“Semper et ubique fidelis”
If you grew up before the last two decades, it’s rather possible that you aren’t familiar with playing with plastic soldiers. Or maybe you do, but with the modern possibilities it’s ok that you would find that game boring or lame. But for a whole generation of kids –and two or three generations before- playing war with plastic soldiers was awesome. It was our freaking ‘Battlefield’, with the tiny exception that there wasn’t any lag.
The game accomplishes that goal, renewing an old passion with beautiful gameplay and insane pace.
Running with Rifles
I want to get out quickly of my biggest critic of the game:
Running with Rifles is not a good name. Why? Because it’s a name that makes you think that you are starting a hilarious video game full of jokes and puns, and is nothing like that. Is a war game, where you control a soldier in a huge battlefield until you get killed, and you respawn as another soldier of the army. No jokes. No puns. No nothing. Only dialog balloons and not very funny. Pure war on his most honest form. The name ‘Running with Rifles’ works merely as a description, but not as a genre definer. Would Call of Duty Black Ops be a huge success if its name was ‘Fucking with third world countries’?
Who knows? Maybe. But the name would be so incredibly stupid –while a fair description of what CoD Black Ops is that would hurt.
‘Running with Rifles’ while not on that level, it surely makes you think –if you are completely unaware of all the press this game has had since its 2014 Demo- you are going to play one of those casual shits that works fine on an iPod. And maybe, you don’t even buy it. And this game deserves to be bought. Because is a really great game.
With a top-down semi isometric view you gain control over a soldier in the middle of a battlefield between one of three factions: Greenbelts (the ones you are with), Graycollars and Brownpants. As I said before, you follow your crew to where the beef is and shoot those madafakas in order to rule all over the map. In Campaign mode –which supports a huge multiplayer mode- you start with one base and have to conquer all the others around the map. If you die, you gain control over another soldier. Over and over. If you are really good at killing and not dying you’ll start to going up the rank up until ‘General of the Army’ (one million points of experience!).
Multiplayer has a couple of game modes in version 1.02: Invasion and Dominance, the first one coop and the second PVP. There are a bunch of servers and you join the party with no delay.
The guys at Modulaatio Games did a pretty damn good job at ‘Running with Rifles’. It shows the effort. The top-down view offers a big chunk of the beautifully designed maps. My first campaign was in ‘Fridge Valley’, which for me was obviously homage to World War 2, perhaps a forest near Saint Petersburg. All the maps available, nine in quick match mode- are a delight, even more because the game has time transitions, so a single map has a morning, afternoon, and night visuals with all the sound effects included –pidgeons in the morning, crickets at dawn…- that makes a whole different experience.
The music, the only tune is heard on the game interface is a classical marching band theme with much fanfare and joy. The in-game has no music, only sound effects, and, perhaps that’s was a difficult decision, but think they nailed it. The engagement you get in the matter is wider. This is war.
It helps a lot that is so easy to play. Regular WASD and mouse controls (no joystick support).
The action is fast and bloody and you have tons of guns available (multiple rifles, shotguns, machine guns, pistols, and launchers) and you can also drive vehicles or call ‘Shotgun!’ (hehe, first pun). Driving requires a short time to excel. In that time you’ll be number one tree hitter. Be proud of yourself.
I loved ‘Running with Rifles’. Seriously. Is fun, fast, bloody, warlike entertainment with a wrong name (at least for me).
If the only flaw I found is the name… hell man, just call it whatever you like:
‘Battlefield: now with low requirements’. I urge you to buy it like now.