Also: Cornered Rat Want To “Finish” Rapid Assault

House vs angry house action!
Cornered Rat, the guys who made the wonderful-but-rickety MMO World War II Online, are currently storming another beach: the lightly defended shoreline of Kickstarter funding. They’re now making a tactical shooter-with-extra-bits called Rapid Assault. It’s going to be 64-player with infantry and armour on “huge” WWII battlefields, realistic damage models, and lots of other general ambitiousness.

Cornered Rat’s Al Corey claims: “We are long-time fans of games like Red Orchestra, ARMA and World of Tanks and we’re inspired to bring a new, combined arms tactical shooter to market with our own flavor.” Hmm. Let’s take a look at that pitch video, below.

Worth noting that the game’s registration is open for a free beta stress testing soon. Dunno if that will be before the end of the KS, that’s not clear.


  1. zeekthegeek says:

    Now if only they could get above 1990s graphical tech they’d be all set.

    • Knightley4 says:

      Uhh, have you ever played any game from 1990s?

      • Grape says:

        I have. And he’s completely right.


        • callmeclean says:

          I’m not sure if your agreeing with the game having 1990’s graphics or not but if you are. Your wrong. It looks a bit better than games like Battlefield 1942 and Halo in most areas which means early-mid 2000’s.

    • Shortwave says:

      I hate to admit it, but that was the very first thing I thought when the video started rolling.
      Their ambition and ideas seem great though.
      Spare the DLC thing, I’m worried that will only hurt their game and probably give it a quick demise.

    • kzrkp says:

      No game from 199X has that kind of view-distance, poly count, amount of foliage… Shit, the only modern FPS with that kind of view distance is ArmA. Graphical flash is bunk. This one is pushing design in other, more important, ways.

      Or hey, instead they could emulate BF3 and have combat with pinkeye and myopia.

  2. UsF says:

    I do not like the sound of purchasable DLC for a free to play game. This will split up the community fast.

    Purchasable vehicles and units, maybe…it might be buying power, but it could also count as buying sidegrades. Purchasable maps and scenarios, no…this would be bad.

  3. The13thRonin says:

    Graphics are a little bit meh… It’s not that they’re not all shiny with bloom and hdr or anything… The colors they chose are just kind of bland. Still keeping my eye on this.

  4. AlManiak says:

    I’m afraid I agree with the Tech remarks. I could stomach the old 90’s stuff in WWIIOL because it was grand in it’s scale and pretty unique. By going 64 player RO style they would practicly loose the few perks they had over other WWII games.

  5. MikePowell says:

    It looks almost exactly like bf1942. I don’t even…

  6. ExecutionersBong says:

    Shame they screwed up ww2ol with a draconian and baffling payment method.

    • AlManiak says:

      What specific payment method are you referring to? That they still use 14.00Euro’s/Month as a subscription fee?

      • ExecutionersBong says:

        Minimum of 3 months at $45. Not the greatest way to attract resubs imo.

        • AlManiak says:

          There is a 1 month / 14 euro option. It is a little less obvious, hidden in a simple line of text rather then a big box saying “BUY PACKAGES!!!”

          • Dana says:

            I’m pretty sure you can play only in $, and 1 month sub is 17,99.

    • Dana says:

      Indeed, they had plenty of opportunities to flesh out their freemium mode, but they refused to. Leaving it at bare minimum, and sticking to the core and archaic subscription fees. Won’t get even a dime from me.

  7. Chaz says:

    I would have thought that after several years of WW2 MP games, that game devs would have learnt that Omaha Beach inspired maps just aren’t fun to play. What made an increadible movie spectacle has so far proven not to make a fun setting for a game.

    Anyway, yeah, what is there to set this apart from say BF1942, aside from the lack of planes.

    • wengart says:

      It seems pretty clear that they want to push realism farther than most games do. Think Darkest Hour not BF1942.

      And oddly enough Omaha Beach seems to be a popular map in any game I’ve played that had it. Sure the allied team would spend 10 minutes crawling up the beach but they’d sill vote for it.

