Tripwire Interactive Talks About Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of StalingradBy Rick Givens | June 3, 2011 | Interviews | No comments | Share
On a recent interview with Tripwire Interactive’s Vice President, Alan Wilson, I got some really great in depth information on Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. If you want the full interview, you can read it here, but I did a pretty good summary which will tell you what you want to know. Read on and enjoy!
First up, Red Orchestra 2 is a World War II themed First Person Shooter, set during the German Offensive into the Soviet Union, known as the Eastern Front during the Battle for Stalingrad. On the German side, you will follow the single player campaign from August to November of 1942, while the Soviets begin their campaign during the key defensive moments, and then ending with the final assault on the last German holdouts. Alan Wilson states “the chances of being able to follow a single character through the meat-grinder of Stalingrad and visit the key locations is beyond remote. We are focusing on specific small-unit actions in various parts of the city and environs.”
This game is taking a bit of a different direction than the original Red Orchestra in that it will feature both a Single Player Campaign and a Multiplayer. Focusing on a single battle, even though it is the protracted conflict that was the Battle for Stalingrad, is a new concept to developers Tripwire Interactive. As far as the multiplayer goes, Alan spoke of new features and multiple game modes, but did not go into specific detail. Some things will remain the same, namely the brutal reality of the original, you will not find a health pack in Stalingrad. But some of the other key features in this this that gets my attention is having to pay close attention to your casualties. Yes indeed, you may survive an engagement, but if you lose too many of your squadmates, your unit isn’t going anywhere. “A burst from an MG34 is still going to cut you down if you insist on running into it,” Alan states.
What were some of the changes from the original game? Good to be sure, but everything needs improvement with a sequel right? The list is nearly endless, here is what Aland had to say:
It is a long list. I think we’ve talked about adding in a full cover system, shown in first person, not switching out to third person; blind fire that actually IS blind; a more intricate personal damage system; encumbrance; stamina; morale for the AI soldiers; mantling and climbing; new weapon deployment system, much more intuitive and easy to use with the light MGs; full ballistics modeling for all projectiles, including material penetration (i.e. don’t try hiding behind that wooden interior door when I’m 6 feet away with an SVT!) – so players will need to understand the difference between “cover” and “concealment”. The tanks are a big leap forward too – fully-modeled interiors, full crew (AI and/or human), hugely upgraded penetration and damage system. More game-types for multi-player, plus the multi-player campaign mode. I know I have missed just a few, such as the suppression system…
Going on, Alan makes mention of a “slow death” mechanic, while you may not instantly perish from a wound, you will bleed out in about 2-3 seconds. Think of this as your chance to get a little pay back…
Including taking the extra step to actually shoot most of the weapons in the game to see how they realistically perform, Tripwire also researched a host of ballistic effects, including real world muzzle velocity. Other details were looked at as well, but some were simply too small in effect to incorporate in a game focusing on urban combat. But Alan does go on to list some of the weapons we can expect to encounter. “Some of it is obvious,” he says ” Kar 98, MP40, MG34, P38, G41 for the Germans, Mosin-Nagant, PPSh, DP28, TT33 for the Soviets. Add in a few extras such as the C96, Nagant revolver and a few for people to argue over – the AVT-40 (full auto version of the SVT – complete brute) and the MkB42(H) prototype, for instance. PTRS anti-tank rifle, stock of grenades, MG34 on the Lafette tripod, Maxim heavy MG.”
And that leads us to another question, such as a class or skillset system. According to Tripwire, there will not only a class system which dictates your basic loadout, but also includes functions for the squad and platoon command level or even the various roles of a tank crew. Morale also plays a key role in the game and can affect the performance of your team in game.
Among the modes and other features talked about in the interview is the inclusion of full bot support, allowing you to take part in multiplayer action for practice, or if you feel the need but don’t want to go online. Initially there will be there will be three modes, an updated version of Territory, team deathmatch with Firefight, and the all new Countdown. In countdown, you get one life and fight against a time limit to capture or defend several objectives. When an objective is taken, you move to the next. A mechanic known as “reinforcement waves” will be in place to help you take those stubborn points, and if your attack fails the sides swap.
What are other questions gamers have? Many really, this will be a PC specific release, and Tripwire is reaching down to the core of PC gamers demands. I mentioned the full bot support, which is a big plus, especially if you are playing the game and do not have access to the internet. But also included will be a full SDK on launch, in fact Alan tells me this SDK is already in the hands of a few select teams, so watch closely for that. Another demand is of course leaderboards and stat tracking, after all we want to know how we are doing, and Tripwire will oblige. Best news of the day for the PC gamer is Dedicated Servers will be available, and the company will have their own servers online the day of launch.
Probably the strongest statement made by Tripwire’s Vice President is the most true. When asked about the cost of the game and any future DLC, I was told “Well, I am on record as saying I have yet to see a game worth $60, so that isn’t going to be it! We don’t charge for extra vehicles and maps – never have done with the original RO. But we are looking at some complete new add-ons, that would be playable as separate games.” On that mention, there is a mod on the way, set to follow the release of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad titled Rising Storm, which will focus on World War II in the Pacific.
As far as future projects, nothing is mentioned, although a lot does depend on the eventual success of Red Orchestra 2. Alan states there is an interest in seeing a Killing Floor 2, to that he adds “No plans to announce but, given the success of the original, it would be rather rude not to follow it up.” It also looks like Tripwire may be dipping there toes into the console market, but feels that each platform is unique, and products should be built to make the most of each one.
When it’s all said and done, it looks like Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad will make one hell of a release. Big titles from big companies will always corner the market, but my money is on the smaller independent developers bringing us higher quality products that entertain and show their value beyond a price tag. Tripwire is bringing us just that. I’ll be seeing you on the Eastern Front.