Early Access: Ready or Not

Picture yourself in a scenario where you and your team are on one side of the door, and on the other lies a suspect with a weapon and one unarmed civilian. You ready your team to use a breaching shotgun and toss in a flashbang. You begin to execute the maneuver, but before you even get a chance to throw your grenade as the door opens, you hear a click...and then BAM! You and your team are now dead. So what went wrong? You failed to check the door for an explosive trap that the suspect had set to go off as soon as you opened it. Had you checked with a mirror, your team would have been able to safely disarm the trap before making entry.

Welcome to Ready or Not! Another early access game where you will have to utilize teamwork, communication, and accuracy to accomplish your mission in securing a scene. In Ready or Not mistakes like the one I mentioned can lead to a failed mission.

If you are like me, who is a sucker for tactical games with realistic elements like the previous early access game I covered in Ground Branch, then you will love this game too! Ready or Not puts you in the boots of a SWAT officer that can go through different types of events and scenes (or levels).

GAMEPLAY

There are a total of five scenarios that you can choose from, each with an increase in difficulty. You have Barricaded Suspects (Normal), Raid (Hard), Active Shooter (Hard), Bomb Threat (Very Hard), and lastly, Hostage Rescue (Insane). With these different types of missions, you will need to change how you play.

For example, in Hostage Rescue, you will need a solid strategy and stealth to secure the scene. The best strategy that I used was attempting to clear a room without using a breaching shotgun and flashbangs or stingers. You want to clear a room as quickly and quietly as possible while searching for the suspects holding the hostages.

Another example is Active Shooter. Trigger warning here: this mode simulates real-world active shooter situations, which could be sensitive or traumatic to some players. In my honest opinion, my feelings about this mode are simple, art imitates life.

So with that said, let's get into it with this mission type. Active Shooter is an excellent example of switching up tactics. Instead of clearing room to room, you and your team will have to quickly search for an active shooter. I found the best strategy is to not worry about securing civilians as this will take up a lot of your search time. Instead, I just try to listen for the direction of the gunshots. 

One of the scenarios that I played was Barricaded Suspects. What that entails is you will need to secure the scene by going room to room to find evidence for an investigation (depending on the situation) and using habits of knowing how to read a room while making entry. Preparation and information are essential when playing, and having the right tools for situations like this is a must.

MECHANICS

The mechanics are something that you will need to get used to. For example, you will need to lower your weapon into a “Low-Ready” stance to walk faster. I noticed more examples of mechanics: ammo retention, magazine check/ammo check, bot commands, and how to use the queue system. You are given only 4 magazines plus your sidearm and a few mags to go with it.

Ammo retention is about what you would think. If you want to swap a partial magazine for a full one, you can do that. Ammo checking can be pretty vital when in certain situations. I try to get into the habit of checking when stacking up to a door just in case. I have often been shot when clearing multiple rooms and not checking how much ammo I have in the mag before entering.

CUSTOMIZATIONS

One thing that I cannot forget is the customization of weapons and loadout! Your loadout can consist of an assault rifle, submachine gun, and shotguns. Each weapon can be fully customized to your liking. My preferred loadout is using the HK416 with speed grips, SRS sights, suppressor, and a flashlight attachment. You can also change what tool you want from using a riot shield, breaching shotgun, mirror gun, etc. I usually use the mirror gun to see what is on the other side of the door, but you can always command your bot teammates to do that so you can explore other tools.

Lastly, I want to talk about the use of bots in single player. I will admit, I have only experienced the single-player portion of Ready or Not. I tried to play multiplayer with other players but could not find many people playing. All the same, it was fun playing the game solo with bots, and I found it very easy to lose track of time by playing just by myself.

SINGLEPLAYER

To start, you get four bots as teammates divided up into two teams. Red team and blue team. The Gold team acts as the commander to direct the whole squad. While having your squad follow you, I found it pretty easy to get my teams into position.  I can look at the door and select from the commands that I want them to do.

I can have them “Stack up with a mirror gun” (have the bot check underneath the door for possible suspects and see if the door has an explosive trap), and a multitude of ways to breach a door. Either with a breaching shotgun, C2 explosive, or my favorite, kicking the shit out of the door like a bad-ass. While selecting what breaching method you want, you can also choose between a flashbang or a stinger grenade after the door has been successfully breached.

Usually, I prefer the flashbangs when going up against suspects with civilians. Sometimes you have to throw in a couple of stingers to try and get the suspects to surrender peacefully.

At the end of each mission, you will get a summary of how many suspects you have either neutralized or arrested. Along with civilians, collection of evidence, disarming traps, etc. It all gets summed up in a point system, and you will be given a letter grade for your performance. Losing civilians and officers can hurt your score.

Overall, Ready or Not is a solid game to play by yourself and with friends! With that said, since this is an early access title that was recently released, you will come across bugs. Still, I never found it to be game-breaking...unlike other titles (COUGH* BATTLEFIELD COUGH*). 

Again, since this game is in early access, expect that the game will have significant updates and changes to future gameplay! Let's hope that Void Interactive stays true to the game's roots because this is straight-up enjoyable to play! 

Also, if you want to learn more in-depth about this game, I suggest watching this early access tutorial from Void Interactive! 

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