Aug 312011
 
Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad

Update: To clarify a point that wasn’t clear initially, the RO2 beta is only available to those who have pre-ordered the “Digital Deluxe” edition.  Basically, you need to shell out an additional $10 if you want to play the beta.  While I am a card-carrying member of the Tripwire fanboy club, I am most certainly not a fan of these pre-order shenanigans.   Turns out I will not be checking out the beta over the weekend.

The Red Orchestra 2 multiplayer beta is now live on Steam for those who have pre-ordered the [digital deluxe edition of the] game.  I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but am hoping to have some time for it over the upcoming long weekend.  A reminder that if you pre-order now you’ll also get 10% off, which bumps to 20% if you owned the first RO.

Check out Red Orchestra 2 on Steam.
Here’s some bonus in game video from a slightly earlier beta build:

More videos can be found here.

Aug 082011
 

Tripwire announced today that Red Orchestra 2 will be pushed back until September 13th, 2 weeks later than their previous release date of August 30th.  While two weeks isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, I can’t help but thinking this only hurts RO2’s potential uptake by multiplayer shooter fans.

Moving RO2’s release date into September means that it will directly come into competition with BF3’s open beta, which will be immensely popular.  After that, you have BF3’s official release in October, and right behind that is the next installment of CoD.  You could argue that people who play RO will have no interest in BF or CoD, but it’s hard to deny there is a lot of crossover there, and people who may have been willing to try a new experience in RO2 during a time when no other titles were competing will instead stick with the name-brands they know during the pre-holiday video game rush.

On the bright side, a large reason why Tripwire is moving the release date back is due to the overwhelming number of pre-orders, which also gives access to a beta of the game, pre-release.  They weren’t quite ready for the volume of beta users, so they need to readjust their preparations for that.  I hope that it works out for RO2 and Tripwire, but it appears that launching in prime release time might not be their best strategy for gaining a critical mass of online players.  Maybe I’ll be wrong.

Read Tripwire’s explanation for the delay, here.

Aug 022011
 

I can admit to being a bit of a Tripwire fanboy.  I constantly refer to the original Red Orchestra as one of the more underrated multiplayer shooters and thoroughly enjoyed Killing Floor with its low budget charm.  Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad promises a bigger and better RO experience that everyone can get in on the ground floor.  RO sets itself apart from other modern or WWII shooters in that a lot of the arcade like elements that players love to abuse especially in games like CoD are not even a consideration in RO.  RO prides itself on a more realistic, balanced approach which may not be for everyone — but if you find your game play experience frustrating in today’s shooters due to “cheap” game features and gimmicks, RO2 might be what you’re looking for.

The good news here is that RO2 is available for pre-order at 10% off, although you can make that 20% if you own the original RO in your Steam library.  Release date is set at August 30th.  I am looking forward to this one. Check it out on Steam, here.