Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update Review – Got Tactics & Teamplay?


Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update
Tripwire Interactive

I was covering the advance of my buddy and squinted ahead through the rain. It was nighttime in Rung Sac, a heavily forested area of Vietnam which featured plenty of bogs and reedy swamps to get mired in. We were playing as the Viet Cong and were going up against the ANZAC forces of Australia and New Zealand.

As my buddy zig-zagged towards our objective, which was the site of an ambushed ANZAC convoy, I dropped to my belly in a prone position for better aiming.


“Hold up, man! I see movement up ahead!” I yelled to my friend, who had just settled behind a rotting tree log for cover.

I’d spotted one of the Aussie’s “giggle hats,” which were similar to the famous boonie hats of the U.S. military forces. It and its wearer emerged from the dark and leaned to one side of a tree to our twelve o’clock. I hit the shift key and activated my steady breathing control, which would make my powerful, Soviet-made SKS-45 carbine even more accurate, and hence, deadly.

I pulled the trigger and let loose a large 7.62 round, which collided with the Aussie’s head, sending him back into the darkness and death. Another Aussie ran to his location, perhaps unnerved that one of his comrades had been killed so close to him. Since I was reloading my weapon’s magazine, I yelled out to my buddy to take the new threat out.


In response, my friend tossed a frag grenade to a location behind the tree that the Aussie was using for cover. I heard a “boom!” and all I saw was the flash of the grenade’s explosion and a disconnected forearm launching up into the air. That was the end of that enemy.

Moments later, reinforcements arrived to help us take over the objective. But could we hold it? The Aussie’s were surely planning a counter-offensive. Since I was playing as a Sapper role, I quickly plunked down some anti-personnel mines around our perimeter. Not soon after that, red ANZAC bullet tracers began whizzing through the air all around us. Our squad leader indicated that we were being flanked from our western side, so my buddy and I decided to go and occupy a lone hooch off in that direction.


My buddy took up a position by one of the hooch’s windows as I placed my last mine at the structure’s rear entrance. He suddenly cried out that he’d spotted a full Aussie squad approaching from the jungle not far from our hooch. Before I could say anything he withdrew his RPG, aimed it, and fired. The back blast of his weapon ignited the air behind it, which also activated my mine. Bad news for us.

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam has always been an intense game—probably one of the most visceral combat games that I’ve ever played. Why? Well, one major reason is that you can literally die from a single, well-placed bullet. This factor makes Rising Storm 2: Vietnam very different from the more commercial shooters out there, such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series of games. In those games, running around like a jackass is common since you can take multiple bullets, even to the head, and keep on truckin’.

When you are playing a much more realistic game such as RS2 Vietnam where death is just around the next corner (or behind the next tree), you tend to slow things down a bit. Many gamers have cited how they initially approached the game—running around like Rambo—and were swiftly cut down. It was only when they realized that utilizing tactics, teamwork, and communication, is when things really fell into place for them. Not only that, but they didn’t die as much and actually began to rack up some kills.


The game’s Steam page main description sums it up quite nicely:

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam offers intense tactical action for up to 64 players in battles between the US forces and the Vietnamese, with each force having their own unique abilities and tactical advantages such as Napalm Strikes, Artillery Barrages, surface-to-air missiles, traps, ambushes and more.”

This is all true. Especially the part about the napalm strikes and artillery barrages, which are so bombastic (couldn’t resist) and ear-splitting that they’re capable of giving anyone PTSD. While the game does indeed deliver as advertised, besides the usual bugs that most games come with these days, the RS2 Vietnam was lacking something. That something was not having enough maps. Indeed, although I loved playing the game because of its gritty realism and emphasis on tactics and teamwork, there were only so many times that I could play Song Be and Hamburger Hill (Hill 937).

Tripwire seemed to be listening, because their new content update (which is free by the way), titled Bushranger, brings not only several new maps, but other goodies as well. Bushranger adds the aforementioned wetlands map of Rung Sac, but also two others: Long Tan and Operation Forrest. Long Tan pits the ANZAC forces against the Vietnamese People’s Liberation Army, as they battle over a sprawling rubber plantation. Operation Forest is well…a large jungle map…with lots of opportunities for ambushes and other sneaky tactics.


The Bushranger update also adds a new faction, the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), as well as new weapons, and a new chopper. Not only that, but a new commander ability has also been added for ANZAC—the Canberra Bomber, which can cause some serious destruction.

The new additions pump new lifeblood into RS2 Vietnam, and has brought many gamers (including me, obviously) back into its fold. They’ve also bumped up some of the textures of both the older maps, as well as the combatants themselves. Everything just looks a little prettier now.

The Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update is a stellar addition to an already intense and realistic tactical shooter game. While casual shooter fans may be put off by it initially, those with enough patience and wherewithal to dig a little deeper and learn the game’s mechanics, will be in for one of the best tactical action games on the market.

SCORE: 90%

Rising Storm 2: Vietnam Bushranger Update features outstanding graphics that make its military action gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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