    • thenagus says:

      Yeah, the difference between this and BF1942 is realism, and historical accuracy. When I first played WWIIOL (coming from a BF1942 background), it took me hours and hours of play to get my first kill, even staying alive for more than 10 minutes was a huge challenge! And check out this (very old) video of the damage modelling for the tanks:
      link to
      Don’t get that in BF1942!

      (From the video, the engine looks very very like WWIIOL. ie. pig-ugly.)

      …that said, I get the impression that this is going to be simplified compared to WWIIOL. There’s something about simplified tank control schemes: I guess that’s so they can be driven without a joystick, as in WWIIOL! From the video, looks like you can drive and gun at the same time. Also, third-person view (!) And there was something about there being a simplified flight model if/when they introduce planes. It occurs to me that they realise WWIIOL is just too “hardcore”, and they’re never going to get enough subscribers to give them the money they need… but rather than compromising their vision for the core game, they’d rather create a separate spin-off. I think that says pretty cool things about them as a company.

      I have mixed feelings about this. I unsubbed from WWIIOL years ago because of the cost, and because of the fact that it was hard to just casually dip in for a short 30m game every now and again. So maybe I’m the target audience for this. But then what I really loved about WWIIOL was the way that every little battle influenced the overall months-long campaign, the careful teamwork,the scale and deliberate pace of the whole thing. I’m not sure Rapid Assault is going to offer that. And really, it’s going to have trouble competing with Red Orchestra and the like: the huge view distance makes for realistic long-range combat, but pants graphics. The infantry animations are dire. Last time I played, infantry control didn’t feel very fluid. Who will choose this over RO, save for the sort of history buffs who are already WWIIOL players?

      • Torgen says:

        Yes, this is the WWII Online engine, with all the real ballistics, etc. No hit points, no regenning health, getting shot means you’re dead, either immediately, or soon after. You’re correct that this is aimed towards the folks who enjoyed the hard-core battles of the campaign game, but didn’t want to (or couldn’t) set aside 2-3 hours for an op.

        • Jay says:

          Yeah, but that still doesn’t answer the question of who’s going to choose this over RO, which would seem to already cover most of those bases (high lethality, ballistic modelling etc) in a more visually appealing fashion. As far as fairly realistic large-scale WW2 shooters go, I’d imagine they’ve already cornered most of that audience.

          Still, I suppose it’s early days yet. Best of luck to ’em.

      • Chaz says:

        While I realise that WW2OL had realistic game play, that didn’t really seem apparent in the video for this which looked a little more simplified. Also what is the point of having huge maps if you’re only going to field 64 players?

  8. Lytinwheedle says:

    With Heroes & Generals replacing WWII Online with much shinier graphics (and reduced damage model / realism, I guess), going up against RO 2 with a game that is visually hideous and terribly animated seems quite suicidal too.

    I wonder if they really thought that one through.

    • rapier17 says:

      H&G will be more like BF1942 than WW2Ol so far as what I’ve seen of H&G goes. Yes there is the whole big campaign thing with battles moving it on, but the great joy of WW2Ol was the huge, seamless map. You could do a lot with that – you could drive from one end of it to the other without any interruptions (essentially). So many things I used to love of WW2Ol I doubt I would ever be able to do in H&G – such as driving ammunition trucks/towing anti-tank guns, taking part in huge bomber/fighter wings, driving as part of a large armoured column (we’re talking 50+ tanks), scouting towns/approaches to towns for enemy activity, setting up ambushes from 2km away with an 8.8cm Flak 36 (or 2.5km & further away if the gun was manned by Tom77), ‘commanding’ a town defence with 60+ people potentially following your orders/instructions – the scale and what you could do in that game could not be matched by a game that places the emphasis on ‘small’, by comparison, maps that are all added up to create a big campaign map.

      I’m not decrying what H&G is setting out to do but it and WW2Ol will be very different beasts indeed. I don’t think this Rapid Assault is really going to work out that well though. I think it’ll be similar to what RO2 tried to do – be realisticy (not sure if that is an actual word) but also try and break into the ‘CoD’ market.

