Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
Nice, but where's the trigger?
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Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad is a 2011 first-person shooter developed by Tripwire Interactive, and the sequel to Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45. As an FPS, it is noticeable for its intense tactical realism. The game, set in the brutal Battle of Stalingrad, features a singleplayer mode for both the Allied Red Army and the Axis Wehrmacht, as well as a teamwork-orientated multiplayer mode with several different game types. Players can also operate T-34/76 and Panzer IV tanks in both gameplay modes.
Several unique features in-game, among others, include firearms with sights that can be adjusted by the player, player usable iron sights on rifles with telescopic sights fitted as well as realistic ballistic drop and barrel replacement for MG 34 LMGs. Players can also operate four stations in the featured tanks; driver, gunner, commander and radio operator/hull machine gunner. A featured cover system also allows players to take more advantage of cover (not unlike Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway). Both tanks are noticeable for their impressive designs for detail and immersion, including fully modeled interiors as well as reload animations for the guns.
The game also features stat progression where players can advance their honor, class and weapon levels to unlock character upgrades and skins. Honor level starts at 10 while class and weapon levels both start at Level 0. Small arms can be unlocked as well as upgrades, skins and sometimes attachments for every weapon.
The game received a standalone expansion known as Rising Storm, focusing on the Pacific front of WWII.
Trivia: When sprinting, Soviet soldiers hold their weapons with both hands, while German soldiers hold their weapons with their right hand at the balance point (or "trail carry").
The following firearms appear in Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad:
The main German rifle of World War II, the Karabiner 98k is used by the Axis "Riflemen", "Elite Riflemen" and "Marksman" classes. It is loaded mainly using 5-round stripper clips, but (and uniquely in games) can be 'topped off' with single rounds. The "Marksman" class is issued the rifle fitted with a 4x Zeiss ZF39 telescopic sight. At release, a bayonet and an anachronistic winter trigger guard (not available on the scoped rifle) could be unlocked in multiplayer mode at level 25, followed by an upgrade to remove the hood from the front sight at level 50. The winter trigger guard, which was never actually modeled in the game, was removed in a subsequent patch. The "Marksman" class can unlock an Ajack 6x scope with a crosshair-type reticle at level 25, and an attached bayonet at level 50.
The ill-fated forerunner of the Gewehr 43 rifle, the Gewehr 41(W) is used by the Axis "Elite Riflemen", "Marksman" "Squad Leader" and "Commander" classes. The rifle holds 10 rounds in a fixed box magazine, loaded using 5-round clips and 'topped off' with single rounds. Note that the (W) designates that the rifle seen in-game was the type manufactured by Walther rather then Mauser. The "Marksman" class is issued the rifle fitted with a ZF41 1.5x long eye relief sight. A bayonet attachment, as well as a 4x scope for the scoped rifle, can be unlocked in multiplayer mode. Note that this 4x scope is actually the ZF4 that entered service as part of the G43 "package", the same way the Soviet PU scope was designed to fit the SVT-40 - the scope was never used in Stalingrad and was not in service at the time. No evidence exists that the scope was ever mounted on the G41 by the Germans, the only known examples of ZF4s on G41 rifles being postwar modifications. As it is portrayed in game, the scope is mounted using a 1944 K98-type swept mount which is rare in itself; it is also mounted so far forwards on the rifle that proper eye relief would be impossible, rendering the scope useless. Ingame markings also seem to have been "borrowed" from the G43, as they do not match actual G41 production.
The G41's annular gas ring was a serious problem in combat, rendering the rifle extremely unreliable when dirty or fouled. The G41 was disliked and eventually withdrawn from service, with the G43 copying the Soviet SVT-40 gas system instead - a more conventional, more reliable piston type.
Several classes can use the weapon except in Classic mode, where it is regulated to the Elite Riflemen, Marksman and Commander only.
The early prototype of the iconic Sturmgewehr 44, the MKb 42(H) is used by the Axis "Assault" class. The rifle is loaded using 30-round magazines. A bayonet and ZF41 sight attachment can be unlocked in multiplayer mode. Unlike the StG 44 which was based upon it, the MKb 42 fires from an open bolt, with an MP 40-style safety notch rather than an actual mechanical safety device.
It is possible the MKB 42(H) was used in Stalingrad for field testing, though no evidence proves this.
The PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle is a Soviet-manufactured weapon but is available to both Allies and Axis as captured weaponry under the (historically accurate) PZB 784(K) designation. The rifle is loaded with a 5-round en-bloc clip and must be deployed to fire although it can be ammo checked and reloaded whilst undeployed.
