hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Tripwire Interactive

Review: Rising Storm

Jun 07 // Chris Carter
Rising Storm (PC)Developer: Tripwire Interactive / Rising Storm modding communityPublisher: Tripwire InteractiveRelease Date: May 31, 2013MSRP: $14.99Rig: Intel i3-2370M, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 555 GPU, and Windows 8 64-bit Rising Storm is not only a standalone game, as it also seeks to augment Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. Rising Storm actually comes with the Heroes of Stalingrad multiplayer component, and if you own the original, you can carry over your progress, as well as play a limited version of Storm, even if you don't buy it. This is a pretty smart and bold move, as it unifies both clients into one to avoid splitting the userbase. With the logistics out of the way, lets get to the gameplay. To be blunt, Rising Storm is basically Heroes of Stalingrad, but set on the Pacific front, and with different units to control. Just like its predecessor, it's a very tactical FPS, and a stark departure from the typical run-and-gun games of this generation. "Action Mode," a setting played on some servers, plays a bit like Call of Duty solely due to the fact that you have a tad more health to work with, but for the most part, the core game operates with a "one to two shots and you're dead" mentality. Deaths play out pretty realistically, with soldiers screaming while being burned alive, or slowly blacking out when hit by a bullet that isn't instantly fatal, but will cause you to bleed out. It could have been taken even further for sure, but it's still harrowing at times, and does a decent job of reminding you that you aren't playing an arcade-like shooter. Gametypes are standard fare, ranging from Territory (capture the points), Countdown (capture the points with limited lives), and Firefight (team deathmatch). But what Rising Storm lacks in modes, it makes up for in a solid gameplay foundation across Storm's incredibly solid six maps. While vehicles are missing in action, I love the large 64 max player count that leads to giant battles across the provided sprawling maps. The maps themselves are all wonderfully done, forcing combat wherever possible with a distinct lack of hiding spots or an over-abundance of complex structures. Just to be clear, the Rising Storm portion of the game is a multiplayer-only affair. Classes are limited to a set amount per choice depending on the map, while there can be basically any number of standard riflemen. For instance, most maps are limited to 2-3 Snipers and Flamethrowers, which really makes the classes feel that much more unique and special, as well as facilitate proper team management. But both sides are not created wholly equal. The Axis (Japan) and the Allies (America) each have a few minor changes that actually make them feel different and, for the most part, balanced. In an attempt to recreate history, the American side boasts superior firepower, while the Japanese side has a few extra gap-closers of its own, like a Banzai charge power, and a portable mortar. The community actually cares about the game, leading to commanders giving orders, and a frequently used voice chat line. There's a number of different tutorials accessible from the in-game menu if you need assistance before you jump in, but it isn't hard to pick up the basics once you've moved past the nuances between the two sides. Unfortunately, there are a number of bugs that impede the experience at times. Hit detection from a prone state leaves much to be desired, and there's a number of clipping issues that rear their ugly head every few games. Deploying weapons can also get pretty dicey while prone, as the game tends to constantly block the view of your gun depending on your location. Rising Storm needs a bit more polishing and a few more updates to really shine, but as it stands it's an excellent escape for old-school FPS fans. If you were a hardcore fan of Heroes of Stalingrad, this is basically an expansion in the Pacific with more gameplay you know and love. For everyone else, take a look if you enjoy tactical FPS action once more of the bugs are ironed out.
Rising Storm review photo
Old-fashioned FPS fun
It isn't often that a developer works in tandem with the modding community to deliver a product, but that's exactly what happened with Tripwire Interactive's Rising Storm, the follow-up standalone expansion for Red Orchestra ...

Red Orchestra photo
Red Orchestra

Red Orchestra 2 is free to play this weekend on Steam


WWII multiplayer shooter
Apr 04
// Alasdair Duncan
Not content with just being included in this week's Humble Bundle offer, Tripwire Interactive's Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is free for you to try this weekend on Steam. The World War II multiplayer shooter has also...
Humble Bundle photo
Humble Bundle

Visit the Killing Floor in this week's Humble Bundle


Tripwire's games on offer in this week's deal
Apr 02
// Alasdair Duncan
Whilst these new weekly Humble Bundle deals might lack pizazz of the main bundles, they're still a great way to pick up some games for a few dollars. This week, it's the turn of Tripwire Interactive to be included in the...
Rising Storm photo
Rising Storm

Visit the Pacific theater of war in Rising Storm


From the developers of Red Orchestra 2
Mar 29
// Jason Cabral
Coming from an eclectic team made up of developers from Tripwire Interactive and community modders, Rising Storm is looking to take Red Orchestra's style of World War II combat into the Pacific theater with more guns, explos...

