Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Quintin Smith)

You know Red Orchestra, the supremely bleak multiplayer FPS set on the Eastern front of WW2? Darkest Hour is a similarly dark and moody mod for it which hefts out RO’s black, oily heart and transplants it into the Western Front. As well as adding new maps, new weapons and vehicles, its features include “Airborne drops… bullet suppression and supersonic cracks”. The horror.

This weekend Darkest Hour hit version 5.0, adding even more maps, vehicles and weapons (including mortars and mortar teams), as well as plenty of uplifting new features like “Players now drop their weapon when they suffer falling damage,” “Players now fall over when shot in the legs,” and “Players can catch fire from nearby exploding vehicles and world fires”. THE HORROR. Trailer and mammoth changelog after the jump.
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PC Gamer






The Darkest Hour mod brings the Western Front of World War 2 to Red Orchestra. The huge new 5.0 update adds new vehicles and maps that will let players fight through the most famous battles of Operation Market Garden, including the fight for Carentan and Hill 400. Read on for a list of the new features.



For full details on the update, head over to the Darkest Hour site. The mod is completely free to anyone who owns Red Orchestra, and can be downloaded now through Steam. Here's a summary of the new maps and vehicles.



The new maps:



Bridgehead

Caen

Cambes-en-Plaine

Carentan Causeway

Gran

Hill 400

Kommerscheidt

Lutremange

Poteau Ambush

Simonskall

Vieux Recon



 

Vehicles for the Allies:



Sherman M4A3E2 ‘Jumbo’

GMC 2.5 Ton Truck

Sherman M4A3 (75 mm)W

Sherman M4A3 (76 mm)W

M-8 Greyhound

M-18 Hellcat



 

Vehicles for the Germans:



Jagdtiger (Jagdpanzer VI Ausf. B)

Marder III Ausf. M

SdKfz 234/1 Armored Car

SdKfz 234/2 "Puma"

Jagdpanzer IV Ausf F (L/48)

Jagdpanzer IV Ausf J (L/70)

StuH 42



 
Community Announcements - [TW]Yoshiro
Is now rolling out via Steam!

Featuring mortars, tanks, maps, tweaks, and more bug fixes then you can shake a stick at. You can find the full change list HERE!

11 New Maps, 13 New Vehicles! Make sure to check out the latest release today!


For those of you with Facebook accounts, PC Gamer is asking for your favorite FPS franchise of all time. Among the choices, Red Orchestra needs some love. Show them we can assemble to arms!

VOTE NOW
Community Announcements - [TW]Ramm-Jaeger
A quick note for those joining the classic RO Mod 3.3 for UT2004 game event today. The installer was designed before UT2004 was on Steam. So when you install it, first off you should put it here:

\Steam\steamapps\common\unreal tournament 2004\

Make sure that you don't have "UT2004" appended on the end of the install directory, as this will be the default behavior of the installer.

To launch the mod with the Steam version, you need to modify the launch options for UT2004.To do this follow these steps:

1) Under "Library" find Unreal Tournament 2004 in the list and right click on it.
2) Select "Properties" from the list that appears
3) Select "Set Launch Options" from the menu that appears
4) Add the following to the box that appears:
-mod=RedOrchestra
5) Close the window
6) Then launch UT2004 from within Steam and the Red Orchestra mod should launch


Additionally, if you use triple buffering you will get some wierd jittering online unless you turn VSync on. You can do this in the RedOrchestra.ini file which is located in

Steam Version
\Steam\steamapps\common\unreal tournament 2004\RedOrchestra\System

Disc Version
UT2004\RedOrchestra\System

Just look for UseVSync and set it to :
UseVSync=True

everywhere you find it, particularly the
[D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice] section. Hey, noone said playing a classic game wouldn't have a few bumps ;)
Community Announcements - [TW]Ramm-Jaeger2
Tripwire Interactive are very proud to announce that Red Orchestra: Combined Arms, the mod version of Red Orchestra that was released in

2003/2004 for Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 has been inducted into The Mod Hall of Fame. The Mod Hall of Fame is a new web site by Mod DB that celebrates the best video game modifications ever made. Head on over to the website now to check out the list:

The Mod Hall of Fame Website
Community Announcements - [TW]Ramm-Jaeger2
As part of Steam's Holiday sale all Tripwire Games are going to be 50% off until January 2nd 2011. So if you have been waiting for a chance to get your hands on The Ball, Killing Floor, or Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 head on over to the Steam Store now:

The Ball Steam store page
Killing Floor Steam store page
Red Orchestra: Ostfront Steam store page
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Update: Red Orchestra’s Darkest Hour">



My 30 second guide to gaining a WWII education through gaming: for insights into the airman’s war, choose Battle of Britain II or IL-2: 1946. For a taste of the tanker’s experience, your best bet is Steel Fury. Interested in the challenges that generals faced? Grab anything by Panther Games. Wonder what it was like to be a WWII grunt? No title will get you closer to the muck and bullets than Red Orchestra.



Tripwire’s multiplayer time machine may be a little long in the tooth now, but thanks to mods like the recently refreshed Darkest Hour, it remains unmatched as a 1939-45 infantry simulator. DH shifts the high drama, high bodycount aggro from Ost Front to West Front. Out are the Ivans with their bulky greatcoats and chattering PPSh-41s. In are the Yanks with their BARs and bazookas, and the Brits and Canucks with their Sten guns and stiff upper lips.