The iconic MP 40 submachine gun is carried by the Axis "Assault" and "Squad Leader" classes. It is loaded with 32-round magazines. An exceptionally rare experimental type, the MP 40-II, can be unlocked in multiplayer mode as well. This version loads two separate 32-round magazines into a sliding assembly; the user must manually switch it from one position to the other upon emptying the first magazine. This prototype was unreliable and unpopular, never advancing to large-scale production.
There are many variants of the MG 34 machine gun in the game. The light machine gun variant is issued to the Axis "Machine Gunner" class with a bipod and uses a 50-round belt contained within a detachable drum. A 75-round double drum magazine and 75-round belt (historically inaccurate as these configurations were not used in Stalingrad nor carried by infantry as small arms) can be unlocked in multiplayer mode. The gun is also mounted coaxially and in the hull of the Panzer IV tank. The gun can be fired in single-shot mode except for the coaxially mounted variant. For the LMG variant, it has to be either deployed or the player prone before the iron sights can be used; although it can be fired from the hip (at reduced accuracy), ammo checked and reloaded whilst undeployed, as with the PTRS-41. The LMG variant's barrel overheats quickly if fired fully automatic at a constant rate and the barrel will burst if used this way for too long. The player must replace the barrel when this happens or the gun will not fire. The HMG version does not overheat, despite its only distinction from the LMG being a tripod mounting and longer belt feed.
An update brings the MG42 in the game. The MG42 in-game initially has the 1200 RPM of earlier models, capable of blistering through its default 50 round drum magazine in less than a second or two and almost bursting the barrel with only a few short bursts, it also possesses alarming recoil even when deployed with significant muzzle rise even with a short burst. At level 25 the player will receive a 250 round belt which was common on most MG42's wartime and at level 50, the player will receive an extra belt of ammunition and a reduction of its fire rate from 1200 RPM to 900 RPM to maintain it's barrel and ammunition supply.
While the MG42 actually saw limited use at Stalingrad, the game's depiction commits the common error of showing the weapon with the post-1943 vertical charging handle instead of the period-appropriate and rare slab-sided horizontal handle.
The Mauser C96 pistol is mainly available as a unlock in multiplayer mode, but it is also used during the Axis "Basic Training" mission in the singleplayer mode. It loads using a stripper clip to feed its integral 10-round magazine, and can only reload with the stripper clip when the gun is empty. Despite being modeled as the "Bolo" variant with a shortened barrel and grip, its multiplayer upgrades are a detachable 20-round box magazine at level 25, with select-fire and a stock (essentially turning it into an M712 Schnellfeuer) at level 50. The real "Bolo" could not accept detachable magazines or a select-fire mechanism.
The Walther P38 is a sidearm used by the Axis. It is loaded using an 8-round magazine. A black pistol grip, a purely aesthetic feature, can be unlocked for the weapon.
Model 24 Grenade
Referred to ingame as the M1939 Grenade, the Model 24 Stielhandgranate is carried by the Axis as the standard grenade.
NG 39 Smoke Grenade
The Axis "Squad Leader" class carries a couple of Nebelhandgranate 39 smoke grenades.
HHL 3kg AT Grenade
The Axis "Anti-tank" and "Engineer" classes both carry a couple of HHL anti-tank charges. They are incorrectly depicted ingame as impact-fused anti-tank grenades. The HHL is a magnetic mine with a time fuse, it had to be physically placed on the tank itself.
The Axis "Engineer" class carry a couple of satchel charges.
7.5 cm Pak 40
Unusable 7.5 cm Pak 40 anti-tank guns are seen on some multyplayer maps like the reworked "Stalingrad Kessel" map.
8.8 cm FlaK 37
Some FlaKs 37 can be seen on the reworked maps.
MG15 machine guns can be seen on destroyed Stuka Ju 87 dive bombers.
The Stuka dive bombers are also armed with wing-mounted MG17 machine guns.
The MG34 is also available as a heavy machine gun mounted on a lafette tripod as a stationary weapon and the Panzer IV tank are equipped with the Panzeröauf variant.
Mosin Nagant M91/30
The Mosin Nagant M91/30 rifle is issued to the Allied "Riflemen" and "Elite Riflemen" classes. It is loaded mainly using 5-round stripper clips and is available with a sniper variant for the "Marksman" class. A bayonet attachment can be unlocked for the infantry rifle and at level 50 for the sniper rifle (though it is unlikely a Sniper would make use of one). Sniper variants include the 3.5x PU, introduced around the time of Stalingrad and therefore fairly rare during the battle (this is the starting version), a top-mounted 4x PEM (level 25, and fairly common at the time), and at level 50 the side-mounted PEM (by far the most common type during the battle of Stalingrad and used by the most famous snipers, including Zaytsev and Chekhov. If anything, this should have been the initial scope, not the PU). In addition, early PU scopes were visually very different from the later (post-1943) production example the ingame model is based off of. The first PU scopes had brass lens fittings, squared-off bases for the adjustment drums, and were often made of a light alloy known as 'silium'. The existing stock of SVT-40 PU scopes was also drawn upon, resulting in many 1942-43 91/30 sniper rifles bearing these. The SVT-40 variant of the PU scope is easily identified by the longer cut for the mount used on that rifle, causing a visible 'step up' in tube diameter when mounted on a 91/30.
