Tripwire have adapted the US’ month-long assault on Japanese island stronghold Iwo Jima for the medium of multiplayer shooting. The map appears alongside Guadalcanal, Saipan and more in Rising Storm, a standalone PC expansion for Red Orchestra 2 due out later this year.
Expertly balanced online arenas might not be the most sensitive of places to explore the bayonet-ins and flushing-outs of one of the Pacific’s costliest battles – I’d sooner recommend studying the creases in Ken Watabe’s face in Letters from Iwo Jima for that. But if there were ever a developer to entertainingly transmute the peculiar warfare wrought by the island’s embedded bunkers and katana charges, it’d be Tripwire.
The former modders have worked in conjunction with the most talented elements of their community to build an odd, asymmetric mode of multiplayer battle. Players on the Japanese side benefit from high movement speed during Banzai charges, boldness under fire, and war cries used to suppress enemies.
Spawn as a US soldier and you’ll have access to more powerful weaponry and be able to claim katanas as trophies, but will also suffer from frequent bouts of ragdollitis thanks to portable Japanese mortars, booby-trapped loot and buried grenades.
It’s a far cry from the mirrored modern warfare of RO’s contemporaries. Will you be putting in the hours to suss it out?
Rising Storm will also feature a campaign for single player or cooperative play. No release date has yet been announced beyond ‘2013’.