27. Rising Storm [official site] (2013)
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
With big publishers having effectively moved on from World War II, Tripwire’s Red Orchestra series has become the de facto torch-bearer for the historical shooter. Far closer to simulation than any Call of Duty or Battlefield, it’s very much a specialist game, with a clarity of vision that delights its audience. Standalone RO2 expansion Rising Storm was where the more realistic (i.e. unforgiving, i.e. brutal) approach to warfare really hit its stride. The asymmetrical sides (American and Japanese), the glut of period weapons, a squad-based ethos and true variety to the maps. This is not about speedy supermen at war, and nor is it about chasing meta-rewards: it is about becoming very skilled at something very difficult, which is to say war.
Notes: The Game Of The Year edition includes most of the stuff from Red Orchestra II, so get that version if you can. Even if you don’t, you can get various free content packs via Steam.
What else should I be playing if I like this: There’s Battlefield 1942 if you want a poppier World War II, or if you want more brutal realism, take a look at World War I shooter Verdun.
Read more: Rising Storm review