Did Call of Duty ruin a generation of gamers?

Mar 14 // Jim Sterling
Tripwire's focus group disliked the acceleration required to sprint, as well as the relative weakness of weapons and the way they handled. Weirdly, people who were very used to playing little else but Call of Duty struggled to play a game that was different to Call of Duty. Who knew!? "Almost every element boiled down to 'it doesn't feel like Call of Duty.' And really, watching some of these guys play ... one of the things that Call of Duty does, and it’s smart business, to a degree, is they compress the skill gap. And the way you compress the skill gap as a designer is you add a whole bunch of randomness. A whole bunch of weaponry that doesn't require any skill to get kills. "Random spawns, massive cone fire on your weapons. Lots of devices that can get kills with zero skill at all, and you know, it’s kind of smart to compress your skill gap to a degree. You don’t want the elite players to destroy the new players so bad that new players can never get into the game and enjoy it." Gibson clearly isn't a fan of the way Call of Duty does things, and that's fine -- there are many FPS fans that dislike it, and prefer other games. But to blame Call of Duty for "ruining" gamers, as if it doesn't have a right to exist and be popular, strikes me as silly. Tripwire will likely earn a lot of fans for dissing what is, essentially, the Twilight Saga of videogames, but Gibson is basically wrong in several ways.  First of all, claiming CoD "ruined" anything implies its popularity scrambled our minds, rather than appealed to minds that already existed and finally found an FPS they could enjoy. The fact CoD appeals to more gamers than most other games would suggest it reached people who were not already playing a great deal of shooters. Now, if everybody who was playing Quake suddenly stopped playing Quake and started enjoying only Call of Duty, Gibson might have a point, but I don't think that happened. To argue Call of Duty ruined the minds of gamers strikes me as no different from suggesting violent games turn kids into mass shooters -- it's an assumption that a videogame has the power to alter our brains for the worst.  It also ignores the fact that distinctly non-CoD games are also quite popular. Halo may have brought a few new ideas to the market, but its multiplayer and weapon handling are rooted a lot more in the old than the new, and it's still a massively popular franchise. I dare say, if Tripwire had focused tested a group of hardcore Halo players and asked them what they wanted, they'd argue in favor a game that felt like Halo. It strikes me as incredibly silly to specifically ask CoD fans what they like, and express dissatisfaction that they answer with "CoD." Call of Duty may have become wildly popular, and it may have influenced a lot of other games this generation, but that's not really Call of Duty's fault. It's just a game, and its only crime in this instance is appealing to a lot of customers -- a "crime" it didn't commit by tricking anybody or changing anybody's mind. It didn't succeed by sneaking into the rooms of children and whispering forbidden secrets in their ears while they slept. It was marketed well, was designed to appeal to more than just older FPS players, and it resonated. That's all it really did.   Red Orchestra 2 also resonates with an audience. Not Call of Duty's audience, but an audience that looks for something else. And that's great. I'm glad both games exist. There's room for everything in this industry, and some things will be more popular than others. That's ... life.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go and be mad at some dogs for always wanting to eat dog food designed for dogs to eat with their dog mouths. 
CoD ruined gamers? photo
Red Orchestra dev blames game series for daring to exist
Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson is disappointed in this generation of gamers, and the Red Orchestra developer lays the blame at the feet of Call of Duty. According to Gibson, who focus tested some hardcore CoD...

 photo

Red Orchestra 2 cuts price in half and adds friend pass


Jun 08
// Joshua Derocher
Red Orchestra 2 recently had a free-to-play weekend, and it was wildly successful. The influx of new players was a good start, but Tripwire has decided to do even more to bring players into the game. Red Orchestra 2 is n...
 photo

Live show: Killing Floor with Alex Quick on Mash Tactics


Mar 12
// Bill Zoeker
King Foom is back from GDC, and he's got a special edition of Mash Tactics in store today. For "Multiplayer Monday", Foom will be playing the PC co-op horror shooter Killing Floor with its very creator Alex Quick. Alex also p...
 photo

