Before running away for a few days to close out the year with champagne and a new XCOM campaign, Evan, Cory, and Tyler gathered to discuss how two of our favorite 64-player shooters created very different experiences this year. Watch the whole five-video series on the PC Gamer YouTube channel, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more regular content, gameplay footage, and conversations.
Grab a cup of eggnog, a candy cane, some other Christmas clichés, and celebrate the holiday with developer Tripwire Interactive's fourth annual Killing Floor Twisted Christmas event. This year it brings us two new maps, "Hell" and "Forgotten," both from the mind of community mapper swift_brutal_death. That to me just screams holiday cheer, or maybe what we're all wishing for anyway as we untangle the Christmas lights.
Tripwire: "SteamOS, Steam Machines, and Steam Controller will be the best thing to happen to PC gaming since digital distribution"
John Gibson has been making PC-exclusive games for more than a decade. As President of Tripwire Interactive, he’s helped push Killing Floor, Red Orchestra 2, Rising Storm out the door of the developer’s Roswell, Georgia studio. He also happens to have a pretty nice sound system for his PC. We asked Gibson to weigh in on Valve’s trinity of announcements.
As if my FPS plate wasn’t full enough already with MechWarrior Online, Arma 3, and Shadow Warrior, Tripwire Interactive just published a free content update for Rising Storm (one of our favorite shooters of the year) and Red Orchestra 2 that adds a new map and a Multiplayer Campaign mode, among other improvements.
Tripwire Interactive have executed the final phase of an almost half-year long rescue mission. After identifying the winning maps of a $35,000 mapping contest, they managed to smuggle the first batch into Red Orchestra 2 back in April. Now, they've returned, and those that were left behind have become the brave survivors of Operation: Counterattack Map Pack 2.
Tripwire continues to create reasons to hop back into its four-year old co-op shooter. After bestowing a low-grav moon base map last Christmas, Killing Floor kicks off a new holiday event tomorrow, the Summer Sideshow Pier of Pain, bringing with it the first new mode since it released.
Vulnerability is an underused tool of FPS developers. Plenty of shooters empower us—by stamping experience points across the screen when we bag a kill, by handing us exaggerated guns or an array of increasingly fancy hats—but what pervades Rising Storm is the feeling that you aren’t a soldier-superman. You’re a set of fatigues wrapped around fragile humanity, ready to lose your dogtags.
Tripwire have announced the release date for Rising Storm, their Pacific-based standalone expansion to Red Orchestra 2. As well as the new setting, it promises ferocious asymmetrical battles, authentic weaponry, and soldier morale. If all that sounds like something you'll need time to mentally prepare for, then bad news: the World War 2 multiplayer FPS will be invading Steam tomorrow.
Tripwire Interactive is one of the handful of studios that have made the jump from modest modding origins to professional, full-time, make-your-mom-proud game development. Until last year, the studio operated out of the bottom floor of a Georgia church. And through releasing Red Orchestra 2 and the 1.7-million-selling Killing Floor (originally a mod), Tripwire has encouraged and regularly rewarded modders and map-makers.
As Red Orchestra 2 was being developed, Tripwire committed to creating an SDK during development, allowing modders to get cracking before the game's release. With modding support for modern games less ubiquitous than we'd like it to be, I asked Tripwire President John Gibson how hard it was for Tripwire to build mod support while they were developing the game itself.
Tripwire's World War 2-based multiplayer shooter Red Orchestra 2 has just received an update adding four free new maps! And there's a free Steam weekend, giving you a chance to try out the game! And, right now, it's ridiculously cheap from a variety of places! You would think all these things would be cause for celebration. But no, war is a harrowing exercise in futility and despair and, given Tripwire's dedication to accuracy, they've marked the occasion with a thoroughly bleak trailer.
Last week at GDC, I visited Tripwire Interactive's spot on the expo floor to get an updated gander at Rising Storm. Come watch Tripwire President John Gibson and External Producer Tony Gillham walk me through a gameplay demonstration against AI enemies and answer questions.
Is there anything a katana charge can't solve? Well, yes, obviously, but it's always nice to have the option, especially in a multiplayer shooter. Fix World War 2 with foolish but unnerving charge attacks in the standalone expansion for Red Orchestra 2, Rising Storm. Banzai charges grants Japanese soldiers speed, bolshiness under fire and war cries that suppress enemies. US soldiers counter with superior hardware, but are prone to exploding under the volatile spuds of Japan's portable mortars.
The lopsided conflict encourages unusual strategies, as Even discovered when he went hands-on recently. US soldiers can claim dropped katanas as trophies, but Japanese soldiers can bury grenades to create impromptu landmines and booby trap their loot. Can Tripwire successfully balance these asymmetrical opponents? It's impossible to tell from this GDC trailer, but there's lots of screaming and running with katanas to enjoy.
Earlier this month I visited Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2 creator Tripwire Interactive to play Rising Storm, the upcoming standalone expansion to RO2 (look for a preview on Monday). After the demo, Tripwire President John Gibson and I got talking about the state of first-person shooters, and Gibson laid out a detailed criticism about the way Call of Duty "takes individual skill out of the equation." Gibson also expressed frustration over how difficult it had been trying to design a mode for Red Orchestra 2 that appealed to Call of Duty players.
Pay no attention to the living display of modern art seen above. Zeno Clash 2 is still all about knocking the stuffing out of weird humanoids, a theme that originated in the first surrealistically fun brawler back in 2009. Well, OK, Mr. Paint-Lip above qualifies as weird enough to send my fist right into that bulbous bullseye of a nose, but that's not the only interesting takeaway from the latest gameplay trailer drop-kicked over by Chilean developer ACE Team.
Tripwire have announced the winners of their community mapping contest. Over $35,000 worth of prize money was handed out in recognition of the expertly crafted World War 2 battlefields that mapmakers have created, fuelling fans of the military shooter for months and years to come. The grand prize went to Danh Truong for his Winterwald map, a harrowing icy assault on/defence of Soviet anti-air.
We've now faced so many zombie apocalypses that it's amazing the shambling menace can elicit even the mildest increase in heartbeat. So while Killing Floor remains an enjoyable co-op FPS, any change to its morbid monsters is welcome. Especially when that change is in the form of in the form of H.R. Giger's face-smothering, acid-dripping, chest-bursting beasties.
Have you got any plans this weekend? Maybe you're thinking about going somewhere nice or meeting up with a few friends. Fool! Weekends aren't about that any more. These days, they're for trialling games that have been made temporarily free to play, then pondering whether they're worth the rather hefty discount they've also been given.
From now until Sunday evening you can download and play the hardcore World War 2 multiplayer FPS Red Orchestra 2.
I love having new excuses to hop back into Killing Floor. Tripwire continues to sprinkle absurd themes (like Summer Sideshow, or Hillbilly Horrors in October) into its wave-based survival game, and each is a pleasant, casual context that tempers some of KF’s inherent, backpedaly hecticness.
Going live sometime on Tuesday, December's special event is Twisted Christmas III: Evil Santa’s Moonbase. It features low gravity monster-killing, a dwarven battle axe, new character and weapon DLC, and an in-game scavenger hunt. Tripwire invited me to play the new content in advance, and I've shared some footage of our match inside this post.