  9. dmastri says:

    I’ve spent 1/2 my life storming these beaches. Plodding through the same burnt husks of french towns. Sighing at the sight of another hedgerow. The ideas are vaguely interesting, but I guess I just don’t see what’s going to make it stand out. Agreeing with everyone else… I don’t see anything that would make me choose this over RO2, and even if I did like the gameplay more, RO2 has the edge for being set in the East. I can’t even imagine being a developer on this. These guys have been living and breathing Western front for what seems most of their development careers.

    Why aren’t we in China in 1938 fighting back the Japanese invaders?

    Why aren’t we in Africa in 1916 ambushing the British under von Lettow?

    Why aren’t we conscripted into the Ottoman army to fight the Russians in the Crimea?

    Why aren’t we with the United Nations forces fighting back the Communist Koreans?

    There are so many potentially interesting choices. Please stop regurgitating the same tired scenery.

  10. Binho says:

    I thought graphics didn’t matter, only gameplay?

    Considering how much people tend to rave on this RPS about emergent gameplay and sand box simulations, I think the Rats don’t get nearly enough credit for WWII Online. It’s been doing everything PlanetSide 2 is going to do since about 2001, and a whole lot more.

    A completely open world, where the players control literally anything. A high command, chosen from members of the community, controls each side and plans the campaign and movement of the brigades which players spawn from. Players control everything, from ATG’s, AAA’s, Tanks, Aircraft, Naval Destroyers, Paratroopers, Infantry and APC’s. The whole world is simulated. Each vehicle/gun has a detailed damage model, and every bullet or shell is tracked in real time. Penetration takes in to account speed, angle and weight of the round vs. thickness and slope of armour. They even model spalling, for god’s sakes!

    It’s true, it has some massive flaws. The graphics are outdated, and it’s often hard to find the action. There are a ton of frustrating bugs as well. Yet, you can’t fault them for lack of ambition! Which is something I often feel is missing in modern games. Nor can you fault their resolve. They got back up from a disastorous launch which almost destroyed the company, and 11 years later they’re still consistently working on improving their game. No MMO dev I know of has shown so much dedication.

    When everything comes together though, the graphics don’t matter. When truckers, gunners, tankers, airmen and infantryman work together in perfect unison to eliminate the enemy…well, I’ve never had such a good experience in any other game. Seeing a Stuka deliver a bomb onto that Somua you marked on the map. The cheers of elation from the groundpounders when the flyboys finally show up and shoot the hell out of the enemy aircraft who’ve been pinning them down. Joining a Bofors battery to deter enemy bombers and fighters. Marking targets and keeping the sappers away from your tanker squadmate. The excitement of a hundred fellow players after successfully defending or taking a town after a hard fought battle. Even simply ferrying ATG’s around to where they are needed on the battlefield. No complex multi-million dollar set-piece has ever come close, or been as memorable.

    While I only play WWII off and on, there is no other game which has left me with as many good and interesting experiences. Hopefully this rapid assault thing makes them a bit more money. In any case, Three cheers for the Rats!

  11. callmeclean says:

    Well it appears Kickstater don’t accept Paypal which is completely stupid. I really wanted to give a little money so I can test this game and help to make it a reality since it looks really good. I love Red Orchestra 2. But I guess I can’t. Which sucks.

  12. cassus says:

    They lost me by using the word “fast”. With realistic combined arms style sims.. Fast is just not a word I want to hear. My favorite part of ArmA is the methodic pace. That’s what creates ridiculously awesome memories in those games. Stuff like being prone on a hilltop for 10 minutes with my sniper, waiting for the assault team to get closer to the town..then laughing my ass off ass the AI drives a BMP2 into the corner of a building, hitting a stray poly, being flung 50 meters into the air and falling back down on the roof of a building, upside down. THAT is what I want.

  13. Sc0r says:

    You had me at “realistic damage models”
    Hope it will be Men of War style, not World of Tanks-Healthbar-style.
    If so, I’m in.

    • gophur says:

      Oh it won’t be that I can assure you. The game models manifold pressure. Every internal component, ammo storage, oil coolers, transmission, each individual road wheel, all individually modeled with damage levels, critical failure and all the rest. If you’ve played WoT and think you’ve played a tank game, you haven’t.