Red Orchestra 2 Mod SDK unleased on Steam


Jan 11
// Maurice Tan
Tripwire Interactive is staying true to their mod maker roots by releasing the full Red Orchestra 2 Mod SDK today. If you own the game, you can start tinkering by downloading the SDK from the tools section on Steam. A limited...
 photo

Killing Floor mystery revealed as the Twisted Xmas Event


Dec 06
// Alasdair Duncan
Last week we started to see a mystery image teased on the official Killing Floor Steam group and knowing Tripwire Interactive's previous holiday season gifts, it wasn't a big leap of imagination to think that there would be a...
 photo

Killing Floor mystery image teased plus free weekend


Nov 30
// Alasdair Duncan
Tripwire Interactive's cooperative zombie shooter Killing Floor shows no signs of declining in popularity, if my Friend's List on Steam is anything to go by. It's still a solid, really enjoyable co-op experience that's been s...

Review: Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Sep 19 // Joshua Derocher
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC)Developer: Tripwire InteractivePublisher: Tripwire InteractiveReleased: August 13th, 2011MSRP: $39.99 (Steam) Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is a first-person, multiplayer-centric shooter set in WWII. You play as either the Germans or the Soviets as they fight for control over Stalingrad. Each side has its own weapons that are very realistically modeled, all of which are fun to shoot people with.There are two single-player campaigns, one for the Germans and one for the Soviets. These could be considered toss-away experiences, since they are basically multiplayer matches with just you and a bunch of AI bots running around. While that might not sound like fun, they are almost essential to teaching you how to play the game. You could jump right into the multiplayer action, but you'll appreciate RO2 a whole lot more if you take the time to learn all of its details. It's about eight hours worth of content, so you might as well just do it. You'll thank me later.If you are looking for a great single-player experience, you won't find it here. Red Orchestra 2 is a multiplayer game. The campaigns are a great intro to the gameplay mechanics, but they lack the depth and story of a regular story mode. The robust multiplayer is enough to make it still worth your time, but if you don't like playing with others, you might want to sit this one out. The AI during the single-player is really incompetent. I had my guys running in front of my machine gun while I was firing, and sometimes they would shoot me in the back if I was standing between them and an enemy. If our goal was to defend a building, some of them would jump in and out of the windows, which is not normal behavior. Enemies can run by each other, and not react to seeing one another at all. They serve their purpose as a background for the single-player, but they fail to react in ways an actual person would.The multiplayer is what this game is all about. 64 players can go fight to death on giant maps with tanks and infantry. There is never a dull moment; you'll always have someone fighting by your side, and your life will constantly be in danger. Players all take on different roles. On some game modes, like Fire Fight, you can pick simply your soldier type -- rifleman, sniper, machine gunner, etc. What really makes the roles interesting is the Territory game mode. Each team has a commander who can call down artillery, aerial reconnaissance, or mortar strikes, and force teammates to respawn. A step below the commander are squad leaders, which can vary in number depending on how many people are playing. Squad leaders mark targets for artillery, so the commander can sit back by a radio and call it down quickly. They can also use smoke grenades, which are crucial in providing cover so you can attack your enemies' often well-guarded defenses. If a player is failing to perform their role, you can vote to have them removed.You can level up as you play, unlocking weapons and upgrades. As of right now, this system is bugged, so I can't really say too much about it. I know a few people that started at higher levels with a weird amount of kills. Achievements are also broken right now, so you might get some random pop-ups for things that you haven't done. None of these issues have an impact on the actual gameplay, but it is an annoyance worth mentioning. Tanks are a big part of Red Orchestra 2, and there is no simple way to drive a tank around the battlefield. You play as part of a crew, and you have to work together in order to get anything done. There is a driver, a main gunner, a machine gunner, and the commander is the one who can actually see what's going on outside. It can be really fun to be a part of a successful tank crew, but if you get stuck with a goon who drives into buildings and gets lost all the time, you will probably be bored out of your mind.Melee can be used if you get stuck in a close combat situation, but you won't be able to do it during mid-animation. So, if you're reloading, you will probably die if someone gets up in your face. This is really bad, but hopefully it's something that will be addressed soon.I don't usually like cover mechanics in shooters, but Tripwire really nailed it here. One key press will cause your character to take cover, and all you have do is walk away to leave it. Once you are in cover, you can fire right over the top without poking your head out. You can't see anything, but if you have a machine gun and ten guys are running at you, there's a good chance someone will be hit. You can also right-click to aim and look over the cover, which is much more effective, but also dangerous.There's a lot of bloodshed in Red Orchestra 2. Tank shells can dismember soldiers, headshots will leave lovely stains on the walls, and dying soldiers will bleed out all over the place while they gurgle and yell. If that sounds like something that you could live without, you can turn off the game's gore from the options menu. While the game plays well, it does have its share of bugs. Alt-tabbing will cause your framerate to drop drastically, there are some clipping issues, texture popping, and some other small annoyances. None of these bugs are game breaking, but they are there. Thankfully, Tripwire has been on top of all of these issues, and they deliver excellent support. They are even going so far as to optimize all the maps for increased performance, which will probably be a very time consuming undertaking for them.As it stands right now, the game only includes the single-player campaign and multiplayer. Tripwire has plans to include a co-op and multiplayer campaign soon, in addition to some more vehicles and maps added over time. DLC is planned, including the mod "Rising Storm," which will focus on the Pacific front of WWII. All of this will be offered for free, which is really cool.Red Orchestra 2 hits a sweet spot for me. The gameplay is fast-paced without being too hectic and confusing. The realism is not as arcade-like as Call of Duty, and it's not a hardcore simulation like Arma II. There is even enough variety in the role types that you can have a completely different gameplay experience depending on what you want to do. It might be more hardcore than some people are used to, but I found it to be refreshing.If it were not for the bugs, I would highly recommend this game to everyone who is tired of the current state of shooters. This is not just another Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Medal of Honor. As it is right now, the game has enough bugs and glitches that you might want to wait a bit before you jump in. Don't write it off, or ignore it for too long, though -- you might miss out on one of the best shooters in some time.
 photo

