by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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A free-to-play, class-based multiplayer shooter by GameSpy that gets a lot of the gameplay mechanics right but suffers from low player population.
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The Eagle Rises
Gamers geeked up on the popular Alliance of Valiant Arms or War Rock might find an equally appealing title in the GameSpy powered shooter, Rising Eagle. This free-to-play online multiplayer shooter is highly under-promoted and is actually quite recent. While at first the game appears to be a cheap, knock-off shooter with simplistic squad functions and large, unremarkable maps, after putting in some extra time with the game it became strikingly obvious that Rising Eagle is the real deal. It’s a game that will surely appeal to any gamer looking for an all-around solid shooter with mild futuristic elements and commendable shooting mechanics.
However, while the first paragraph heaps enough praise on the game to give the impression that it’s worth playing, there are a few drawbacks gamers definitely need to be aware of before diving head first into this high-quality shooter. Keep reading to find out what else this game does right and wrong in this Rising Eagle review.
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There’s an entirely solid control scheme in place for Rising Eagle. Maneuvering through the stages is quite easy and players can even peep around corners – albeit the feature is rather cheaply implemented but it works well, nonetheless.
The real highlight of Rising Eagle comes in the form of its solid-as-a-rock shooting mechanics. Much like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series the shooting is based on firing a couple of shots and watching bodies drop. This means that the gameplay is highly reliant on cover mechanics, sniping spots and tons of obstructions and empty buildings working as a canvas for cover fire or suppression points. I especially liked the way turret guns were strategically positioned where they were out in the open but covered enough so that teammates could lay down cover fire to help keep opponents at bay.
Another neat feature is that if it looks like you nailed a headshot with any of the guns in the game, chances are you nailed a headshot. I love that pointing the cursor and pressing the button at something employs results. It’s easy to get kills and get killed in Rising Eagle but it keeps things moving along and it’s stylized to help new and veteran shooter fans get in the nitty-gritty of things without too much of an imbalance.
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Now the game sports up to 32 players per map with up to 16 players per team. This is all handled quite well with a squad leader and several sub-teams within each main team. There are a variety of soldier classes within the game and supposedly 40 weapons available for players to unlock and earn as they level up.
One of the other original concepts implemented is minor environmental destruction that features the option for players to shoot through or break down certain walls, glasses or obstructions. It’s a minor feature that is easily overlooked unless players are using some of the more high-powered weaponry to really make a difference when shooting a wall.
The maps are designed so that there is just about enough room for all players to maneuver while at the same time ensuring that all players stay engaged. Now there are several maps per location and a total of about four locations. Each map has its own unique design that separates it from the next map over.
And while everything is set in place for a solid design there’s nothing really different about the experience that truly separates it from a game like Alliance of Valiant Arms or Operation 7.
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Graphics And Audio
Visually the game is entirely competent. The model files aren’t altogether bad and the gun models are appeasing enough for just about any shooter fan. My only gripe was that even with the graphics turned all the way up and the framerate taking a major beating because of it, I couldn’t actually see the improvements. It’s a real shame because in a game like Karma: Operation Barbarossa or Operation 7, the visual details could easily be spotted out going from high to low or vice versa, where-is with Rising Eagle I actually couldn’t tell the medium settings from the high settings.
The real aesthetic highlight for Rising Eagle comes in the form of its audio features. The game sports some nicely done gun firing sounds that really helps bring an enthusiastic feeling to the overall immersion factors. Environmental and ambient effects aren’t too bad either, as bullet ricochets and glass shattering effects sound authentic enough.
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Rising Eagle’s strong point resides in its overly competent game design and evenly balanced gameplay infrastructure. And while the game offers nothing particularly new or original, making it closer to the likes of Cross Fire or Sudden Attack, it does sport entirely solid interaction for players that makes it seem like a convincingly fun game to play. However, the biggest drawback is that there are hardly any players online.
I’m not sure how GameSpy could be behind such a well-designed shooter that never has any players on but that’s exactly how it is. In result, we have a decent multiplayer online shooter with no one playing. Maybe they’ll spark a campaign to get more players involved, but until then even if I recommend gamers to at least try out Rising Eagle there won’t be a whole lot of competition given the empty servers, which is a real shame.