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Easy Red 2: Budget WW2 Simulation (And it's pretty damn good)

There’s just so many WW2 shooters out there. Why did I bother with this particular one out of the dozen of shooters out there. Because it’s kind of really good. Sure the presentation leaves a lot to be desired but it makes up for it with an interesting blend of simulation and action. It’s been a while since I had a lot of fun with an indie like this (Ravenfield was also really good too considering it’s also early access). So what makes this little game special out of a bunch of other World War 2 shooters from the past and those made today?

I hear a lot people compare this game to titles like Battlefield, Red Orchestra, and Arma but I think it plays a lot like a less restricted Bothers in Arms game. For those who aren’t familiar with that series, it’s a game where you control a squad of soldiers and you have to give them commands to to fire at enemy soldiers while you try to flank them from the sides. In Easy Red 2, it sort of works in a similar way except you can choose to be a squad leader or you can select a variety of different classes in that squad and use specific equipment to preform different roles like playing as a medic, supplying ammo to your squad, or even controlling different vehicles like tanks or fighter/bombers. It’s also nowhere as linear as Bothers in Arms as the maps are large like in a typical battlefield multiplayer map and you have free reign to advance to the next objective whenever you see fit. When you die, you are given the option to swap to another squad member who is still alive and when your entire squad is wiped out, you can re spawn as a new squad. I like how the game has this balance between realism and pick up and play action. Usually, it take a few shots if not just one shot to bring down an enemy or yourself and whenever you do survive a hit, you have to patch yourself up with some bandages and some food/medicine to restore your health. All this is managed with a inventory system with weight limits and it’s rather in depth for what it is. Granted, you’re not going to be rushing objectives and gunning down enemies rather quickly. The game is treated like a simulation so you preform actions slower than say a game like Battlefield or Call of Duty. I kind of like the mechanics a lot. Even if it’s a little clunky sometimes. Oh and you can play the Americans, Germans, Japanese, British, and Italians (the latter of which is pretty rare for a World War 2 FPS).

There’s also a mission editor/map maker though I haven’t messed with it yet. The Steam workshop has a bunch of various maps created by other users and they seem to work alright with the game engine and ai for the most part. Speaking of which, the AI is sort of a mix bag right now. Sometimes, they’ll just run in front of enemy fire or your own fire and get completely slaughtered. Other times, you’ll be defending a position and you’ll get outflanked by the enemy and thus you have to run for cover somewhere else and risk losing your objective. Suffice to say, the game still needs some work. Luckily the guy working on the game (Marco) is providing updates and fixes regularly. He’s even working on an expansion/dlc with a new Russian campaign. The fact that one guy alone can make a historically accurate WW2 simulation while big video game companies like Activation or EA continue to degrade the historical settings they use for their games is very telling. It’s also primarily single player focused which is great for me because my internet connection is too shit for multiplayer games anyways. Still, there is a multiplayer mode where you can go pvp with the help of ai squad mates or you can do co-op with human players against the ai. If all that sounds interesting to you, I wouldn’t have any issues recommending this game to anyone who’s on a budget. It may not have the production values of more expensive and more system demanding games but it’s still a very playable and fun game nevertheless. Just keep in mind it can be kind of buggy but it is still early access so. But judging from the updates being made for the game on a regular basis, I can see the game eventually reaching a final build. Oh and it's compatible with Linux too!

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