RAID: WWII is a co-op FPS game by Lion Game Lion set in the WW2 era that is firmly based on the roots of the Payday 2 formula. Gear up with up to four people in an online match or choose to play the game lone-wolf. Whatever you choose, you will have several missions to tackle from robbing an art gallery, destroying a train track, robbing a Nazi bank of its gold, and a lot more. If one thing this game does better than Payday 2 its the variation of the missions. But sadly, that is about the only thing it does better.
“MISTAKES WERE MADE”
RAID: WWII had a lot of potential but all the polish that it needed to have to survive in the AAA market, it just doesn’t have. It really hurts to look at it that way because there is a diamond in the rough at the bottom of it all. RAID: WWII is not a pretty game, at all. Graphics do not make a game but when you have an incredibly lit and detailed intro cinematic as shown above in still frame… its VERY jarring with what you do get in return. Chalk it up to a mix of poor texture quality and the lack of ambiance lighting as demonstrated above… and RAID: WWII just looks pre 2007 by any standard today.
But graphics aren’t most important so lets not hammer it there. What does grind some gears is when the game looks bad AND plays very poorly (as if there was not even a trade off of performance versus looks). The frame-rate can drop into the teens and in heavy action, it most certainly will. This is speaking from a console PS4 experience. Parts of the world map will also glitch in and out if you pan the camera too quick in certain areas.
RAID: WWII about the most jarring experience to have in some time and it is riddled with even more bugs (with one particular mind-blowing bug where part of the map copies itself and when doing so blocks the doorway back into your operations base, making the mission unbeat-able). The game crashes to the blue Playstation error codes almost more than actual playtime and getting into a lobby with other players almost never works right the first few times (that is if you can even get in without it kicking you to the home screen). Oh and another thing about the home screen… I hope you don’t want to play as soon as you start the game because you will be forced to watch at least 1 minute of the intro cinematic before it will let you skip to said home-screen. It really just wants to make you pull your hair out. There is just one error after another and makes the game at large unplayable at an enjoyable level; it had to be rushed right? Right???
To further illustrate the point with game-play, there is a bulleted list below:
- Gunplay isn’t all that good with no incentive to use bolt action rifles or even your side arm for that matter.
- AI is too basic and animations for the characters are stiffer than the IRS.
- Still more blue screens of Playstation death.
- You get game modifier cards that actually make the game even more impossible to play, on purpose.
- You got more to do compared to Payday 2 but its not as smooth so everything just feels cumbersome.
It honestly could go on and on.
DEAR AUDIOPHILE: The game live-action-cinematic audio is very low quality. One of the first videos you see and subsequent videos have audio so compressed that even Jack in his box is green with envy. The following in-game audio is not too impressive either for quality. You have upbeat tracks that kick in when things get harry like Payday 2, but is marred even in comparison and can get tiring after not too long; some voice overs also feel as if they were done in a can.
ANY REDEEMING QUALITIES?
For as much as was gone on before this part of the review, there are at least some positive things that will come down to if you view them as such. The game has a “Hogan’s Heroes” meets “The A-Team” kind of feel to it when analyzed. When you beat a mission, a live action cinematic of “Hitler” reacting to the reports of your activities can cause a chuckle here and there. Everything is over the top for comedic effect and much is the same with the dynamics of dialogue between squad members and in-game interactions. However, this will will not appease everyone and the slapstick nature of it all certainly isn’t for everyone.
For those who like leveling up and upgrading items, RAID: WWII has a progression tree you can use to upgrade weapons to be more effective battle. You can sort of get from a design point why they’d do this since it feels like you can accomplish even more in the game, but this does lead to poor starting weapons with laughable damage. That aside, each class (one of four) has a special ability that gains over play that can be used against the enemy. Each ability is locked to your current class (also one of four) and can do things such as give you “predator vision”, instantly heal you, give you better accuracy, etc etc. Certainly if anything, this is an incentive to play good.
In a way much similar to the classic Halo “skull modifiers”, RAID: WWII has a card system in place that allows you to pick and activate cards you get through playing that alter the gameplay. Some will make the gameplay harder and some will also help you. The ones that make it harder are kind of laughable (as alluded to earlier) with all the mess surrounding the actual game, but the modifiers that help you will prove to be a boon. This idea was a good part of the game if anything and no one would say that it doesn’t somewhat encourage replay-ability; it is certainly one thing over Payday 2.
Otherwise, this game is very basic and even dare we say, broken. The first Payday was great (very fun actually if not limited by its small size). While Starbreeze may not have made this game personally, you can map out a path of degradation that has come down from the first Payday. It’s kind of a hard pill to swallow since the premise for RAID: WWII was such a good one, even among the genre resurgence. What should have felt that a spiritual Payday 2 feels more like a spiritual Enemy Front sequel.