In my first campaign mission of Running With Rifles, I remember pushing back enemy forces in Rattlesnake Cresent. This was the first time I died in the line of duty, but not the last.
“OMG Grenade,” I exclaimed, as I got blown up by a grenade.
At first glance, it’s easy to get fooled by this game. It looks like a cute and simple top-down shooter; the reality, however, is that nothing about this game is as cut and dry as it appears.
Running with Rifles is an absolute slaughter fest, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
In the vanilla game, you are a soldier for either the Greenbelts (American), Graycollars (German), or the Deadpool approved Brownpants (Russian). In Running With Rifles, you are just as expendable as the AI, so don’t expect to last long going in guns blazing Rambo style. Unless you have a vest on, you can only take a couple of hits before you’re dead. Run, hide and take cover often, but don’t try to play hero on this battlefield.
You can either play in campaign mode, which spans multiple game modes on a variety of maps, or you can do a quick match and create your own scenarios. Want to take a tiny squadron and go head-to-head with an army? You can do it in a quick match!
If you want to test yourself as a Rambo-esque character, you can try Man vs. World mode. But it won’t last long, trust me.
A perfect example of the aforementioned “nothing is as cut and dry as it seems” is the shooting mechanism. While this is a top-down shooter, the environment isn’t 2-dimensional. You can’t just hit an enemy by aiming your reticle over them. Weapon spread and obstacles, both natural and man-made, will almost always get in the way of the enemy you have your sights on.
If you’re on the bottom of a hill and you want to shoot the guy on top, follow the advice of Obi-Wan Kenobi: don’t try it. Finding the high ground is a much more effective option than trying to shoot through a dirt hill.
Unlike a lot of shooters, the AI in Running With Rifles aren’t worthless cannon fodder. They aren’t top-notch AI by any means, but they are smart enough to heal fallen allies and provide cover fire while only sometimes getting caught behind an obstacle. This also can work against you, as enemies have enough knowledge to know how to take the tactical advantage. They have all the same abilities as you, even the ability to call in airstrikes or request reinforcements.
The above situations make combat extremely engaging, as you never know what your enemy will do to take the upper hand. Although it can feel a little repetitive every now and again, those moments are few and far between. The maps are varied enough save you from repetition and most battles feel like a new experience.
You are given free reign to play as you please and do what makes you most comfortable. You can play around with the assortment of SMGs, LMGs, rifles and snipers to be found.
Personally, I’ve found comfort in taking up the role of a support class soldier who provides suppressive fire with an LMG. I can be pretty clumsy in my button pressing, leading to my death on many occasions. Using a weapon that forces you to go prone just makes the job a little easier for me.
I haven’t had too much experience with the online component of Running With Rifles due to my spotty connection. From what I have played, however, the multiplayer is a fun mechanic that relies heavily on teamwork.
Every time I’ve come online to play, there has always been at least 30 online matches available to play. This had let me know that their multiplayer component is alive and well.
Above all else, my favorite aspect of Running with Rifles are the mods that are available. From what I’ve seen, there are 52 mods in total on the Steam Workshop. While that isn’t much compared to some games, the quality of some of these mods is top notch.
Of all the mods, my favorite has to be Running in the Fallout. I have a bit of a bias towards this mod because I’m a huge Fallout fan, but the mod allows you put yourself in the boots of one of the many factions in the Fallout universe.
You have access to power armor and weapons unique to Fallout, like Laser and Plasma Rifles. Unfortunately, this mod doesn’t provide new maps, so your recreation of the Battle of Hoover Dam might have to wait.
Based on looks, this mod could almost be a spiritual successor to The original Fallout games made by Interplay Studios.
If you’re looking for something a little wackier, I’d recommend the Running with Nerf Guns mod. Instead of spitting lead, you’ll be spitting highly inaccurate foam. Take up arms with the N-Strike, Mega, Z-Strike and more as you battle with all the frustration Nerf has to offer! Even the dialog in this mod makes it extremely relatable for anyone who’s ever been in a nerf battle.
Mods add more to an already huge game. It’s simple, yes, but the amount of variety and the ever shifting tide of war makes this a game with high replay value. If you ever get sick of the base game, mods add more hours of fun and chaos. If neither mod that I’ve recommended interests you, there are more to choose from in the Steam Workshop, including a zombie apocalypse and a World War I mod.
Running with Rifles is a game that you can get lost in. It’s intense and addictive and I’ve already lost track of time playing it on more than one occasion.
Running with Rifles is available on Steam for $14.99.
The product, Running With Rifles, was given to us for free by developer Osumia Games. This does not affect the outcome or final score of the review.
Running With Rifles
Action, Top-Down Shooter
Windows, Mac OS X, SteamOS + Linux
Running With Rifles is fun and addictive. Everyone, both AI and human, serves a purpose and the tide of a battle can change in an instant.