The return of the highly awaited sequel is soon to be here. This year Return Fire II will blow the walls off of the action-strategy gaming et with the most advanced features in gaming -- including a new 3D engine, full support for 3-D accelerator boards as well as full joystick support including Microsoft Force Feedback. Through intense combat scenarios and new aerial dogfights, you play against your computer or your friends in death matches via the Internet or LAN.
The game is simple you must "Capture the Flag". Ah but wait sounds easy right: wrong. You must utilize up to six different vehicles - the Double Barrel Tank, a PT Boat, a Harrier Jump Jet, the Helicopter, Armored Support Vehicle, and finally the Jeep. Unfortunately you can only use one vehicle at time. In addition to that you must face anti-aircraft missiles, gun turrents, and much more. But here's the kicker the enemy has the same six vehicles you do.
The combination of situations is endless, and strategy becomes a big factor. Don't expect to just run around in your tank ramming and shooting everything in sight. You'll face an early grave. You must manage your time and vehicles smartly to overcome the opposition.
One of my favorite features is the extensive multi-player option. Two players can compete cooperatively against the computer via team play. Two to sixteen players can battle in the Competitive Mode or pair up in the Partner Mode. Dogfighting is independent from the main game, pitting player vs. player in an airborne shootout.
The Graphics in the game are good, but not overly impressive. The gameplay is smooth and I noticed no slowdown or tears in the graphics. You'll love the explosions and the sheer joy of running over a jeep is enough for me. The overall gameplay is confusing at first, but if you keep it simple: Defend, Destroy, Capture Flag, you'll do fine. The computer AI is aggressive, but they seem to follow the same pattern.
Unfortunately the sound in Return Fire 2 is not up to snuff. There's a really rocking intro but that's it. You're subjected to just weapon sound effects during gameplay. I was disappointed at this but it will pass. Also there is no soundtrack, to keep you from falling asleep.
Finally, I enjoyed playing Return Fire 2; it had all the qualities of a good real-time strategy game. They're plenty of features for you mess with, Single - double, multi-player online. Which will keep you busy a long time. You can tell this game was built for Multiplayer action. The single player campaigns are not that involved. But this game has the one factor that keeps it alive "fun".
The original Return Fire was one of those games that helped break down some of the barriers between hardcore action and strategy gamers. Now, the team at Rip Cord has done it all over again with Return Fire 2 -- a game which sticks to the same simple principles as the original, but does it in a way that's even more likely to widen the appeal of the genre. Featuring more than 30 new maps (each with a considerable amount of geography to cover), a shiny new 3D engine, and new vehicles to control, Return Fire 2 goes places the original never dreamed of.
Despite the many improvements, Return Fire 2 boasts the same simple gameplay as the original. In fact, most of you have been playing this game in one form or another since first grade. The game is capture the flag, and although it will require a strong sense of strategy, quick thinking, and a lot of firepower to capture the flag in Return Fire 2, that simple goal remains your final objective.
Compared to the deliberately understated graphics of the original, Return Fire 2 is a visual knockout. Lush green hills, crystal clear ocean waters, and detailed structures and vehicles all contribute to the new look and feel of the game. Also seeing a big improvement are the special effects graphics like the explosion of an enemy tank or the smoke trails of an outgoing missile. All this added realism goes a long way to draw the player into the action and increase the urgency of the gameplay. It also makes a big difference that, this time around, players are invited to experience the action in a first person or ground-level perspective which only intensifies the battles that much more.
Further adding to the appeal of the game is a variety of multi-player options. From 16-player Internet and LAN play to four-player split-screen action on one computer, this is a game that screams to be played against friends. Fortunately, the one-player mode, although strangely difficult to get to via the clunky game interface, is nearly as rewarding as a giant multi-player match, and features a challenging foe in the computer opponent.
Every once in a while a developer happens upon a gameplay idea that's so easy it just can't go wrong. Such is the case with the Return Fire series. About the only places the game stumbles at all are in its awkward user interface, which will have you searching through unnecessary options just trying to get into the game, and the in-game control, which can be a little unfriendly at times.
If you never played the original, you owe it to yourself to jump on board now and experience a game which is at once different from anything else you've every played and yet strangely familiar and comfortable from the very start. If you're already a fan of the original then expect even bigger challenges with huge new maps, cool vehicles, and an extremely flattering face-lift.
People who downloaded Return Fire 2 have also downloaded:
Return Fire, Real War, Real War: Rogue States, Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, Railroad Tycoon 2: Platinum, Project Earth: Starmageddon, Reunion, Perfect General 2
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