I can hear the gunshots coming from the building, but I can't pinpoint exactly where they're coming from. I'm hiding behind cover, taking random peeks, hoping I can see from what window he's shooting before he can see me. I look to my right and see my squad leader throw a couple of grenades, smoke starts to come out and spread out of them, to the point where I can't even see the building in front of me... "ATTACK!!" yells the commander, as at least 20 my comrades rush besides me into the broken down building. Gunshots, screams, explosions, I can feel the bullets passing close to me, but yet somehow I manage to get in through a window. I give myself a second to catch my breath, I start moving through the building, take out a couple of fascists looking out different windows, I can hear my comrades voice in the building now but so can I hear fascists voice echoing through the walls, there's gotta be more of them in here.
I start moving to the oposite side of the building, I see a few comrades and go upstairs, I hear gunshots, hopefully they're safe. I get to other entrance of the building, as I'm just starting to poke my head someone starts shooting at me from outside the door, I get hit, but he makes the mistakes of hiding behind the wooden door, I shoot through it and kill him. I'm bleeding, I take few steps to hide behind some furniture, I take out my medkit and patch myself, as I'm picking up my weapon I hear a lot of running steps heading my way, those pigs are counterattacking, and I just happen to be the only one in the room. My survival instincts say " run back" but I know they're going for my comrades. I pick up my gun as they start entering the building, some through the door, some through windows, I start shooting them, looks like I hit a three of them but shit.. they're still coming in and I need to reload, I move towards the furniture where I cured myself as I reload my gun, maybe I'll have another go at them, maybe....fuck, they got me, and I had just gotten the full mag into my gun. I lose control of my body, I try to lift my gun and shoot back at those bastards, but I can't lift it, my pressing of the trigger just manages to make holes on the floor, my vision gets blury and everything is turning black now... In Countdown game mode that would be all I could do for the round, in the other ones I would have to wait a bit before respawning, slowly depleting the reinforcements of my team.
Red Orchestra 2 is the sequel to Tripwire's realistic WWII FPS Red Orchestra Ostfront, for those that have never heard of it, it started out as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, in turn it won the "Make Something Unreal" competition ( the grand prize being an Unreal Engine license) which brought life to Tripwire Interactive. There are a couple of things that distinguish Red Orchestra 2, one is being PC centric, which lets them have all the perks that come with that: the dedicated servers for up 64 players, the mods ( A pacific one already well on it's way), the customization of servers (you can choose different levels of realism, infantry/tanks only, etc), type of anticheat (punkbuster, VAC, both, none), among other things.
As far as the gameplay goes, RO2 takes a while to get used to if you've been playing games like CoD or Homefront, while there is a game mode (Firefight) where you can run around killing people, most of the game types are domination type, that required having patience, thinking your moves and some degree of teamplay. While you can go around minding your own business this won't likely benefit your team, and with the ability to vote for removing someone from their class and the game not giving points when you're far away from the battle, while also giving a good amount of points for capturing points and helping attack/defend them, encourages people to play the game as it's meant to.
There are a lot of classes in RO2 that vary depending on the map (you won't get tank related classes on a map that doesn't have tanks), but the basic ones are assault, rifleman, machine gunner, marksman, squad leader and commander, each one has a specific purpose and a good commander will order (you can choose to accept or no) you to move to places where they feel you'd make the most contribution to your team. Assaults are meant to spearhead the way, riflemen can support them while also not being half bad at close range, machine guns are good to suppress enemies and take out a bunch if they just happen to run unprepared towards you, marksmen can take out enemies at the distance with the sniper, squad leaders are spawn points and they can also throw grenades and mark locations for the commander, as for this last one, the commander can order artillery strikes and force reinforcements (make everyone that's dead spawn at once without the wait), abilities that are useful but that have a limited number of uses. It's worth mentioning that, with the exception of firefight, every other mode has a limitation of players on each class that scales depending on the number of players on the server.
I played 15 hours of the beta, most of the time as a machine gunner or as an assault, some things like level progression and the unlock of weapons weren't available for all the beta (or the single player which I have no idea how it's going to be handled), but the basic game captivated me in a way I wasn't expecting, it's tense, it's scary, it makes you fight for every single kill and it's frustrating at times but oh so rewarding. The game is pre-loaded and I'm anxiously await the unlock, the last game Tripwire made was Killing Floor where I have close to 200hrs played on it, I can see my playtime on RO2 easily passing that.