Well, now I have completed one campaign and played a little bit online and I have to say, this is one of the finest games I have played in a while! This game is dangerously addictive as you play to conquer a military theater of war.
In the game, you can play as three factions, the Greenbelts (Americans), the Greycollars (Germans) and the Brownpants (Russians) as common foot soldier. Now, you are not just a regular everyday action hero like in most of the big games. Here, you are as weak and as expendable as the AI you fight with and against, another regular joe, another number.
In this game, a single shot (unless you are wearing a vest) will kill you. Sure, you can keep on going with your soldier with his randomly generated name, ranging from standard names to the occassonal name such as 'Pigfat', and run with a massive streak or keep him alive for the whole mission or campaign even. It is certainly possible, but it will be difficult as it is as it is almost certain that your guy will eventully die, there is almost a certain inevitability about it. But luckily for you, you can respawn straight off the bat with another soldier with a new name.
For an indie game, RWR is actually very deep in tactics and how you play. The AI, whilst not godlike, is actually rather smart. They will keep their heads down if surpressed, move in to blow up your valuable tanks with rockets, swarm you if alone and will flank if given the oppitunity. Coupled with the fact that you are just as weak as they are, tactics are a must.
In the game, you quite literally run with rifles to different objectives in order to capture, but there is nothing to stop you from getting a sniper rifle, silenced pistol and some C4 and proceed to blow up a radio tower on the otherside of the map. There is nothing to stop you from hanging back and defending a freshly conquered site, the game offers a great freedom on how to play. You can get a squad that increases in size as you level up and lead the charge (which will probably get you killed) or go and be a lone wolf and do your own thing.
And the details and additions to deepen the gameplay are obvious and very useful. Players of a certain rank will be able to call in support in the form of artillery strikes, airborne reforcements, dropping of cover and even deploying ground vehicles. Armories allow you to buy weapons, equipment and other useful pieces of equipment. Stashes allow you to place your valulable weapons and gear, and bonus items are scattered around, such as rare weapons or items to increase your currency count.
All in all, Running With Rifles is one of the best indie games I have played, it is hillarously fun and exciting, as well as being dangerously addictive!
My only real area of critism is the final missions of the campaign, which are the only missions that I have not enjoyed. The first involves being the only guy present and having to infiltrate an town filled with a horde of enemies. It was painfully frustrating, even in a large group. The second was just as bad, where you have to storm a castle and an arena in order to fight the only 'real' boss of the game, an tank armed with a weapon akin to the artillery strikes. A lot of it was just charging in and trying to fire a few rockets off, or trying to sneak through the defenses to get your hands on a mortar to try and kill it with that. Utterly horrible and I hope they are at the very least reworked to make your time easier, or replaced all together.
I would like to see quite a few things in the game for the future, such as:
- More vehicles: Sure, you have a few vehicles, jeeps, rubber boats, transport trucks, IFV/APCs, tanks and on some maps a patrol boat. But it is still left up to the infantry. I like that the infantry has a solid chance against vehicles, but I would like to see more. A light tank? An artillery vehicle? Perhaps even aircraft, that would offer a whole realm of possibilities.
- Additional gamemodes: Whilst the campaign and multiplayer is fun, a few additional modes wouldnt hurt. Currently, the only two modes are the regular capture-the-bases missions and a handful of King-of-the-Hill style missions. A few new game modes such as a capture-the-flag, assault, or sabatage gametype would be interesting.
- New maps/additional campaigns: If I recall correctly, modding is a thing the developers are interested in. Mods or not, a would like to see some new maps in the future or perhaps a brand new second campaign to keep things fresh.
- Global War: This is asking for a bit much here, but if multiple theaters/campaigns are introduced along with other features, you could have an (online) global war between the Greens, Greys, Browns and any other factions that get added (Redcoats for Brits? Bluehats for French? Whiterobes for Japanese?) and fight over the world, trying to secure each map, ultimately leading to a final battle if one side conquers most of if not all the world. (Hopefully not something horrible like the current final missions)
All in all, a brillant game worth your money. 9 out of 10 easily, only damaged by the horrible final missions that need to be addressed.