Running With Rifles gets WWII expansion set in Pacific

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Oh hi, Running With Rifles [official site]. It’s been a while, huh? I had assumed you’d packed up your duffel bag, slung your gun over your shoulder, and sprinted off into the sunset. Turns out you’ve been digging into the Iwo Jima sands and all the other Pacific islands too, recreating the second World War in your own top-down cartoonish way. So, when’s that Pacific warfare expansion released? Next week? Sorted. Sorted.

Running With Rifles has been on RPS’ radar, ladar and playdar since 2011, offering battle antics in the style of ye olde Cannon Fodders of the 1990s but with nicer-looking cartoon graphics and some light-heartedness. When a grenade landed at the foot of a soldier, for example, they’d shout “OMG GRENADE”.

But the base game was set in a non-descript war with weapons and vehicles from all sorts of eras. This time it is squarely set during World War II, allowing you to “to witness the epic clash between the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and the United States Marine Corps (USMC)”. Which probably makes the cartoon tone a wee bit clashy. Anyway, here’s what developers Osumia Games (formerly Modulaatio Games) are offering:

  • 2 full campaigns spanning the major battles of the Pacific theatre
  • 7 unique maps based on historical locations and battles
  • unique set of historical vehicles, ranging from light tanks, jeeps, land defenses, landing craft, and patrol boats
  • historical arsenal of weapons that evolves as the war progresses
  • new types of weapons such as Flamethrowers, Bayonetted Rifles, and the Katana
  • side objectives such as destroying coastal guns and anti-aircraft guns to rescuing prisoners or repairing abandoned tanks
  • 40+ multiplayer support, dedicated servers, coop, PvP, PvPvE

It’s out on Steam on Thursday October 26. Could be a reason to get back into it, if you were a Runner ‘n’ Rifleman of the original. But it also makes me wonder, what would today’s spiritual successor of Cannon Fodder be? Foxhole, perhaps.

6 Comments

  1. Dominic Tarason says:

    Running With Rifles is a game that deserves more love. While the moment to moment gameplay is very Cannon Fodder, the overarching structure is more like playing a single unit in an RTS played by two AIs.

    • Bull0 says:

      Yes, I absolutely love this game. Great fun with a mate or two.

    • MrUnimport says:

      >the overarching structure is more like playing a single unit in an RTS played by two AIs.

      With the minimum possible amount of snark, this is exactly why I didn’t find it engaging. If I want to feel like I’m an insignificant part of a large battle, I’d prefer it be waged by players, so at least it’s significant to someone.

      • JustAchaP says:

        Ever heard of Foxholes?

      • Sound says:

        The two-AI’s comment is a bit coarse, but the core dynamic here is that it’s a team-based game. Without a high degree of organizing between players, it necessitates a lot of people exploding in every direction, to fill the gaps.

        But if you DO have a good dozen people on mics, communicating, covering flanks and advancing in a cohesive fashion, then your specific contribution is absolutely key. So I’d argue it’s not the game’s fault if you feel meaningless in the horde, but rather the problem is the way in which you’re playing it, without coordination.

        But I’ll readily admit getting that coordination is tough.

  2. Sound says:

    The setting change I think would help focus this game’s play style and strengths. But I worry about the systems it has in place to facilitate and clean up communication, command, and cooperation. In theory people can just talk to each other. In practice, people are bad at that, in multiple ways.

    One of the things I’ve learned from MOBAs like Smite is the power of key-combo voice commands – press a couple buttons and it says, “follow me,” or “retreat” or “help right lane”. These work extremely well! Once you learn the keys, at least. I think a game like this(and others, like Rising Storm) would greatly benefit massively from some form of non-spoken communication framework, like that.

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