Rising Storm 2: Vietnam: Final Beta Impressions

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam recently held it’s final (7th) closed beta test wave, which focused on another round of bug fixes and balance tweaks based on beta tester feedback from the previous 6 waves. Beta testers have now fallen back to the rear while we await official deployment of the Antimatter Games / Tripwire Interactive / Iceberg Interactive Vietnam War-themed multiplayer tactical FPS, currently scheduled for Q2 2017.

The work the devs have put into RS2V between the beta waves is astounding, to say the least. The list is way too massive to list here, but you can read the changelog for all the details. After my enlistment time in the 7th beta wave, I can emphatically say that RS2V will be a significantly better run through the jungle than anything previous.

That “better run through the jungle” line is a nod to a couple of things that stood out to me in this wave. The first one encountered is the reverently familiar opening of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song Run Through the Jungle. The jungle sound effects and opening wail from John Fogarty’s guitar sets the tone for RS2V perfectly. According to comments from many other beta testers I read during in game chat, the song also helped set their mood right for the game, and I concur.

Better run through the jungle’s double meaning is advice taken to heart when doing just that. Beta wave 7 had an impressive list of map locations, with most area of operations (AO) taking place in and near well-crafted jungle environments. The low valleys flooded with rice fields and bordered closely by rolling hills covered by thick foliage offered an endless number of places to fire at the enemy from while remaining unseen. Running through the jungle was one of the best ways to survive; standing still was almost always a good way to get dead.

Not all the maps took place in the jungle, however. Beta wave 7 had a few urban combat locations, with the most / least popular one being Hue City. The urban maps were a welcome balance to the jungle maps, since the action tended to be more fierce and focused within a smaller AO, as opposed to the more spread out combat actions that took place on the jungle maps.

Running was reduced and exchanged for crouch-stealth movement on urban maps, while the places where an enemy could be hiding were increased a hundredfold. Unless my head was on a swivel, turning a blind corner, going up a stairway, or passing by an open window often resulted in a quick and surprising death. Multiple times on an urban map, I would be shot from as little as 10 and 5 meters away, without ever seeing or hearing even a glimpse from where the killing blow came from. It was enough to cause me to go into the game settings and increase mouse sensitivity, something I haven’t done in a video game in years.

During my tour of duty in the U.S. Army, I learned to work with fellow soldiers to shoot, move, and communicate as a squad during battle. It’s the most effective form of teamwork I’ve ever encountered in my adult life. RS2V has a squad mechanic set up to allow players a similar level of effectiveness. During matches, players are randomly chosen to be squad leader and members of a squad. Each squad is color-coded so squad leaders can ID players in their squad, and can chat in text and voice only to their own squad.

Being in a squad held a lot of lure for me, especially after investigating the benefits. Squad leaders can perform special actions, such as marking a site with colored smoke to lock in artillery fire missions, and digging tunnel openings which act as respawn sites to help your side get to objectives faster. Bonus experience points were given for squads that stayed in close proximity to each other, and conducted battle ops together as a team. Since you need XP to level up to the next rank, being in a squad sounded like a right proper tactic.

However, as you might have guessed, finding fellow gamers who are willing to unite in a bond of teamwork in a multiplayer FPS is damn near impossible. So while I didn’t get to test out all the aspects of this wave of RS2V that I wanted, I still greatly enjoyed working with the sporadic squad leader who gave attention to the position. The best feelings I had in game were when I was squad leader, and was able to lead the scant few squad members who followed to take and recapture an objective, or get close enough to throw smoke and call in artillery.

I also didn’t get to try out all the available loadouts, sadly. I prefer to play on servers that are as full as possible, and was never fast enough to click on the roles I hadn’t yet played when a new match was starting. So wading into combat wielding the flamethrower and RPG are RS2V roles I missed out on during beta wave 7, but it only makes me more eager for getting back in once the full game launches.

Over the last couple of years, the military multiplayer FPS’ I’ve almost solely played have been World of Tanks, World of Warships, and Heroes & Generals. It was an unforeseen and refreshing pleasure to get into the intense and visceral gameplay of RS2V beta wave 7. My thanks to the game devs (and PR!) for allowing me to take part, and for all the long hours of hard work you’re doing. I for one am looking forward to another run through the jungle!


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