In my first campaign mission of Running With Rifles, I remember pushing back enemy forces in Rattlesnake Crescent. 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 seems.
Running with Rifles is an absolute slaughter-fest, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
The vanilla game surrounds an ever-growing and never-ending conflict between the Greenbelts (American), Graycollars (German), or the Deadpool approved Brownpants (Russian). In Running With Rifles, the player is just as expendable as the NPC, so don’t expect to last long going in guns blazing Rambo style. Unless there’s a vest handy, it will only take a couple of shots to hit the dirt. Run, hide and take cover often, but don’t try to play hero on this battlefield.
There is the campaign mode, which spans multiple game modes on a variety of maps, or there is the option of quick matches, where customized scenarios can be made. Want to take a tiny squadron and go head-to-head with an army? There’s a quick match for that.
The Rambo inspired players 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. Hitting an enemy isn’t as simple as “aim the crosshair where you want to shoot.” Weapon spread and obstacles, both natural and man-made, will almost always get in the way of the enemy.
In Running with Rifles, it is advised to take the high ground whenever possible. Finding the high place to shoot from is a much more effective option than trying to shoot through a dirt hill.
Unlike many shooters, the NPC in Running With Rifles aren’t worthless cannon fodder. They aren’t top-notch NPC by any means, but they are smart enough to heal fallen allies and give cover fire while only sometimes getting caught behind an obstacle. This also applies to the enemy forces, creating a double-edged sword. They have all the same abilities as the player, even the ability to call in airstrikes or request reinforcements.
The above situations make combat extremely engaging, as the combat zone becomes a guessing game of the enemy’s next move. Although it can feel a little repetitive every now and again, those moments are few and far between. The maps are varied enough save from repetition and most battles feel like a new experience.
There is an assortment of SMGs, LMGs, rifles and snipers to be mixed and matched to suit a preferred class of soldier.
The multiplayer is a fun mechanic that relies heavily on teamwork. A friendy squad and enemy team of all living and breathing humans adds yet another layer of quick and tactical thinking. There is almost always matches available to play with a multiplayer community that 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 are 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 offer 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 to anyone who’s ever been in a Nerf battle.
Mods add more to an already huge game. It’s simple, but the amount of variety and the ever-shifting tide of war makes this a game with high replay value. If you ever get tired 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 offers vast amounts of immersion and fun combat scenarios. 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.