Actually, scratch the stiff upper lips. You’d have to be knapped from Norfolk flint to maintain a stiff upper lip through some of DH’s teeth-rattling bloodbaths. Take Dog Green for example. Battles on this vast recreation of the deadliest sector of Omaha Beach often feel like subliminal adverts for the Quakers.



Die like a dog



Fighting for the Allies, my last session began something like this: Spawn 1: chewed up by an MG 42 seconds after leaving the landing craft. Spawn 2: cut down by sniper fire while cowering behind semi-submerged beach obstacle. Spawn 3: blown to smithereens by artillery while attempting to resupply a machinegunner on first shingle bank. Spawn 4: rifle shot from hand while sprinting between shell craters, then killed endeavouring to retrieve it. Four deaths in as many minutes, and I never even fired a shot.







Dog Green played from the attacker’s perspective is at the extreme end of the Darkest Hour difficulty spectrum, but the core elements that make it so brutal and convincing are common to all of the 18 official maps. Whether you’re storming French farmhouses at La Chapelle, darting between wrecked gliders on Ginkel Heath, or hunting Panzers through the slushy streets of Stoumont, you’ll be doing it without crosshairs, ammo counts, or medkits. How autistically authentic can Darkest Hour get? Squeeze the trigger of a Lee Enfield or Kar98 a couple of times and you’ll find out. All bolt-action rifles in the game have functioning bolts that must be manually worked between shots.



Leaning, weapon resting, bipods, bayonets, suppression effects, bazooka backblasts... all the fine details that FPS makers routinely ignore are bread and butter to Tripwire and Darklight. In its own stylised way the class system also ratchets-up the realism. Nab the officer slot before anyone else, and it’s up to you to orchestrate friendly forces by setting rally points with coloured smoke. You’re also the chap that gets to call the artillery in. Assuming of course, there’s a radioman nearby.



Plausible teamwork is everywhere on a frantic DH battlefield. Anti-tank soldiers and squad machinegunners spawn with piffling amounts of ammo. Once that initial stock is gone, they are wholly reliant on comrades for resupply. On smaller, denser maps like Foy and Juno Beach, armour is screwed without infantry to watch its flanks, and infantry massively disadvantaged without an HE-slinging trundler in close support.







Tank fans have done particularly well out of the last update. An impressive choice of chariots (of which those in ‘Stars Of Track & Field’ are just a selection) now includes the M36 Jackson, a vulnerable yet vicious US tank destroyer, and the Panzer III Ausf N, the perfect tool for silencing troublesome MG nests or clearing buildings at range. All AFVs die a little more dynamically thanks to new damage modelling subtleties. Though DH can’t quite match Steel Fury’s fancy ballistic maths and slew of degradable systems, it has a good stab at it. Pump a shell into a target’s tracks and you may immobilise it. Land one on the front hull and you can nobble or nail the crew (up to three players may man a single tank). Turret hits can play havoc with gun traverse and elevation controls, and – gulp – cause shells in storage racks to cook-off.



Tanktics



Among the half-dozen new maps are two tailor-made for long range, high velocity duels. La Monderie’s scattered villages and copses, and Freyneux’s bare snow-mantled hills are tough environments for the pedestrian, but a skilful tanker can have a lot of fun. It says plenty about Darkest Hour’s authenticity, that you often find yourself using historical tactics not out of a desire to roleplay, but because it’s the natural thing to do. Lone AFVs seldom last long, so tankers often band together into ad-hoc zugs. Skylined AFVs are easy meat, so wise warriors lurk behind crests or in hull-down positions in hollows.







Of course true-to-life tactics come with their own risks. Last night I parked my Sherman Firefly behind a wooded hill, and jumped out to scout on foot (a bloke with binos is a lot less conspicuous than 36 tons of smoke-belching steel). Reaching the summit I came face to face with an enemy gentlemen also clutching binoculars. After exchanging a few panicky pistol shots, we both legged it back to our vehicles. He, sadly, was a lot closer to his than I was to mine. DH’s delights are strictly multiplayer (the dunderheaded Red Orchestra bots can’t even navigate their way out of the spawns on some maps) but that’s no reason for the shy to hang back. The vast majority of people who throng the dozen or so servers active most nights are friendly and helpful. Triumphalist trumpetblowing is rare, perhaps because Darkest Hour players understand better than most that behind the riveting spectacle and high excitement of war is a meatgrinder. See you on Dog Green.



Link: Darkest Hour







Community Announcements - [TW]Yoshiro
MarkeeDragon just posted his 30 minute interview with John "RammJaeger" Gibson from PAX 2010. For some of the best footage to date be sure to make your way over HERE and watch it!
Community Announcements - [TW]Yoshiro
Red Orchestra: Ostfront is on sale for 75% off the normal retail price for the next 22 hours. If you have a friend who you have been trying to convince to join you on the eastern front, now is the time to give him the gift of game!
Community Announcements - [TW]Yoshiro
For the remainder of the Summer Sale, all Tripwire Interactive titles can be had for 50% the normal retail price. Be sure to pick up anything you need from HERE.

This includes the Killing Floor DLC packages.
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