World War II has never been this interesting. Five years ago, most gamers where tired of seeing WWII games, and now the cool kids are playing modern warfare shooters. If you're sick of the current trend in this genre, and want something that's a little bit different, then have I got a game for you.

 photo

New maps for Red Orchestra 2 beta and screenshots


Sep 02
// Joshua Derocher
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is shaping up to be the sleeper-hit shooter of 2011. The beta went live earlier this week, and fans are in love with the game. If you are one of the lucky ones in the beta, there are thre...
 photo

Red Orchestra 2 beta is up for Deluxe Edition pre-orders


Aug 31
// Joshua Derocher
If you pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, you can finally play the beta. This goes for anyone who has already purchased the game, and anyone who buys it before launch. This first wave of ...
 photo

Multiplayer footage of the Red Orchestra 2 beta


Aug 23
// Joshua Derocher
If you read our preview of Red Orchestra 2, you might be anxious to see some actual gameplay. Tripwire Interactive just released a high-definition video showing off a couple minutes worth. It's very hectic, and many differen...

Preview: Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Aug 22 // Joshua Derocher
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC)Developer: Tripwire InteractivePublisher: Tripwire InteractiveRelease date: September 13, 2011 Red Orchestra 2 is the thinking man's shooter. This doesn't mean that it's boring or slow, it just means that it's probably not the type of game that the frat boys are going to be playing on a Friday night. It's not about your kill/death ratio, as you will die a lot, no matter how good of a player you are. The only way to not die is to hide in a corner, and you'll still probably die; this game is a glorious slaughter fest. The only way to capture a point is to have more people in the area than the other team. Most of the points are defensible positions, so don't expect it to be easy. A squad commander will toss down some smoke grenades, and then a dozen riflemen will charge at the enemies' position. Most of them will die with fantastic death animations and gore. A few will make it, and hopefully survive long enough for more troops to reach the point. The pacing changes constantly. One moment, you're running in the open with ten guys towards a machine gun nest, desperately hoping you don't all die, and the next moment you're in a building trying to sneak up on a lone enemy soldier. It's a frantic and bloody good time.The first-person cover system means that you can't tell what's going on around you as well. You have a very limited field-of-view while in cover, but this makes things more realistic and balanced. Defenders might not be as easy to shoot, but they can't really shoot at you unless they poke their heads up. Pressing left-ctrl makes you stick to the closet available cover and when you right click to aim, you'll poke your head up to shoot. If you're afraid of getting your head blown off, you can shoot without aiming from cover. This might not be the best way to kill your enemies, but you can get lucky. Moving away from cover simply requires you to walk backwards. Every player takes on a role each match, and it's more than just a class. Squad leaders pick objectives, commanders call in artillery support, riflemen charge on the front line, machine gunners hold off defensive choke points, and everyone has to work together as a team or you will all die. There is a limited amount of each class that can join depending on how many people are playing. So you don't have to worry about a team of 32 snipers or tank commanders. You have to perform the function of your role if you want to get any type of points or even hope to win the match. If your team has a lousy Commander, you can vote them -- or anyone, for that matter -- off of a given role.You gain levels with each role that you play, and you can also gain levels with all of the different types of weapons. From what I've seen so far, it's not as radical as the leveling found