As games like Destiny, Borderlands and Left 4 Dead have proven, gamers gravitate to well-designed cooperative shooters in droves. Starbreeze Studios tapped into that success with the popular Payday franchise, allowing four players to team up and attempt daring heists while gunning down a precinct’s worth of police officers and SWAT teams. Raid: World War II attempts to build off the success of Payday, using much of the same infrastructure for an Inglorious Basterds-inspired experience. But unlike the game and film developer Lion Game Lion tries so hard to emulate, Raid fails more than it succeeds thanks to its dated foundation and sloppy execution.
Raid: World War II welcomes players into the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Facing insurmountable odds in the face of Hitler’s Wehrmacht, Winston Churchill commissions one of his underlings (played by Monthy Python legend John Cleese) to explore unconventional warfare. His solution? Enlist a deadly group of thieves, renegades, and deserters and tell them throw out the rules of engagement, smoking out the Germans in any way these dastardly agents see fit. If some of Hitler’s gold happens to go missing in the process, so be it. Each mission concludes with a goofy full-motion-video Hitler skit showing the Führer boiling over with rage, angsty defeat, or resignation as you pluck away at his army. These attempts at levity fall flat more often than they hit the mark.
Choosing from one of four characters and classes, you set up base in a shelled church behind enemy lines. From these modest digs, you can choose from a dozen or so missions that range from derailing trains filled with gold to infiltrating well-fortified Nazi strongholds to take out SS scientists. Players can use any currency they confiscate on these raids to upgrade their digs from a decrepit hovel to an impressive headquarters filled with luxury furniture and expensive paintings. Missions also earn XP that funnels into a basic…
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