Lion Game Lion
Raid: World War II is a four player co-op first-person shooter video game that lets players team up as the Raid crew and venture through events of World War II. The game was developed by Lion Game Lion and was published by Starbreeze Studios for Microsoft Windows
If you were to adapt Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds into a co-operative first-person shooter, you’d get something along the lines of RAID: World War II. It’s 1941 and the onslaught of Hitler’s forces are advancing fast on England. In their most desperate hour, British Secret Intelligence conscribe four criminals with a history of robbing banks and stealing trains and promise them with great riches in return for dismantling the führer’s regime from behind enemy lines.
Set in and around wartime Berlin, RAID: World War II allows up to four players to take on different missions against the Nazis. Whether it involves blowing up tanks or intercepting a convoy, if it bears the swastika, it’s a target. Recruited by Control (played by veteran comic actor John Cleese) and handled by the enigmatic Mrs. White (Rosemary Alldred), these four men are thrown into the hornet’s nest.
Playable either online with other players or offline with AI bots, each of the missions has you working through multiple steps as you make your way towards your ultimate goal, whether it’s blowing up the front of a treasury building so you can loot it contents or infiltrating a flak gun tower so you can take down a nearby airship.
Understandably the Nazis aren’t just going to let you go about your destructive business, and while a few of the missions can, in theory, be completed stealthily, you have so few tools to deal with the eagle eyed soldiers silently that it’s difficult not to end up going all gun blazing. This would be fine since all the best mission movies end with a big shootout, but fighting the enemies in RAID: World War II is an unsatisfying experience to say the least.
One of the best parts of the Payday games was the ebb and flow of the combat as you weathered each police assault, but in this case the pacing feels way more inconsistent as it swings from having no enemies in sight one minute to waves of enemies appearing in what feels like a constant flow the next. These poorly animated, identikit Nazis mill around in packs before hiding out behind cover, or make a beeline for your position, which results in most engagements taking place at close to point blank range.
Raid: World War II is a valiant effort to capture gamers’ attention before the likes of Call of Duty: WWII and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus arrives, but on the shores of such highly anticipated shooters, this game does very little to excite. The A.I. is as wonky as the tower of Giza and as daft as Ernest P. Worrell. The maps within (despite being well designed) are structured in such a way that you feel forced onto specific pathways, removing any incentive to explore. Combat is about as exciting as a watching paint dry and equally almost as annoying and unimaginative. Nevertheless I did rather enjoy the comedy filled FMV sections featuring the iconic John Cleese and a pissed off Adolf Hitler. The upgrade and customization system is solid enough and does prove to be quite a robust and lengthy process, but for everything that Raid: World War II gets right, there’s ten things that it gets wrong. There’s no shortage of shooters on Xbox One, and with more on the horizon before the year is out, you would be better holding out for something with more depth and innovation.