Have you got any plans this weekend? Maybe you're thinking about going somewhere nice or meeting up with a few friends. Fool! Weekends aren't about that any more. These days, they're for trialling games that have been made temporarily free to play, then pondering whether they're worth the rather hefty discount they've also been given.
From now until Sunday evening you can download and play the hardcore World War 2 multiplayer FPS Red Orchestra 2. Should you find doing that a pleasurable experience, there's a 75% discount in effect until Monday, bringing the game down to £3.74.
This is all to celebrate the release of the Fall 2012 Free Content Pack, which brings a new map - Barashka, from the first Red Orchestra - and a redesigned Countdown mode.
There's also a 75% discount on the Tripwire bundle, which includes both Red Orchestras, first-person puzzler The Ball, Dwarfs?! and the rather good zombie co-op FPS Killing Floor.
Anyone planning to give this a shot? RO2 was pretty wonky on release, but I've since heard that it's been fixed up nicely and is well worth a try.
Heroes of Stalingrad focuses on the Battle of Stalingrad and the surrounding operations, both German and Russian, from July 1942 to February 1943. The game allows the player to experience one of the most brutal battles in all of human history. Delivering unrivalled accuracy and attention to detail, along with gritty, vicious combat in multiplayer and single-player modes the game will feature everything from quick, brutal firefights to more intricate and challenging tactical modes.
If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Red Orchestra 2. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.
<li>Fixed bipod MGs not properly showing the direction they are aimed at</li>
<li>Fixed bipod MG’s deployed on slopes not having the player at the proper location</li>
<li>Fixed an excessive friendly fire infraction when shooting tanks. This was causing players to get kicked from the server for team killing when shooting a friendly tank</li>
<li>Servers with disabled weapon progression bonuses (e.g. Classic mode) are now properly getting disabled</li>
<li>Fixed a bug where not all players will respawn when the commander forces a respawn</li>
<li>Loading an outdated version of player created content now displays an error instead of crashing</li>
<li>Fixed a tank crew respawn bug when killed from the commander seat</li>
<li>Fixed objective capture and morale music playing simultaneously</li>
<li>Fixed the classic mode compass pointing in the wrong direction</li>
<li>Fixed the team leader not showing up in the squad member list when playing as a squad leader</li>
<li>Fixed undesired menus popping up when trying to typing during the map vote</li>
<li>Fixed an ammo exploit with blind firing</li>
<li>The setting bDisableTeamMemberIcons will now properly hide team icons</li>
<li>Fixed Capture and Victory music playing at the same time in Countdown</li>
<li>Fixed satchel objectives giving points at the start of a Countdown match</li>
<li>Fixed team members not properly updating on the map in Countdown</li>
<li>AI will no longer use cover/mantle positions near or occupied by the player</li>
<li>Improvements to the workshop upload UI including multiple file selection</li>
<li>Added code to get the placeholder Universal carrier transport working. You can now use the cheat code "spawnucranged" to spawn a Universal Carrier which you can get in, drive around, and get out. This is just a basic implementation, the MG does not work, and the animations are not setup properly on the players, and the physics set up is just a quick placeholder. The functionality is very basic, and is meant to be used as a base for vehicle mod makers to extend</li>
<li>Added options under Countdown to adjust Countdown Objective Time and Reinforcement count (up to double)</li>
<li>Added Combined Arms Map TE-Barashka</li>
<li>Countdown matches are now 1 round</li>
<li>Streamlined the victory conditions by modifying tie breaking criteria and time constraints. Removed "Objective to beat/Time to Beat"</li>
<li>Moving from one objective to the next is no longer so abrupt. Now it’s easier to get your bearings and see what happened.</li>
<li>New objective status HUD. Press tactical view to bring it up at any time</li>
<li>Added Total Round Points and Total Objective Captures to scoreboard</li>
<li>The defenders can no longer see the manpower of the attackers</li>
<li>Only the attacking team can see the message "Attackers Got Reinforced"</li>
<li>Increased the XP rewards for performing well in Countdown</li>
<li>Added a minimum time delay to the ready up lobby to prevent the match from starting with just the first few players</li>
<li>Added variables to allow admins to adjust Countdown objective Time and Reinforcement counts (up to double)</li>
<li>Added a objective progression bar which displays the progress each team has made during the match. Can be accessed at any time using tactical view</li>
<li>Improved end of round messaging to be more clear and give more information about who who and why. Example: “Your team captured the final objective x seconds faster”</li>
<li>Modified the “Next Objective” on-screen message to be more descriptive when respawning. It now includes a objective letter and whether you are on the attacking or defending team</li>
<li>Players now walk while actively firing machine guns from the hip</li>
<li>Vehicles now spawn on a separate timer from infantry. The default respawn time is 30 seconds</li>
<li>Added a weapon pickup factory which lets designers place a weapon anywhere in the level, that the player can then pick up and use</li>
<li>Added water volume where players will walk cannot prone</li>
<li>Increased stamina pool in Classic</li>
<li>Added the ability to use developer cheat codes in standalone games, except for during the single player campaign</li>
<li>Tanks will no longer autonomously shoot at enemy targets when the "Fire At Will" command is given when the server is set to "Player Ordered Gunnery Only" (which is the default setting)</li>
<li>Chat system refinements including separate chat and system message areas, grid location and team colors (Special thanks to Ducky)</li>
<li>The closest 2 ammo supply points are now displayed on the tactical view</li>
<li>VOIP talk widgets now show up during round/match won screens. Also, increased the duration of round/match won</li>
<li>The team select menu now indicates attackers/defenders and team ‘Full’ if no more players can join that team due to team balancing</li>
<li>Removed the joined/left message from the HUD for bots</li>
<li>Updated default match victory screen/scoreboard timers to let the victory screen and scoreboard stay up a little longer to make it easier to read</li>
<li>Increased tip cycle time on the loading screen from 5 to 10 seconds</li>
Today Tripwire Interactive announces the addition of Steam Workshop support for Red Orchestra 2, making it easy to download or share custom maps and mods for your game.
