I know that some gamers say they enjoy games that don't hold your hand, but the older I get, the more I realize that there's nothing wrong with making a game easier to play -- not easier to win, mind you, but easier to play. RWR is a game that requires constant focus to stay alive, but often requires you to hold down a key to bring up an overlay that obscures the action on the ground. That's just poor design.
That covers the game as a whole, but the big question for this review, though, is, is this a good co-op game? Unfortunately, I have to say, this is not a good co-op game. A good co-op experience takes the game to the next level. It can make a game that's mediocre when played solo into a good game, and can make a good solo game into a fantastic game. In RWR, though, playing with my friends didn't feel much different than playing solo. The maps are so large that often you and your friends will be fighting well apart from each other, which isn't always a bad thing strategically, because friendly fire is definitely on. And even if you are playing with several friends, most of the soldiers on your own army will be played by the AI, and sometimes you feel like you're just along for the ride, as opposed to pushing the action. The regular respawning, too, can make this feel more like a shared activity rather than a team game. You don't those great co-op moments of an RPG or a Payday where you've worked as a close-knit team and end a match bruised and bloodied, but narrowly victorious.
One good thing about co-op is that the difficulty is finely adjustable. A big problem in many games is getting the difficulty right--too easy and too hard can both kill the fun in a hurry.
But my gaming group won't be playing RWR very often. I can tell the game has a lot more depth that we've yet to fully understand, but the gameplay just isn't enjoyable enough for us to want to keep playing.
The good news is that, if you are curious, you can download and play a demo of RWR on Steam. The demo only lets you play quick solo matches, but will expose you to most of the gameplay, and as I've said, if you don't enjoy playing solo, it's not going to get better with co-op. If you decide to pick up the full game, play the campaign instead of quick matches.
The Co-Op Experience: Features a co-op campaign mode that pits teams of human players against AI opponents.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.