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Tripwire Interactive

Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2's demolition perk gets a goddamn grenade pistol

Boom Boom Pow
Jul 17
// Zack Furniss
It's been a long time coming, but Killing Floor 2's next big content patch is on its way. We still don't have a date locked down, but we're getting new details every week about the new perks and weapons that are on their way....
Rising Storm: Vietnam photo
Rising Storm: Vietnam

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam goes to the most popular war

Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
At the PC gaming stream tonight, Tripwire Interactive and Antimatter Games revealed a new shooter. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is going to have to walk a fine line; it's going to have to take a different tack than a lot of milit...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 teases gameplay changes and new weapon

Barbecue some Zeds
Jun 03
// Zack Furniss
Despite being in Early Access, Killing Floor 2 has been the multiplayer title I've returned to any time I get a chance. While everyone is alternating between kids and squids and skids and quids, I've been dissecting Zeds...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 can ban you for being a wankstain

Timmy kicked someone at school today? Unleash the Fleshpound
Apr 27
// Joe Parlock
Have you been a dickhead today? I'd sure hope not. I’d be very disappointed in you, sport. I’d send you to your room without any dinner and then unleash a rabid and hungry pack of wolves in to your bedroom because...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 now on Steam Early Access for $30

Killing Floor: The Floor That Kills
Apr 21
// Jordan Devore
Alessandro was just telling us about Killing Floor 2 and now here it is up for purchase through Steam Early Access ($29.99 / ₤19.99 / €26.99). Thanks to years of content updates and support, the first game is stil...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Digital Deluxe Edition announced for Killing Floor 2

Specs also detailed, so pay attention.
Apr 16
// Vikki Blake
Tripwire Interactive has confirmed that a "deluxe" digital edition will be available for upcoming Killing Floor 2.  In addition to all the extra goodies -- which include a digital soundtrack, digital artbook and a w...

Killing Floor 2 is hectic and gory, and will be on Early Access this month

Apr 07 // Alessandro Fillari
Killing Floor 2 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 4)Developer: Tripwire InteractivePublisher: Tripwire Interactive Release date: April 21, 2015 (Steam Early Access)MSRP: $29.99 Set sometime after the zombie pandemic that swept England, the virus has now crossed over to Europe, creating chaos and destruction in its wake. Returning from their exploits in England, the survivors travel to Europe in order to continue their fight against the swarms of the undead and the mutated scientists that gave rise to such horrid creations. As you battle waves of foes, you'll acquire the cash to expand your arsenal and skills to take on greater challenges that await. For those unfamiliar, Killing Floor 2 continues with its predecessor's focus on fast-paced cooperative action set on several maps across zombie- and monster-infested locales. Starting off with the basics -- pistols, knives, and healing and welding tools -- each kill earns you dosh (in-game currency), which can be spent at stores in between waves. As you clear waves, the challenges become far more difficult, as common zeds will be in greater numbers, and special elite monsters will also come into the mix (beware the Sirens and Flesh Pounds!). You'll have to learn the layout of the levels to know certain choke-points to take out the hoard, and which doors to keep welded shut in order to slow their movement throughout the map. With the announcement of Early Access, the devs wanted players to get their hands on KF2 to not only experience a sizable taste of the eventual final release, but to also allow for hardcore fans to give their thoughts and feedback, which they hope to implement into future updates. At launch on April 21, players will have four classes to choose from -- such as the melee-focused Berserker, the assault class Commando, the back-up unit Support class, and also the Field Medic. Each class focuses on the core functions of the team, and ranking them up will unlock special perks and upgrades that can be chosen to create builds. Though keep in mind, there will be another six classes to choose from in the final release. Many of the characters from the original game, such as Mr. Foster, DJ Skully, and Reverend Alberts have returned, along with a new set of characters joining the struggle. Not only is there a stronger focus on diverse characters of different genders and nationalities, they're each far more fleshed out and given more presence. Instead of just flavor text accompanying their character art like in the original, each character has detailed dialog in-game, which sees the survivors have banter with one another during battles. I stuck with the gas mask wearing Mr. Foster for most of my session, and I was pleased to see that there any many different clothing and accessory options for him. Which is reassuring, as he's one of the most popular characters and the different options will be sure to help players differentiate. "For the characters in this game, we wanted to give each of them their own unique personality," said art director David Hensley while discussing the roster. "We also wanted to add in female characters from the start, so every character has their own unique voice and script. We put a lot of time into concept art, developing their character and back-stories." Unfortunately the one character than many loved to hate, The Trader, didn't make it over the course of the epidemic. After realizing how reckless it was to have traders keep shops open in heavily infested battle zones, weapon manufacturers have sent several 3D printing pods down to the warzones, which allow for easy and quick access to their merchandise. The shop menu feels much more refined. Not only that, the selection of gear feels way more diverse. Of course, you have your selection of pistols, shotguns, rifles, and melee weapons. But the arms dealers have some new toys to show off to the humans battling the horde, such as a medic machine gun that will heal allies and kill zeds with the same rounds, and a heavy weapon that fires off buzzsaws. The developers took a lot of notes over the years from the KF community, which they applied to its sequel. In many ways, this is a culmination of years of work from Killing Floor and even the Red Orchestra series. Many tweaks and upgrades made to the game and its engine are from direct feedback they've gotten, and with the Early Access build, they plan on adding another layer of refinement. For instance, the difficulty modes have been tweaked. Beginner mode has been removed, placing Normal as the lowest setting, while a brand new mode called Hell on Earth is now the highest difficulty to choose from. In the latter, swarms are increased and they take more damage. While the gameplay is very much the same, it feels far more polished than in the original title. For instance, the visuals on display are a massive upgrade. Not only is combat chaotic, and incredibly gory -- seriously, the levels were caked with blood and guts during the later waves -- the pace feels much faster and to the point. No more having to travel great distances to the battles, as the layout feels tighter. Moreover, the super stylish but somewhat jarring slow-mo Zed Time (which triggers when players get a critical hit) has been slightly reworked, and only comes into effect when you trigger it or are within range. Furthermore, the melee attacks have be upgraded somewhat. Not only are there new melee weapons to use, there are also situations where your character will be grabbed by enemies, either boss characters or common zeds, and you'll have to use your melee moves to free yourself. In addition to these upgrades, server browsing has been upgraded, allowing for easier searches through the browser, and will even work with the brand-new Party feature. This was in response to the original's server listing, which the devs admittedly said wasn't all that great, and they also wanted to stick together instead of coordinating outside the game to find a place to play. With the party option, a group of six can join as a party, which will keep you together while looking for servers to play your next game. During our session, we played on several maps on a variety of different difficulties. On the Burning Paris map, we took to the streets of France's capital city to fight off zeds from a number of semi-secure locations. With the Support class, I was able to help weld doors much quicker than other players, which only served as a temporary solution to an overarching zed problem. I was cleaning house with the AA-12 shotgun, which allowed me to mow down foes quickly. And yes, activating Zed Time with it was super satisfying. After surviving the final wave, we managed to make it to the final round against the boss monster. Though the Patriarch was the recurring boss monster in the previous title, Killing Floor 2 aims to switch it up with several randomly-chosen boss characters to battle against. This new one, which unfortunately I am unable to describe specifically due to the developers wanting to keep it as a surprise, was certainly different than the Patriarch. The fight was brutal and rough, and I'm sure many fans who've longed for a new boss to fight will enjoy it. But as you could probably guess, we didn't make it. The new boss overpowered us easily, and we only got him whittled down to half health before he took us all out. We had quite a bit of time with the Early Access build, and I'm inclined to think that many fans are in for something special once this is out on the market. Thankfully, the folks at Tripwire listened to the community and didn't stray too far from what the made the original such a blast to play. And not only that, the developers have been keeping an eye on modded content from the original game, which prompted them to incorporate official Steam Workshop support for Killing Floor 2. So go nuts, modders! I've played quite a bit of the original Killing Floor, and I had a blast experiencing what the developers have in store for the next installment. Initially, I was pretty worried that it would be exactly the same game with just a fresh coat of paint, and while that's true to an extent, it truly doesn't need all that much change to make it a solid follow-up. At its core, it's a game about shooting stuff up and working with a group to take down impossible hoards in gory over-the-top fashion. And Killing Floor 2 definitely succeeds in that. With Early Access, there will be three maps, four classes, eleven unique monsters, eight playable characters, a new boss monster, and also mod support for custom levels and the like. With their "Early Access done right" mantra, Tripwire feels that giving players a good chunk of the game along with the tools to reconfigure and customize it to their liking is what fans want. I'm definitely excited to see what's next for Killing Floor 2 in the coming months.
Killing Floor 2 photo
Dosh! Grab it while it's hot!
It's been a good while since the release of the original Killing Floor back in 2008. Over the years, its been sitting on the Steam best-sellers list for quite some time, and built a loyal and dedicated following. While hoard-...