The Tokarev SVT-40 as well as a sniper variant is issued to the Allied "Elite Rifleman", "Marksman", "Squad Leader" and "Commander" classes (Realism Mode only, Restricted to Marksman, Elite Riflemen and Commander in Classic). It is loaded mainly using 10-round magazines but can also be loaded using 5-round stripper clips.
A fully-automatic variant, designated the AVT-40 (produced to supplement machine-gun production and fairly unliked by troops), is also available for the "Assault" class (Realism Mode only, Restricted to Elite Assault in Classic Mode). Aside from being able to switch between fully auto or semi-auto, the AVT-40 in-game is identical to the SVT-40 in every aspect.
All variants have a plum-colored bolt finish as well as electro penciled markings on the bolt handle which show that the rifle had been through the postwar rearsenal process, making the rifles in-game slightly anachronistic. A bayonet attachment is available for all variants as an unlock as well as a 6x PEM scope for the sniper variant. This is inaccurate as the PEM is a large 4x scope. The 6x scope shown in-game was an experimental modified PU type which was produced in minuscule (double digits) quantities and never passed the initial testing phase. The AVT-40 can unlock a 3.5x PU scope, though real AVT-40s never borescopes as the SVT-40 itself was rather unimpressive as a sniper rifle. A muzzle brake is also provided at Level 50, reducing its recoil drastically.
The PPSh-41 submachine gun is used by the Allied "Assault", "Engineer", "Squad Leader" and "Commander" classes (Realism mode only, Restricted to Elite Assault, Assault, Commander and Engineer in Classic Mode). It loads using a 35-round stick magazine. A 71-round drum magazine can be unlocked in multiplayer (Comes standard with the weapon in Classic Mode, does not need to be unlocked). In real life, the drum magazines were more common at this point in the war than the 35-round stick magazines.
The PPS-42 appears with an update. It has a 35-round stick magazine. Initially it does not feature its metal folding stock instead having it unlocked at Level 25 which vastly reduces the weapons recoil on full auto. At Level 50, the player receives two extra magazines.
Allied "Machine Gunners" are issued the Degtyaryov DP-28 light machine gun, which is loaded using a 47-round drum magazine and has a bipod for stability. Unlike its German counterpart, its barrel cannot be replaced in-game. This is in contrast with the real DP-28, with Tripwire stating that their research indicated that most DP-28 gunners did not carry spare barrels (Possibly because of the slower rate of fire than the MG34) and therefore they were not included in the game. Like the MG 34, it has to be either deployed or the player prone before the iron sights can be used; although players can fire from the hip (at reduced accuracy), ammo check and reload whilst undeployed.
The Nagant M1895 revolver is sidearm for the Allies. It holds seven rounds and the cylinder is reloaded with loose rounds. A suppressor can be unlocked in multiplayer.
The Tokarev TT-33 pistol can be unlocked in multiplayer as a sidearm. It is loaded using 8-round magazines.
F-1 Hand Grenade
The F-1 Hand Grenade is the main grenade issued to the Allies.
RDG-1 Smoke Grenade
A smoke grenade issued to the "Squad Leader" and "Commander" classes for the Soviets.
RPG-40 AT Grenade
An RPG-40 Anti-tank grenade issued to the "Engineer" and "Anti-tank" classes.
Soviet 3kg Satchel
The Soviet "Engineer" class is issued a couple of satchel charges.
The Degtyaryov DT machine gun is mounted on the T-34/76 tank and used by the main gunner as a coaxially mounted weapon and by the radio operator/hull machine gunner.
M1942 (ZiS-3) 76mm Divisional Gun
Several ZiS-3 Divisional Guns can be seen on multiplayer maps.
The Maxim M1910 is used as a fixed heavy machine gun by the Soviets. It is noticeable for its slow rate of fire and large ammunition belt compared to its German counterpart. Single shots can be fired in the same manner as the MG 34, by using the 'secondary fire' feature; this was not a feature in real life, and is not really necessary either, given the slow rate of fire. It is entirely likely Tripwire simply reused the coding from the MG34 and forgot or neglected to remove this.