I’ll be honest, RAID: World War 2 flew pretty far under my radar. It wasn’t until launch trailers and other things started to fly past my head that I decided to take notice, however, there’s a part of me that wished the game would have stayed under.
For those who don’t know, RAID: World War 2 is published by the developers of Payday 2, one of the biggest co-op shooters on the PC market. The game itself is a co-op shooter, so you’d naturally think that Starbreeze, the developer of one of the biggest co-op shooters, would lend its name to an equally decent co-op shooter? Well, you’re wrong.
RAID: World War 2 is what Payday 2 would have been if it launched on Xbox 360 back in 2008 and was based in the 1940s.
The whole premise of RAID: World War 2 is team work however my time with the game was mostly being thrust into single games as there is literally no one playing the game. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if the game’s AI was anything to write home about, but it really isn’t. Your AI team mates stay at the starting area until shit hits the fan and then they magically teleport to your position. Their shooting is about as accurate as a Startrooper’s first day on the job, and their repetitive dialogue is beyond annoying.
AI team mates aside, the game is hardly unique and easily forgettable. The first mission has you infiltrating a Nazi bunker to deactivate gas valves and take down a Zepplin, pretty straight forward if it wasn’t for the fact that the entire game is a clunky stiff mess. Aiming down the sight becomes almost painful as you slowly drag your crosshair left and right in the hopes that it’ll hit one of the enemies, and hit box detection is almost non-existant as enemies barely flinch at being shot at point blank range. There’s no distinguishable difference between an enemy being shot in the face or in the leg, nor is there a difference between the way enemies take a hit whether it’s an injury or a straight up kill.
I found multiple enemies I thought I’d killed later raise from the dead and get me from behind which made an already frustrating and painful experience ten-times worse. In a handy guide provided with the game code, we’re informed that the game is a little more “old school” so finding cover is a must. However, there is no cover system, you literally crouch behind a box or some other obstacle, only to be flanked by a tank character with a flame thrower.
RAID: World War 2 felt like a game which shouldn’t be on this generation. Sure, we might have been spoiled by great AAA shooters like Battlefield 1, but even games with a not-so-huge budget manage to impress. This game on the other hand felt like a game from the later era of Xbox 360 / PS3 titles.
It’s a real shame as the game has a great premise. A co-op shooter where you and three other friends can work together to take down waves of enemies, but it’s just nothing of the sort, especially when no one is playing the game to begin with. You’d think that they’d at least work hard to create a robust single player or solo mode, but it’s just as painful with and without other players.
I know it’s difficult to compare the game to Payday 2, however it’s also pretty difficult to escape when the game takes on a similar concept, also the fact that all over the Steam store there are mentions of the game itself as well as a discount to Payday owners, so it’s difficult to shake this comparison, and maybe that’s the problem.
RAID: World War 2 certainly isn’t Payday 2, nor is it any sort of successor to the game. If anything, you could be mistaken to think that this is actually a rip-off of Payday, but again it isn’t as Starbreeze are publishing the game.
There are several things which could make RAID a pretty decent game, such as the level of customisation, the use of cards, the ability to build and upgrade your hideout, however in order to make any progress on this you’re required to slog through the game’s fairly weak gameplay, which is honestly quite painful.
The only thing good about the game was the live-action introduction which saw John Cleese talk through the reason why you’ve been recruited onto the front line. Other than that, there’s honestly little I can say positively about this game. Maybe it’s the fact that I played the game on Xbox One? Probably. But that’s no excuse.