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.