planned as a developer supported mod for Red Orchestra 2 that would be released shortly after the main game. However, the ambitious plans for main game led to a buggy release and fixing those took priority. So two years after the release of RO2 we are getting the Pacific theatre in an expansion at very player friendly terms. If you already own Red Orchestra 2, you can play all Rising Storm maps as Rifleman, while everybody who buys the expansion also gets the base game. A lot of things in the expansion is very similar to the main game, sometimes too much, like Japanese soldiers running unrealistically similarly to Germans.

However, other than few relics, the attention to detail still shows itself, with a lot of differences from Eastern Front. The 6 maps in the expansion are more open, filled mostly with vegetation and fewer buildings than in Stalingrad. The fight in the Pacific is more asymmetrical than in Europe – Japanese and Americans have very different arsenal. While US forces enjoy the semi-auto M1 Garand and bunker-cleaning flamethrower, Imperial soldiers supplement their bolt action riflemen with trip wire grenades, knee mortars and terrifying banzai charges. While still brutal and realistic, battles in Rising Storm have a different feel to them, which is great for variety. Rising Storm is a very good expansion for Red Orchestra 2 and is worth its price both for fans of the main game and those who want to get into a more realistic shooter, but not as far into simulator genre as ARMA series.

Score: 4.5/5


It’s astonishing that Rising Storm, a game that is essentially a modified Red Orchestra 2, is so significantly different from, and remarkably better than its big brother. All the obvious changes are present; player models, weapons, buildings and landscapes have all been altered to reflect the Pacific theatre of our last World War. But there’s more than that. While Red Orchestra 2 pit two relatively identical teams against each other - both equipped with the same rifles and machine guns - Rising Storm takes a completely different approach. It successfully attempts to have two radically different teams duke it out over a handful of famous battles of the Pacific, and still make it balanced and fun to play for everyone involved. The two teams aren’t just mere reskinned clones of each other. While the US team is superior in advanced firepower, rocking weapons such as the semi-automatic M1 Garand, the automatic BAR and the flamethrower - to which the Japanese have no equivalent - the Japanese themselves weigh up for this with a selection of different weapons, such as the knee mortar, makeshift booby-traps and the katana.

It doesn’t stop there. The morale system for the Japanese is different from that of the US. Japanese troops are significantly harder to suppress, and when launching a banzai charge, it takes a large amount of firepower to put down even a single Japanese soldier. When multiple soldiers combine their banzai effort, the effect is increased accordingly, to simulate the fearless nature and the adrenaline felt by a group of soldiers facing ultimate demise without trepidation. In other words, the teams are so different that though one tactic may work great, for a given team on a given map in a given situation, it won’t necessarily work at all for the other team in that same situation. The playstyle that is offered - and required in order to win - depends on the team you select. You must adapt accordingly, or perish in defeat. It’s hard to describe just how well this all works in practice, one must almost experience it to believe how the dynamics of these two distinct teams make for unique experiences. Overall, Rising Storm is about as close as you can get to the real thing, without risking your own life and limb. Despite some minor bugs and balancing issues, as well as a slightly smaller roster of official maps than I would prefer to see - for the asking price, this stand-alone expansion is worth the money and then some. Go get it!

Score: 4/5
Comments (7)
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Posts: 3290

I find flamethrowers are often poorly represented in games. They seem to worry about making them, range in particular, seem unrealistic. When the reality is, they can throw flame over hundreds of feet. They are NOT short range weapons. Not even close (see what I did they?) they are evil, evvl, glorious masters of destruction!

And bacon

Posts: 1317

Speaking of the flame thrower, there's a few things I'm missing for that. I wish it would be possible for the Japanese troops to blow the flamer guy's tank, either by shooting at it, throwing grenades or whatever else. When the tank then explodes, it'll throw fire around a small area, grilling anyone and everyone nearby. This would make the flamer less lucrative to be around, even for friendly troops. It could help make it less powerful.

Posts: 233

Great game but who in their right mind would ever enjoy picking up a flamethrower.

Posts: 1317

And if there's one thing that can be said, Tripwire know how to make weapons feel powerful. RO/RS feels highly realistic, and KF almost goes overboard with the awesome sounds and animations.

Posts: 3290

That's a fair comment. But what I mean is, Left 4 Dead and Half-Life are very different games. But they're both to a high standard. If you see what I mean

Posts: 1548

KF is very different from RO or RS. And for me personally I needed quite a few hours to start enjoying RS again. But now that I am, its so much fun.

Posts: 3290

Well, I started playing Killing Floor yesterday. And if that's any indication of general Tripwire quality, I can already see why this is doing so well