While there isn't much available in the Workshop just yet, expect to see some top-notch maps soon, as mappers compete in Tripwire Interactive's Counterattack Custom Map Making Competition, on now. With over $35,000-worth of prizes, including a custom PC for the Grand Prize winner, we're sure to see some incredible maps show up. Information on the contest can be found here.
If you're interested in trying your hand at modding, or at participating in the mapping contest, the team at Tripwire has put together a handy wiki with documentation for getting started with the RO2 editor and publishing to the Workshop. The Red Orchestra 2 SDK is free for anyone that owns Red Orchestra 2, and can be found in the 'tools' section of your Steam library.
Red Orchestra 2, our 2011 multiplayer shooter of the year, is now on Steam Workshop. As I write, only one map and a selection of SDK tutorials have been posted, but phase two of Tripwire's $15,000 RO2 mapping contest should incite a blitzkrieg of community-made content for the WWII shooter.
Also, for the next few days, the Tripwire Interactive Bundle is 75% off on Steam. That's $15/£12.49 for Red Orchestra, Red Orchestra 2, Killing Floor and its DLC, The Ball, and Dwarfs!? (I wasn't angry and confused about that list, the game is called "Dwarfs!?" Or is it?!)
Without further ado, the top 3 in the "Best Original Level" category are:
<li>Bridges of Druzhina - wins $2,500, an Intel Motherboard DZ68DB and a Core I7-2700k CPU</li>
<li>Coldsteel - wins $1,000</li>
<li>Univermag - wins $500</li></ul>
The other category was for "Best Remake". Here we were really excited to see which of the old maps from Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 and even the Red Orchestra mod days would be brought forward. The winners are:
<li>Gumrak Station (a remake of the original Basovka) - wins $2,500</li>
<li>Arad 2 - wins $1,000</li>
<li>Ogledow - wins $500</li></ul>
We want to see more of the old favorites appearing!
So far, that is $8,000 in cash given away, plus hardware. Breakout, Phase 2 of the contest, is on now reaches its' conclusion on 30th November. Many of the first round maps have been heavily updated - and many new ones have appeared. This time, there is $15,000 in cash prizes, a top-of-the-line Origin laptop, custom painted and a whole bunch of other hardware to give away. To the mappers - make sure you get your entries in on time! And for all the rest of us, go play the new maps out on the public servers and let us (and the creators) have your feedback. Soon, you will be able to grab new maps and other content through the Steam Workshop for RO2!
Speaking to PCGamesN, Tripwire Vice President Alan Wilson said the exclusion of modding tools from accessible genres -- most notably shooters -- is a choice they "really can’t wrap our heads around."
"Why would you stop people from modding your game?" he asked. "Why would you prevent people from being creative with your material? Just look what done for everyone concerned, for example. Arma 2 has been on the top-ten sales charts on Steam for about the last four months solid because of what one of their employees did for fun in his spare time."
Originally a team of spirited modders, Tripwire elevated to a full-fledged development studio after Red Orchestra took the grand prize in Epic's first Make Something Unreal contest. The standalone followup, Red Orchestra 2, gets its first expansion later this year.
"Frankly, we can see zero downsides to allowing people tools and letting them mod a game," Wilson added. "I never understand why companies effectively block people from doing that stuff."
Meanwhile, DICE recently reiterated that the closed environment it has established in Battlefield 3 should remain that way, warning players not to use a mod which affects the game's color saturation.