Endearing Wargeneering: Running With Rifles

Like totes.

Hit ESC on the main menu of Running With Rifles and the words will melt away, leaving your character free to run around the screen. I like that. There is whimsy in this war. Running With Rifles is a top-down soldiererer thing inspired by Cannon Fodder, set in large maps with dynamically throbbing battles. You are a tiny man in a big war, and it’s oh-so cute. There’s a cartoonish edge to the look that pops up speech bubbles as the NPCs shout ‘OMG Grenade!’, and despite the hundreds of bloody deaths that smears the screen, it never fails to raise a smile. I am smiling now because it’s on Steam Early Access, it’s relatively cheap, and there’s a trailer below.

I could easily imagine the continual deaths and respawning as some sort of commentary on the futility of fighting, but really it’s just a cute and tough top-down action game. You join a battle, initially as a tiny cog in the gears of war who follows the prompting of the game to capture the area. But you progress, commanding squads and calling in back-up. It puts me in mind of Planetside 2, strangely: it’s not as big, but rolling engagements, running from point-to-point, changing the shape of the battle definitely bonds them together.

There’s hundreds of locations across the nine large maps, and you can play all offline and online. Check out the trailer, yo.

There’s even a demo, so you don’t even need to guess if you’ll enjoy it.


  1. almostDead says:

    Can someone write some words on Factorio. It’s blown my fucking mind since I stumbled across it by accident yesterday.

    And it’s not on Steam, so my activation energy to purchase it was monumental. That’s how good it is. I had to dust off a half decade old paypal account.

    • El Spidro says:

      +1 to this. I think I saw a video of it somewhere or something which prompted me to buy it, and I have to say it is pretty superb and vastly underexposed.

      • DeVadder says:

        I agree. Though i haven really played it since i backed it…
        So i guess thanks for reminding me.

    • Bronxsta says:

      Factorio is absolutely fantastic
      Here’s a pic of an insanely massive complex
      link to imageshack.com

      • Everyone says:

        Really? Gosh. I watched the trailer and it looked decidedly “meh” (the voice over really didn’t help). I’ll give the demo a whirl.

        • almostDead says:

          They have an unusual way of discovering the latest alpha build. You have to click on the ‘stable’ button to switch to something that says something like ‘experimental’. I recommend the absolute latest version, as it has many more features.

        • Bronxsta says:

          It might not seem like much at first, but once you’re managing a sprawling self-sustaining factory, with the hypnotic movement of the myriad structures and robotics, it’s very addictive. There’s something so satisfying about building up your complex from nothing and then honing it and refining it, making it more effective, fending off enemies

      • Skiddywinks says:

        What the fuck am I looking at?

    • SillyWizard says:

      What does that have to do with Running With Rifles? At all? I mean, these don’t even look like games that are in any way related.

      (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve shilled for stuff in questionable places myself, but I try to keep it to at least tangentially-related stuff.)

      On topic — RWR seems neat!

    • mrcalhou says:

      I am a chemistry teacher and I approve of this usage of the term activation energy.

    • electron105 says:

      Oooooh… this looks brill-o. Thanks!

    • FredZepplin says:

      As much as I think it’s tacky to hijack discussion of a cool game with talk of another game (especially top-post!), thanks for posting about Factorio. Played the demo for a bit just now and it’s fantastic!

  2. LionsPhil says:

    Hmm. The rest of the visual style is so oddly green-brown that the floating labels are massively dominant, and I kept finding myself watching them more than the actual game (which was rather difficult to follow, really; doesn’t help that the player character isn’t centred).

  3. BTAxis says:

    I tried the demo, but every game I played had the enemy team take over the map in very short order, and my own team seemed to rapidly dwindle. As if only the enemy NPCs got to respawn. Maybe that’s the point of the demo?

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      The game shines in MP. I’m not sure how population is atm, a week ago servers where empty, but I had the luck to jump in my first game when there was apparently some kind of weekly MP session going on and I had a blast!
      For that money I can highly recommend it!

