A single man hero is only found in the sturdy solider with quick wits and flexible fingers in Modulaatio’s Running with Rifles. The extremely large maps in this game, in addition to a zoomed out camera makes everything in this game very small both conceptually and visually. While the game is still in its beta stages (build .75) it is being sold on the Desura Online Marketplace for $7.99.
The game emphasizes squad control and capturing command posts to slow down the expansion of enemy forces. Until you have captured all the map’s command posts, you’re pitted in tireless war that can span for days in-game. Experience points are rewarded for kills, and are deducted for deaths. Earning enough experience points grants you more squad mates and gives you more control over the tides of battle, as well as motors, which gives you an opportunity to rain terror from above.
The game is no doubt easy to lose yourself in. Running around these huge abandoned towns, finding the perfect cover, and unleashing hell is very entertaining. There are great weapons to choose from, some easier to use than others, and vehicles that either you or your AI companions can drive. The AI in this game is quite impressive, seeing as how up to 600 of those runts can all be on the field at once orchestrating an endless battle has to have some sophistication to it. The game doesn’t fall apart if the player decides to stand still either, and has plenty of key commands, which makes players feel compelled to master the art of war.
This game’s problem comes from the lack of tutorials Modulaatio has left for new players. The first time playing, I did check the input commands to see what my controls were before diving in, only to realize I didn’t know how to bring up my map and could not pinpoint the command post to capture. I wound up having to look up more clues on the forum to learn how to successfully play this game. I agree that the best way to learn is to be thrown in the soup, but a quick demo video could entice and educate.Weapons specs from the forum page was also needed for some general advice. since they all have slight details to consider.
Combat was at first difficult to understand. but with a little practice the ins and outs of the height-based accuracy system is pretty easy to master. When knowing which guns do what, this concept is a lot easier to understand. For a game played in the top-down perspective this may seem uncouth, but the bullets are treated as in any FPS game; except your only y-axis positions are standing, crouching, and prone. Knowing this off-hand would also make combat easier to learn, but was unexplained in-game.
The multiplayer in my attempts were very limited. I could not find a game with more than one other player in it so I can’t say I had the full experience.Running with Rifles has a lot of potential, and is still in beta. I do not know how Modulaatio will address any of these issues, but I am be eager to see where I goes from here. The gun-play, movement, vehicles, and maps are all examples of what this game does well.