To begin with, I am a veteran of the original Red Orchestra. Not because that makes me better than someone else here. I just want to point it out before people start to accuse me for being a CoD players.
What I liked about Red Orchesta 1 was how different it was from other shooters. Maps was quite open and free, I couldn't pick any role I wanted and get into the game. There was loads of vehicles (bikes, tanks, halftracks) and much attention fell on small details. Historical accuracy, many small details such as being able to remove your bayonette with the press of a button or changing barrels on the MG, or issuing quite complex orders. The combat felt extremely immersive. The gamelay was much more slowpaced than in many other shooters. There was no special weapons or ''perks'', or any quick fixes. The HUD was down to a minimum. The game was brutal and unforgiving. This meant that you had to rely completely on your own skills.
When someone manage to kill you, they did not do so because they had a better unlock, or a better perk that gave them better aiming, they did so because they were simply better than you. Better at scouting their surrounding, better reflexes, better at aiming..just a better player. And this meant that you had to restart from mainspawn. Sometimes far away. Shooting itself was never just a case of 'point and press'. Only the most experienced players could do the most amazing shoots. It took great effort and practise. Then the mod Darkest Hour was released. It basically improved everything in Red Orchestra Ostfront and made it all much better.
With Red Orchestra 2, things were changed in order ''to appeal to a wider audience'' as TWI put it. They even put a banner saying ''Why Red Orchestra 2 will beat Call of Duty: Black Ops''. Just for this cause, they implemented the tiresome features clearly inspired from many other generic FPS games: recon plane, progression system, unlocks, perks, much faster gameplay, more twitchshooting, more HUD details, spawn on squadleader, smaller maps, and removal of ''advanced'' features such as a command system, pick up and drop ammo, detachable/removable bayonettes. No more bikes, halftracks, or a wide variety of tanks. Instead more focus on interrior. So much focus that only 1-2 tanks could be released and no more than that. But no one would need halftracks because the maps are so small! No moral historial accuracy but rather people running around with MkB and silenced weapons... in Stalingrad. Ostfront was not the perfect game... but it was a great game even though it had its flaws.
Ironically, they (TWI) recently complained about how ''CoD have ruined a generations of gamers'' in an article. They (TWI) did not only screw up with a buggy, unstable release, but they released the game in a overall horrible state. So a lot of time and effort had to be put to improve Realism Mode (it was even more unrealistic before) and finally they released ''Action Mode'' about a year later aswell as Classic Mode. They left their fans behind by offering them a cheap ''Classic Mode'' aswell as offering CoD players ''Action Mode''. But the truth is that it is horrible modes that tries to be something it isn't. How many people play Action Mode? Well, a few, but as soon as the free weekend is over people leave. Same thing with Classic. Realism Mode only holds a low amount of players except in free weekends.
The game tries to make everyone happy. What is does is that it fails, and only make a few people happy. This approach have almost killed the whole community. It have devided it. I have been in the community for a long time. Many years ago Tripwire made a lot of promises on their board. Promises that never was held. They left their fans behind. People that had been supporting them since Red Orchestra: Combined Arms. Which was the very first game, before Red Orchestra Ostfront. If it wasn't for those people Tripwire wouldn't exist. Because their game started off as a mod. Tripwire managed to abandon their old fans and they effectively killed the biggest (and very important) Competetive Community, called Roladder. It got closed down. It's website is gone and their relationship with Tripwire broken.
There is no wonder why people complain about RO2. It tries to appeal to almost everyone and the effect is that only a small amount of people is happy with the game. Fact is that they can't compete with CoD and at the same time trying to stay true to their roots. This is why they need free weekends all the time: to get new players into the game. But as soon as its over, the player count gets low again.
For those of you that haven't played RO1 you should try it out. There is STILL people playing it despite the fact that it is outdated, despite its advanced years. It is a great game and if you play it you will experience something you've never experienced before. It is a game in its own rights. RO2 is also that, but it takes to much from other shooters which makes it unstable and LESS unique.
Don't play RO2.
Play RO1. It might be outdated, but there are far more features in it. Tanks, halftracks, much better firefights, more content, way more realistic than RO2 (there are no unlocks, perks, or a lot of HUD elements, no spawn on SL etc). RO1 is on Life support, but with your help, you can keep this strong game alive EVEN longer. RO1 also have a better Community. Most of the RO2 Community consist of kids and CoD fanatics. This is why there is almost no teamwork. RO2 community is devided.
This is RO1.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKLMNlv-zqY