Because running with scissors isn’t dangerous enough
So this is fun. I bumped into mention of it Frdiay in a comment on RPS, downloaded the demo and pretty much immediately bought the beta.
RUNNING WITH RIFLES is a top-down sandbox shooter for PC/Windows, with emphasis on cooperation, squad leading and being a tiny soldier in a big war. The events take place on an open world battlefield divided between two factions, each trying to capture bases from the opposite side until the enemy has been wiped out from the area. The player takes the role of a private and fights along his/her comrades controlled by AI, slowly gaining influence over fellow soldiers through rank promotions from success in battles.
As you fight through you will gain rank - stand next to a bunch of soldiers as a Lance Corporal and one will start following you. You can eventually get promoted to the degree that 10 little AI dudes will follow you. They’ll also key off of your actions - if you crouch, then they’ll go on alert. If you have a suppressed weapon, like the MP5SSD, then your little buddies will only shoot if the enemy is shooting, or if they’re shouting out the alert. In addition to these activity keys, you can issues two direct squad commands right now, which are “Go there!” and “Come back!”
When you die you take over control of a random dude, (with rank retained), which means random weapons and constantly changing approaches. The G36 and AK47 are the routine weapons, but you can also get the suppressed MP5, the M240 light machine gun, (which has to be fired either prone, or from behind a wall that the gun can be rested on and then there’s the Mossberg shotgun.
Enemy AI will use cover behind trees and rocks and if there are a few of them they will spread their line and try to flank you, or get around the end of your line. If they’re behind a rock and see you coming on the right, they’ll shuffle left to maintain cover, meaning you have to flush them out on one side so that your mates on the other can get the shot.
You can see in the video that there’s an ambient day/night effect, the guns sound pretty good and the grenades are suitably chunky. Once you get high enough in rank you will be given mortar rounds to call in. You can ask for them anywhere, but they go through a fire control process coming in some time after you ask for them, so they’re not an instant iPwn button.
Online play is available in co-op and versus modes, so you could have a squad of friends playing together and, when promoted, each could have their own little AI squad tagging along too. The AI will fill out any soldiers that aren’t human controlled and most battles have a cap of 100-a-side, although I’ve been playing 300-a-side in single player mode.
Right now there are two KM² maps, with a third on the way, along with vehicles too. Buying into the beta costs about $7 and gets you into the beta right away and the full copy of the game on release. I understand the beta price creeps up as time goes by to encourage early adoption.