Running with Rifles, a top-down tactical shooter that got recently released out of Steam’s Early Access, ready to be played and reviewed in its supposed polished state. At first glance it may look like any other top-down shooter with endless swarms of enemies, but after experiencing a few deaths, you quickly realize that this game requires tactics and teamwork. Once your player dies, you will re-spawn as another grunt on the battlefield with tons of AI units fighting around you, and an itchy beard.
My first impressions when opening the game was that it felt reminiscent of an old console / PC classic, Army Men, but it quickly became a game where I was forced to find cover and provide suppression for the rest of my squad to advance. Instead of specific objective points, you must maintain control of certain areas of the map by fighting your way to it and defending it, which makes for an excellent gameplay dynamic that encourages you to focus on holding certain areas. Without making use of tactics, it is very easy to fall into a stalemate with both sides making no advancement whatsoever.
The AI in Running with Rifles is impressive to say the least, which pushes you to make use of tactics such as retreating when overpowered, taking cover whenever possible, and if you’re not careful, the enemy AI will create a fierce counter-attack.
During your time playing, you can expect to use a wide range of weapons and equipment from the game’s Armory System, and drivable vehicles such as jeeps, Tanks & APCs. Most of these items are unlocked while leveling up in the game’s ranking system.
Multiplayer wise there are a number of servers with upwards of 64 Players. The only issues I’ve had so far with the game is when playing in a match where all teams are in a stalemate, it can get a bit tiring. Perhaps this could be remedied either with a time counter, or some sort of more in-depth Morale system for the AI. The other issue with the game is the hit detection being a bit off on a few occasion.
Overall, if you are a fan of top-down shooters with a nice tactical approach, this game is worth checking out, one that has a responsive controls, smooth and great looking cartoon-y graphics, and a game that will give you that quick war fix you need from time to time. Running with Rifles also supports modding, which adds more justification of its price tag of $14.99 which provides a massive backlog of content to go through, hence longevity.