Ring of Red is an alternate history turn-based strategy video game released by Konami for the PlayStation 2 console.
Ring of Red is set in the 1960s in the aftermath of World War II. According to the alternate timeline, Japan did not surrender in 1945, and the United States of America did not deploy the atomic bomb, although it was still produced and the plans stolen by the USSR. Instead, Japan was captured after a daring invasion costing many lives on both sides in Operation Downfall by the Allied Forces. With the Cold War looming over the horizon, Hokkaidō was ceded to the Soviet Union, and north part of Japan was partitioned into Communist North Japan and Democratic South Japan, with both fighting each other in the Great Asian War. North Japan was supported by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, while the United States supported the democratic South while Germany made engineering contributions to both sides.
In 1950, a terrible war occurred in Japan, which lasted three years and killed half the population when Soviet-backed North Japan invaded the South. The Japanese War ended with a strategic victory for South Japan and its Western allies.
A significant development in this timeline is the design and deployment of Armoured Fighting Walkers, or AFWs. AFWs are mechanised self-propelled artillery with high mobility and durability. They were used with negligible effect in the European theatre of war, but in the rugged Japanese terrain, AFWs were used with devastating effect, acting as the backbone of military forces of both sides.
The game begins in 1964, 14 years after the Japan War has ended, with players assuming control of the protagonist, half-Japanese, half-German pilot named Masami von Weizegger, as the leader of a team of AFW pilots in a mission to retrieve a prototype AFW, stolen by a North Japanese agent. As the game progresses, Weizegger and his team must overcome North Japanese reinforcements and deal with the possibility of all-out war as they try to prevent the cutting-edge AFW from falling into the wrong hands.
Combat is split between a turn-based battlefield for moving units, and a real-time mode for combat. The latter includes the AFWs moving through their attack patterns and support troops that have their own abilities.
In each mission, players deploy their units on a map. Each square contains terrain that provide movement and defense bonuses or penalties. The player and the enemy take turns in moving their units around the map in order to complete certain objectives, such as pursuing a unit, capturing a town or protecting a convoy. Some missions have branching objectives that give different bonuses.
Players can engage in combat by moving within distance of an enemy unit. The starting range in combat depends on the square from which the attack is made:
Adjacent square: Short range
Diagonal square: Medium range
Two squares away: Long range
If players are successful in destroying the enemy AFW, the enemy unit is removed from the map and players gain experience points. If the enemy destroys a player AFW, the AFW is removed until the next mission.
In addition to combat, players can capture cities, which can provide more troops for recruitment and heal friendly troops, and can dedicate turns to repairing their units. Each mission has parameters which result in player defeat, such as not completing the mission within the time limit or losing Weizegger's AFW.
Ring of Red features a day/night cycle. Each move takes a certain amount of time, which influences how often units can be issued orders, which in turn affects what time of day combat takes place. In addition, there is simulated weather and natural disasters.
Combat takes place in a real-time environment. Players begin with their AFW standing in opposition to the enemy AFW. The objective of combat is to destroy the enemy AFW. If either AFW is destroyed, combat ends and the unit is removed from the strategic map. If neither AFW is destroyed within the prescribed time limit, the battle ends in a draw. Units can also end combat by escaping from the battlefield or by engaging in close combat, which automatically ends the match.
Combat consists of players moving and operating their AFW and issuing orders to accompanying infantry. AFWs must wait until their main weapon is loaded before they can attack, either against the enemy AFW itself or its infantry support. When aiming, players are given a first-person view from the AFW along with a hit probability percentage. The more time spent aiming, the more accurate the shot becomes and the more damage is done. Base accuracy is dependent on range and battle conditions, although the rate of increase of accuracy slows down as it increases.
Conditions on the strategic map strongly influence the battle conditions. Battles fought at night receive a penalty in base accuracy. Different types of terrain grant different bonuses and penalties to base accuracy. Furthermore, various terrains can also block attacks randomly, such as trees in forests.
Players also have access to Maximum Attacks, which are unique abilities that can only be used a certain amount of times in each mission. Maximum Attacks vary between pilots, but include techniques such as powerful shots, dodging, instant movement and instant loading. Some crews also provide special shells which can provide illumination or do devastating damage against AFWs or infantry.
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s) JP September, 2000
NA March 12, 2001
EU June 15, 2001
Genre(s) Turn-based tactics
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) CERO: 12 and Up
ESRB: Teen (T)
Media CD-ROM image (.iso)
Input methods PlayStation 2 controller
Language - ENG