in other shooters. You have to actually play well, too. You can't just sit around in matches and gain experience; you have to help capture points and kill people. Players shouldn't have to worry about a level 50 kicking their asses all day just because he put in 500 hours and as a result has a better gun.In a World War II shooter, you are going to be using a lot of rifles, and nothing sucks more than a bad rifle. Thankfully, the rifles here are sweet, and they feel good. There is great kickback, and the sound of the bolt locking is rich. There are lots of other guns here too, so if rifles aren't your thing, you'll still have something to enjoy. Unlike in other FPSs (I'm looking at you, Call of Duty) pistols aren't an almighty force that can kill people from a mile away. They are a last resort in Red Orchestra 2, and you won't be able to kill anyone more than ten feet away. If you're driving in a tank, you'll have a very limited view of the battlefield. Even people inside the tank are still seeing everything from first-person. Apparently tanks in WWII just had little slots to look out of, and they aren't as easy to drive as you would think. It's not that the mechanics are bad, they are just highly realistic. A good team of players with a tank can be very effective, but a single person won't get very far since you can't drive it and shoot. After launch, Tripwire will be adding more vehicle types to the game. The HUD in RO2 is minimalistic, with just your mini-map, orders from your team, and shortly after you kill someone, you'll get a notice. This helps bring you into the moment and removes all of the annoying clutter.I'm tired of shooters featuring busy HUDs that spatter on about how so-and-so killed this-guy with a knife. I'm tired of having pop-ups to tell me that I did a good job. I'm also tired of players talking about their awesome kill/death ratio, and of people running around acting like a one-man army. I want a shooter that is fun; I want to feel like part of an army. I want to simply shoot people in the face without it feeling like a televised event on ESPN. Red Orchestra 2 seems like it will be perfect for people looking for an alternative to the ridiculously unrealistic gameplay of Call of Duty. It's not as much of a hardcore simulation as Arma II, but it's deep enough to add some good strategy and rich gameplay to the genre.The full title will have a single-player and multiplayer campaign beyond the competitive multiplayer component described here. Co-op will be added after launch, along with additional vehicle types. Finally, there's also a mod being launched with the game that will offer a campaign set in the Pacific theater of World War II.
 photo

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is all about bloody and massive 64-player battles set in the Eastern front of World War II. It's a refreshing blend of simulation and fun gameplay that should be a good change of pace fro...

 photo

This new Red Orchestra 2 trailer amuses me so


Aug 16
// Smurgesborg
Tripwire Interactive has released a new trailer for The Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, and I find it quite amusing.  It's really more fair to call this a commercial with the way it's presented, but damned if it'...
 photo

Tripwire Interactive launches its own online store


Jul 29
// Alasdair Duncan
Killing Floor and Red Orchestra developer TripWire Interactive has launched its own online store where you can buy fun-looking merchandise from some of the studio's big titles. There's not a great deal of range to pick from r...
 photo

New screens of Red Orchestra 2 and 'Rising Storm' mod


Jul 12
// Joshua Derocher
We have some new screenshots of the upcoming World War II shooter, Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, to show off. In Red Orchestra 2, you will always be playing from first person, even while taking cover. You'll have to ...






Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
What is the meaning of life, and do you have any more pizza rolls?
You may remix all content on this site under Creative Commons with Attribution
- Living the dream, Since 2006 -