Killing Floor photo
Killing Floor

This is how it all went wrong in Killing Floor

Feb 18
// Brett Makedonski
Ever wonder how the gruesome monsters of Killing Floor came to be? Those type of horrors don't just come around one day because the school system's supposed to be really good and the area just got a new Trader Joe's. No...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

These Killing Floor 2 screenshots are not for the faint of heart

Really, this whole game isn't
Jan 07
// Brett Makedonski
Anyone that's familiar with Killing Floor could have probably predicted that its sequel would be equally violent and blood-soaked (if not more so). These fourteen screenshots do a fine job of affirming that suspicion. So...
And uglier buttocks than I could have hoped for
Killing Floor 2 is showing in spades much of what made the original a success. Blood by the bucket is shown to stain the map for the duration of the match as players dismember genetic freaks every which way. Tripwire Interac...

Killing Floor photo
Killing Floor

Killing Floor's still alive and kicking with a big ol' update

Most of it's free
Jul 04
// Brett Makedonski
Five years later, Tripwire Interactive still has Killing Floor on life support. While fans of the game eagerly await its sequel and all the horrific monsters it's sure to unleash, there's a new update to the original tha...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Stay far away from these Killing Floor 2 monsters

They look like they're up to no good
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
Slashers, and Crawlers, and Clots, oh my! Everything in this Killing Floor 2 trailer looks positively no bueno. Especially that Fleshpound character. His concrete pound looks aggressive enough, and I doubt that skin would hold up any better than that cement did.
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 teaser trailer is nothing more than a tease

Sciencey! Scary! Sciencey! Scary!
May 09
// Brett Makedonski
Brittany hopes that Killing Floor 2 will be just as gory as she wants it to be. I don't have any real hopes or aspirations for the game. No, wait -- I do; I hope it doesn't have as much hard rock as this trailer does.
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 will hopefully be just as gory as I want it to be

Chipping away pieces of skull has me squeeing with glee
May 08
// Brittany Vincent
Tripwire Interactive's first look at Killing Floor 2 unfolds just as you'd expect it to: a gaggle of "zed," the feral genetic freakshows populating the second entry into the visceral series, are scattered throughout the smold...
Killing Floor photo
Killing Floor

Killing Floor Christmas offer has new level for The Ball

Both games are half price and have new content
Dec 05
// Alasdair Duncan
Every year you can count on Tripwire to crank out some content for Killing Floor for Christmas and this year is no exception. What's interesting about this year's Twisted Christmas Event is that's there's some neat crossover ...

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...


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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.


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...

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 ...

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.

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...

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