In my Alien Swarm review I stated that it was easily my favourite top down shooter to date, Well, as good as Alien Swarm is, it's just met it's best contender yet, That being said, Running With Rifles is more of a open sandbox, tactical top down shooter in which you take the role of a simple soldier in a fight of potential hundreds, the old saying "One man can make a difference" is one you should keep in mind when playing.
The main objective of the campaign is to capture all of the areas on the local island the game takes place, but how you go about doing that is completely up to you, there is no set method for you to follow and you're given the creative freedom of how to overcome your current mission, this is what makes the game stand out for me. Would you rather stand with your brothers in arms on the frontlines, directly taking the fight to the enemy? Would you prefer to sit back and support with sniper fire or perhaps manning an Abrahms tank? or maybe you'd like to take a team around and attempt a finnicky yet rewarding amphibious stealth attack? All are viable and all will help bring your team one step closer to victory, best of all, it will be you who had ultimately changed the tide of the battle.
You can easily tailor your equipment to the situation and there are many, many methods of taking care of your enemies, from rifles, grenades, pistols, MGs, mounted MGs, snipers, tanks, jeeps, C4s, impact grenades as well as a number of shotguns, smgs, rocket launchers, more rifles, body armours, silenced weapons and even apc turrets, if you get bored of one weapon, there will be a number of potential candidates to take its place.
The game does have a ranking system which releates to the in-game radio you can use to call in support from your base of operations, the higher your rank, the better support you can request, so long as you have RP to do it - a tradable resource on multiplayer servers that players obtain by capturing bases, spotting important targets such as enemy tanks and destroying opposing communications - you can request down reinforcements to help finish capturing a point, you could bombard a heavily fortified enemy position or maybe you just need that little extra edge of a friendly tank storming the opponents down.
Thats the general gameplay, so how are the controls? In short, very good for what it is.
The controls are very smooth and responsive, there is a slight slide in the game, probably to help emphasise that your soldier is quite heavy and can't just change on a whim, you can go prone and crouch which both increase your general accuracy by a significant amount, you can jump up smaller buildings, climb ladders and hop over fences to your hearts content, but that doens't mean you shouldn't be staying behind cover the second you spot the enemy force.
RWR is a fine top down shooter, I love the art style, sound effects are crisp and war torn and the game itself is just great fun to play, with friends especially, I remember this one game I was playing with two amigos, we had been at this fight agaisnt the Greycollars for 2 and a half hours, It got to the point where we had to use a tactical mindset, one of us stays behind with a squad to defend the base under attack whilst the other two attempted to push the base to relieve some pressure, I love games that put you in a particular mindset, one where you really think about your next moves and RWR does that surprisingly well.
Modulaatio Games, I hope your game does well, in summary, Running With Rifles feels refreshing, new and most importantly, enjoyable and fun. If you're at all intrested, I'd happily recommend it, worth it's price, replayable and quite something else.