Easy Red 2 Review - Screenshot 1 of 5

Of all the settings that have waxed and waned in popularity within the FPS genre over the years, it's unsurprising that we repeatedly find ourselves returning to the really big fight that was World War 2. It's an endlessly fascinating period of history, you see, rich in famous battles and figures to hang your narratives and/or gameplay maps off. It's also one that comes preloaded with some of the most recognisable weapons, vehicles and the baddest of baddies that you can base this kind of video game around.

All of this historically accurate stuff is a selling point, of course, it adds a ton of authenticity for goons like us who can tell you what any WW2 weapon is just by smelling it in a darkened room. However, it does seem like an awful lot to bite off when you're one single person creating a surprisingly deep World War 2 shooter all by your lonesome, then it just means you need to spend an insane amount of time getting all of those tiny details right. Which is what Marco Amadei has seemingly, somehow, managed to do with the surprisingly great Easy Red 2.

Easy Red 2 Review - Screenshot 2 of 5

Yes, this may not be the latest Battlefield or Call of Duty, but what it does do - in the most lovingly janky way possible - is give fans of WW2 shooters a refreshingly streamlined experience to dig into. An experience that jettisons the bloat of a million modern modes, ditches XP, skills, levelling up and all that nonsense, in favour of period-accurate weapons and straight-forward solo/multiplayer modes on large, historically accurate maps, giving you room to play with squad tactics and vehicular warfare.

Think of an indie version of Battlefield 1943 (made by a single superhuman individual and offered up at a super budget price), one that plays with a touch more realism and 100% delivers on its remit of instant action, big battles, tons of vehicles and zero fuss - and you've got the general idea. There's a nice balance between arcade immediacy and simulation, it doesn't stray too far either way, but you can tell by the lengthy tutorial that the gunfights are designed to require a frisson more thought and consideration for the weapon you're holding, your positioning and so on, than many offerings within this particular genre.

Easy Red 2 Review - Screenshot 3 of 5

Laying down suppressing fire, using smoke and distraction techniques and pushing forward methodically; these are all things you'll want to be doing, with all the usual classes of soldier on offer to provide radio support, sniper fire and the rest of it, and the core action benefits from the extra effort that's been put into weapon-feel that errs on the side of simulation moreso than arcade. It's a very tidy WW2 shooter, is what we're saying in short, and a truly remarkable achievement given the size of the dev team. There's like 60 detailed weapons to play with, 100 vehicles, and a whole bunch of famous World War 2 battles to take part in - some of which are paid DLC, but hey the base game is eight bucks so we ain't complaining.

When you lay down that sort of money for a shooter these days, especially one that purports to be historically accurate and/or actually any good...well, you might not really expect all that much back in return, but it's genuinely surprising and impressive just how well this game looks and plays. You'll get to storm beaches and take out Nazi positions, slowly manoeuvre across verdant fields on your belly as enemies pick your squad off from the treelines, and engage in ruddy great big tank vs plane battles. All that good stuff is here, all the maps are massive, and it looks and sounds genuinely good for the most part.

Easy Red 2 Review - Screenshot 4 of 5

There are also some really nice shock and distortion effects when you take damage or get too near explosions, the sunlight plays off trees and other objects to give some sequences real grit and atmosphere as you push through the mud in the early morning light, or bust open the wooden shutters on an old french townhouse to riddle unsuspecting enemies during a clever flanking manoeuvre. It's all of the cool bits without the bloat, the good old-fashioned stuff, Battlefield before the Battle Passes and so on. If you've got a few pals to play with, you're gonna get way more than your money's worth.

There are three campaign theatres to attack straight out of the gate, once you've done your training that is, and the tastiest battles, as we mentioned earlier, are locked behind a paywall. It'll cost you a few quid for each, but the thing is you'll likely buy them, and really that's all you need to know about Easy Red 2. This budget WW2 FPS has been getting great user scores on PC for a reason. It's just a very good, very moreish and very atmospheric game to play. And so the lure of the likes of the Battle of the Bulge or Stalingrad DLC, it becomes too strong for our feeble minds to ignore.

Easy Red 2 Review - Screenshot 5 of 5

Of course there is jank to contend with too, it can't be ignored. You'll likely be appalled the first time the in-game menus pop up (they look like placeholder cards), it'll take more than a minute to get used to the clunky interface that you sort of just have to work out on your own as you switch out gear and so on. We also noticed more than one occasion that AI bots, although generally decent opponents, do sometimes freak out and just sort of give up on doing anything. It's not a huge issue, but one we did notice once or twice.

But look, if you can put these things aside and just enjoy the action for what it is, you'll find you've got yourself a pleasantly distracting bit of old-school war action here. Think Hell Let Loose or Enlisted, but even more micro-budget, a game that gets the important stuff right and manages to shine despite its inherent shortcomings.

Indeed, the biggest issue this game has right now isn't its clunky menus, AI glitches or the odd bit of jank here and there, it's the fact that the servers just aren't busy at all yet, even with cross-play as an option. Get yourself into a server with a bunch of friends and you can still have a whale of a time, and there are bots to play against, but hopefully we'll see an audience accumulate for this one over the coming weeks and months, because for a straightforward, no-frills bit of WW2 shooter mayhem, this really is a budget delight.


Easy Red 2 is a cheap as chips WW2 shooter that serves up a bloody good time amidst all of the expected micro-budget jank. There's a genuinely solid FPS here, with an atmospheric bunch of battle maps and shooter mechanics that require just a little more thought than usual. With tons of period-specific weapons and vehicles, impressively large arenas of engagement and zero bloat, battle passes or micro-transactions, this is a cracking slice of old-school WW2 action for the cost of a cheap lunch. Just ignore the awful menus.