Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Review

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC [Reviewed])
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Released: Sept. 13, 2011
MSRP: $39.99

The Make Something Unreal contest is one of the most awesome things Epic Games does. Each year, they award one awesome mod team an Unreal Engine license to make their game a reality. This year, Haunted: Hell’s Reach won the prize. Back in 2007, a little World War 2 mod called Red Orchestra took the prize. That mod team is now known as Tripwire Interactive, and they’ve just released their second WW2 title, Red Orchestra 2.

Red Orchestra 2 is, at its core, a quasi-realistic depiction of the Eastern Front of World War 2. Players will join either the German or Russian armies, after which they’ll find themselves in iconic battles ripped from the pages of history. This was true of the original Red Orchestra as well, but veterans of the first game will find something entirely new here: a full-fledged singleplayer mode.

Red Orchestra 2′s singleplayer is very much reminiscent of other multiplayer shooters that simply give you the multiplayer maps and bots to shoot at. However, RO2 adds in some narrated cutscenes that function as mission briefings, and lays out a series of objectives to fulfill. While this is a welcome improvement over just playing multiplayer with bots, the AI makes the singleplayer experience somewhat disappointing. The multiplayer (which I’ll talk about shortly) is a very complex, team-oriented experience, and the AI simply can’t hold up its end of the bargain. What it does do is give you a less hectic place to get a feel for the game, the maps and the myriad controls before you attempt to go online.

RO2 features a wide range of controls, and the reason I mentioned getting a feel for them is because it takes a while to master. Like most shooters, you can run, sprint, jump and go prone, but that’s not all. RO2 also allows you to run while crouched, vault over obstacles, and even take cover. Your view stays in first person while in cover, so leaning out to assess the battlefield is a must. You can also use cover as a rest for your weapon, making it more stable and accurate. Heavy machine guns like the MG34 can be deployed on objects of the correct height, and doing so is a must to being effective with them. You can even adjust the sights of your weapon to compensate for range, which is a great feature in a game that features so many rifles.

Once you’ve got those controls figured out, it’s time to go online, and that’s where Red Orchestra 2 really shines. Joining a server, you’ll pick from a number of classes. Classes are differentiated by weapon type (assault, rifleman, machine gunner and sharpshooter, just to name a few), and there are a limited number of slots on each team for each class. I loved this mechanic, because it prevents any of the wide-open maps becoming sniper battles, and encourages different classes to work together to advance.

Once you get into combat, you’ll find that you’re in a very dangerous place. One bullet can put you down, and if you take a wound that doesn’t kill you, you’ll be bleeding. If you don’t bandage in time, the blood loss will put you down. There’s no battlefield medic or revive mechanic. It’s about as close as you’ll ever get to fighting in the streets of Stalingrad. There are no ammo counters on the HUD, but you can hold the reload button to check the status of your current magazine. You’ll remove the clip, and the game will tell you if it’s full, half full, or nearly empty.

Continue reading this review on page 2

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7 Comments on Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad Review


On September 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm

It’s nice to see a reviewer who isn’t ing and moaning that this isn’t Call of Duty 2.0 or run-n-gun fest.

It’s a hardcore PC FPS and it’s f’ing brilliant (some small bugs aside)

Cello Tuner

On September 21, 2011 at 3:08 am

I tried it a my friend’s place the other day. Very fun!


On September 21, 2011 at 6:02 am

Hardcore shooter are so 2002-04.
So are larger dedicated servers / admins.
Teamwork, well duh, most all multiplayer FPS encurage some sort of objective based teamwork, even with stat whoring and kill streaks.
A Campers delight, Spray and Pray from cover rather than Run and Gun go figure.
Same bugs, performance, stat problems, cheaters that big boys offer, for a slightly lower price.
Small community 6000 plus player peak, mostly fanboy foreigners, in LAGGY servers. This bottom feeder will be dead and gone as fast as say FRONTLINEs/HOMEFRONT, just as soon as the big boys re-release success.



On September 23, 2011 at 4:08 pm



On November 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

G.A.R.B.A.G.E this guy is retarded, the first Red Orchestra is still here, and the 2nd one will keep on getting better, most games do have objective game types but hardy no one works together, in this game people actually work together, this game is tactical it requires some intelligence something you seem to lack. This game is not a run and gun shooter, this is not another COD, I have been playing this game for quite awhile now, you are just moaning because you suck and angry that it is not like COD and cannot adapt to another game, if all mp shooters where like COD it would be , its good to have great unique multiplayer games


On February 2, 2012 at 1:39 am

Hardcore? Really?

This review is quite misleading. Sure – the game is hardcore for COD fanboys, but for people that ACTUALLY have played the first red orchestra its not. Compared to red orchestra: ost RO2 looks like the next call of duty, with fancy upgrades, perks, skillpoints, unlocks, and in overal dumbed down gameplay.

Ron Whitaker

On February 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

@Erik: It’s not as hardcore as the original, but it’s still far more hardcore than the vast majority of shooters out there. I loved the original. I played it back when it was just a UT mod. Unfortunately, the market is turning away from the more hardcore shooters. It kind of makes me sad.