You should play “Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm”

Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm
Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm (Photo credit: Diego Carrera)

“Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm” is a standalone expansion for “Red Orchestra 2.” The Red Orchestra franchise is known for not being your average shooter, as in this game does not have many of the elements that you would expect from the well-known Call of Duty franchise.

Instead, Red Orchestra pits you on large battlefields on the Eastern front and Pacific theater of World War II. However, each team (Germany vs. Russia or United States vs. Japan), is only allotted a certain number of players who are allowed to play a role, so there is a limit on how many snipers, machine gunners and submachine gunners there are on each team. This limit is in place to not only balance the game, but also to stay historically true to the battles of the eastern and pacific theaters and limit certain resources.


As you might have guessed, the Red Orchestra series boasts itself on its realism. The game has an ultra-realistic ballistics system, meaning that players will need to take into account bullet drop on each of their weapons in order to be effective. Players will also need to carefully lead their shots as the game features bullet travel time. There is no “ammo counter” on the heads up display, so your character will make an estimate as to how much ammo you have left by hefting its weight.

These mechanics in the Red Orchestra franchise boost the feeling of immersion that you get while playing the game. The game also is one of the most satisfying first person shooters to play because although the learning curve is steeper, it is much more rewarding when you actually manage to kill an enemy player.

In this game, you will die and you will die a lot, and it takes some patience to get into. However, as you begin to learn the nuances of the game it becomes much more fun and even more rewarding. As you progress with different weapons, you will unlock certain items, like a bayonet for your bolt action rifle or a larger magazine for your submachine gun. However, these upgrades do not necessarily make the game easier, but do add a quality of life improvement, and all unlocks are historically accurate and specific to the role that you are playing.

Rising Storm borrows from many of the same mechanics that “Red Orchestra 2” developed and is perhaps just the Pacific theater of “Red Orchestra 2.” The developers, Tripwire Interactive, released “Red Orchestra 2” in winter 2011 and released Rising Storm earlier this summer of 2013, and they continually update both games with new features or weapons, which helps keep the gameplay fresh.

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspect for Red Orchestra 2 is its entry price, as the game is only $9.99 and Rising Storm retails for $19.99. However, both games go on sale fairly frequently and may be bought for as little as $2.50. I’d strongly recommend picking up one or both of these games if you are looking for a challenging first person shooter that delivers a realistic experience offered by few others.

Entertainment Writer Diego Carrera can be reached at