      The only thing missing is voice chat, other than that it is amazing fun when played with a couple of other people.
      And I still find the XP and money system as well as the AI command interface very confusing. I hope they work on making it more obvious and user friendly.

      I also think that there is HUGE potential for PvP here. Imagine epic 64vs64 player battles with this!

      • DoomMetal says:

        MP got a big boost after the steam release. There was a coop match which peaked at 50 players last weekend, and currently there’s 53 people playing with 41 on the most populated server.

        I too can’t wait for huge PvP battles to become a thing. Even 8v8 or thereabouts is a blast.

    • Lusketrollet says:

      I see myself quite a lot in BTAxis’ example. It’s Running With Rifles’ gameplay at its very worst.

      At its best, it’s awesome, though.

    • BTA says:

      I never had that problem in the demo, but I also last played it a year or two ago. It seems the MP is the better choice, in any case.

      (…this is offtopic, but I noticed our similar usernames forever ago and this is a little awkward to reply to as a result!)

  4. Bull0 says:

    Oh, I’m glad this is still a thing. Hopefully it’s changed a bit if they’re charging for it now.

    • BobbyFizz says:

      It’s had a lot of tweaks and nice additions, bought it ages ago and still love it. The demo is well worth a go for anyone who wants to get a feel for it, but the newest version outshines it completely.

    • Baines says:

      They’ve been charging for it for quite a while. When I first tried it, the free demo lagged pretty far behind the paid version, and it took months for the demo to get updated

    • bwc153 says:

      ‘ve played since before it started being charged for.

      Back around .2, there were 3 weapons. AK-47, M240, G36, Grenades, and knifing. No vehicles, one map, two factions.

      Now there are About half a dozen rifles, about 4 MGs, about 3 Rocket Launchers, about 4 Sniper Rifles, and about 4 shotguns. (I say about, as there are rare, weapons that sometimes spawn on AI, and I can not remember all of them). There are deployables like Mines, Hesco barriers, static MGs (also a Static TOW, but this isn’t placable (yet?)), C4. There are multiple vehicles, including a Jeep, Armoured Truck, Tank, APC, and 2 boats, in addition to a couple specific objective vehicles. There are at least 7 maps now, and 3 factions.

      Not to mention a number of other features. That I could write another paragraph or few overviewing.

      TL;DR, it’s a lot better than before. :P

      • Bull0 says:

        That’s cool, call me a nerd but those are the kind of details I was looking for. Might pick it up tonight. Cheers =>

  5. wodin says:

    A great fun game that has got better and better.

  6. sabasNL says:

    A truly fun game. I would describe it as top-down Battlefield 2 or something. It’s really unique to be honest.
    The demo is a quite old version of the game, but it gives a good impression I believe. Just keep in mind that the current version has way more (e.g. support weapons, vehicles, better AI).

    I’ve been following this game for a year now, and I do see a nice pace of progress. I’m eager to see where the game will eventually go.

    • DoomMetal says:

      The demo is no longer as ancient as it used to be and is in fact up to date with the current version (beta 0.94).

  7. Lusketrollet says:

    The game is fun, except for the (extremely often) occasions wherein it places the player in an unwinnable battle, where the enemy will just slowly swarm and overwhelm the player’s faction over a quarter of an hour while there is *nothing* the player can do.

    In these situations, you have to just sit back and truly wonder how in the actual fuck they decided this game was ready for Early Access-release.

    • harrified says:

      I agree. Not enough problems to be an Early Access game.

    • bwc153 says:

      If your faction is losing you’re doing something wrong. Whether it be in the game settings (IE: Giving enemy too many AI over you), or in how you play.

      Play it like Red Orchestra Ostfront. Focus on getting into the objective area. Kill to get to the objective area and capture it. Killing endlessly will not win you the battle, capturing the bases will.

  8. lordfrikk says:

    When I look at the trailer and compare it with my memories of the game from a year or two ago I have to say I’m damn impressed and proud of the devs, the game has come a long way.

  9. harvb says:

    I’m loving this game to bits. I’m positively awful at it but its fabulous.

    Omg so camp.