We thoroughly enjoyed the first Rising Storm, first a mod and then a standalone expansion for Tripwire's Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. It took its intense brand of WW2 first-person action to the Pacific Theatre, and it did so to tremendous effect. Thanks to a mixture of expansive maps and objective-based game modes, Antimatter Games was able to craft a shooter that felt really distinct in a genre that had long since stagnated, and where competition was fairly thin on the ground.
How times change. Since the first Rising Storm, Battlefield 1 has explored trench warfare (in the footsteps of Verdun, an altogether more modest affair), Call of Duty: WWII is going back to its roots, and we've also had another very good indie shooter in the form Day of Infamy. If you're among those who enjoy their shooters flavoured with history, the ongoing resurgence of the sub-genre means that you're currently spoilt for choice. Well, now you can add Rising Storm 2: Vietnam to the list of shooters that are worth keeping in your sights.
It strikes the right tone almost instantly; any game that opens with Creedence Clearwater Revival is probably going to be good, right? Well, without any evidence to the contrary, we're going to assume our theory is watertight because Vietnam (as we'll call it from now on) is good. Very good, in fact.
It's not a perfect game, though, and the most frustrating thing about this sequel is that it fails to really address the significant faults of the first. The main one is crawling; the animations when prone are horrible, and playing close to the ground is very frustrating at times, with janky movement and unpredictable traversal across what looks fairly straightforward terrain. The animations when moving between stances also leave much to be desired.
The only other criticism of significance that we'd level at the game is a design issue, but we're not sure there's a fix considering what Vietnam tries to do. The maps are pretty big, and the action revolves around the struggle for capture points, and spawning can drop you a fair distance from the nearest gun battle. We've spent a lot of time running between skirmishes, and when you arrive at a battle only to get insta-killed by a sniper you didn't even know was there, the distance you have to travel can get quite frustrating at times.