What do you think about war? Shooting? Killing? Blowing shit up? No what you should think about is bandages. Now your probably asking “what the hell?”. Yes because you will spend A LOT of time with bandages.
You play as a United States Marine in Tajikistan a little country near Afghanistan. Your part of Outlaw Company Second Platoon First Squad or Outlaw 2-1. You are in Tajikistan after a major mortar on your base and after what seems like a two hour drive you end up in Tajikistan. In Tajikistan for the next few levels your kicking ass and taking names. Until your unit accidentally fires on some noodle eating, slanty eyed, Chinese MothaFucka’s as the game’s mentor character Staff Sergeant Knox would put it. After that instead of fighting a rag-tag group of insurgents you start fighting a highly organized military group and they act like it employing flanking maneuvers, suppressing fire, and air support.
Aside from that twist the story is straight forward and frankly a little bland. The cast of characters is normal for an infantry platoon, though you only directly interact with about 4 people even though all the squads in your platoon fight with you. Staff Sergeant Knox is one of those people and almost every second word out of his mouth is fuck. He is the clichéd father like drill sergeant character in every movie and book only he cusses way more. Aside from that are your team mates who make quips and comments, but by the end of the game you feel strangely attached to them.
The game play try’s to emulate real war without the side effects, oh you know dying. The level of realism is high, meaning you can’t run around guns a blazing. You need to find cover, suppress, outflank, and destroy. It’s not like other games where it’s one shot one kill, its more like 3 clips maybe one kill. It is a very tactical game and most Call of Duty fans will not feel at home neither will Rainbow Six fans as the degree of realism provides a very steep learning curve. It is no doubt very enjoyable when you get the feel for it but if you aren’t then it will bore you or frustrate you. Shooting feels very realistic the kick back of the weapon to the front post being seen through the scope. One thing that you do A LOT in the game is bandage yourself. After every hit you have or you will bleed out and after you bandage yourself you have to heal yourself these two acts will become muscle memory by the second level of the game. The game employs an experience system where the more experience you gain on the battlefield helps you level up.
The higher the level the better the equipment, such as scopes, silencers, and grenades, as well as perks, you get. The actual fighting is intense and as realistic as can be, thus making it feel extremely rewarding when you kill an insurgent or a PLA soldier. The game also includes some mini games, though the word mini game doesn’t do the extra game modes justice as they are in most cases far better than the campaign and are very fun. Last Stand is where you hold out against the PLA for as long as you can and then when you are ready bored a chopper and end the mission and is by far the best game mode. CSAR is where you rescue a downed helicopter pilot and feels like Black Hawk Down minus the epic line. Rolling Thunder is where you escort a convoy through hostile territory and again feels like your in Black Hawk Down. Sweep and Clear is the most straight forward and tasks you to find and kill all the insurgents on the map.
The game is fun both online and offline maybe more so offline as the AI is super efficient and make the game easier. The fact that the game does not have any competitive multiplayer, unless you feel like putting a bullet in you buddy’s head, does not hinder gameplay and the mini games make up for the lack of competitive multiplayer. The enemy AI is smart but there are occasions where the just walk towards you aimlessly but that’s one in a million.
Red River is best played on a full HD TV with surround sound but for all you homeless bums who do not own and surround sound system or a big ass TV the game still has beautiful graphics. There are some problems such as when you start a new match the terrain is not properly textured but that does not always happen. The terrain is beautiful and diverse, well as diverse as deserts and forests can be. On the PS3 the game really stands out graphically but the PC is a clear winner as the game’s terrain is amazing each curve and arch of the terrain pops like a fucking jack-in-the-box.
On the PS3 insurgents look like they would in real life dots when far scary as fuck when there close, but on the PC even from afar you could make out the color of the shemag on the insurgents head or the color of the vest on the PLA gunners back. Each muzzle flash to each explosion is beautifully detailed. Even the “pink mist” that appears behind each insurgent after they’re killed is amazingly detailed. The game’s graphics are by far some of the best on the market.
I highly recommend this game to any one who want an ultra realistic experience but if you want another run and gun game this is NOT for you. Each kill is satisfying and each mission is long but fun even if the amount of times you die is high. This game provide a tactical and fun experience even if the story is bland.