Raid: World War 2 is a PS2 game in so many different ways. Influenced in it’s look by that generation’s Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games, Raid is a game that is less interested in being the best looking game, of which even it’s developers admit it’s not, and more interested in being the most enjoyable, fun, and frantic game possible. And here, Raid largely succeeds.
The game opens up and it’s as if the gates of hell have been unleashed. Enemies come pouring out, bullets fall from the sky, and explosions rock the world. The dogs of war were sprinting full-speed ahead at us and with obvious glee me and my three squadmates met them head-on.
With this visceral and bloody opener Raid seeks to leave behind a lasting impression on all who play it. The only problem is I’m not quite sure it’s the impression Raid wanted me to have.
Raid doesn’t really do anything different or unique from those classic World War 2 FPS of old. It doesn’t change up the genre or break new ground. There is nothing happening in Raid that didn’t ever happen in Medal of Honor: European Assault or Vanguard. This is a PS2 game in a seemingly infinite ways, most of all in it’s lackluster and shrug inducing look.
The thing is though, it almost doesn’t even matter. This game is a joy. A big, dumb, bloody, ridiculous joy. It’s a game that doesn’t pretend like it’s crafting a modern day masterpiece. It’s a game that doesn’t pretend to be pushing the hardware to the limit or reinventing the wheel, that’s not what Raid wants to do.
Instead, what Raid does so different from those classic World War 2 shooters of old, is it’s wonderful ability to crank everything up 11. Everything is more frenzied, intense, and over the top. It’s taken the look and feel of those classic Medal of Honor games so many loved and taken off the training wheels. All restraint, reason, and subtly has been purged. This is a game that seeks to smack you in the face and scream of it’s need for more loud noises.
And it’s beautiful. Raid is not what every FPS shooter should be, far from it in fact. Yet, there is undeniably something to it’s cocktail of explosions, four person co-op, and insane mission variety, and enemy challenges. Raid is the antidote to video games taking themselves too seriously. It’s a game that only seeks to make you laugh, glory in it’s over the top action, and fall in love with it’s cartoonish world and I loved every second of it.