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Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45: Ostfront 41-45 is yet another First-Person Shooter that is based around World War II. However, there are two key differences: it focuses entirely on the Eastern Front with conflicts between the Germans and Soviets (a setting usually forgotten by WWII FPS, probably because of the usual America Wins the War portrayal); its focus is entirely on realism. There are no crosshairs, no health kits, and bullets follow the standard laws of physics (mostly).

It started out as a mod of Unreal Tournament 2003. As an infantryman, you have the choice of playing several different classes: an assault trooper with a sub-machine gun; a sniper with a scoped rifle (the rifle shakes like crazy unless you're bracing it against something, and you have to account for bullet-drop when firing a long distance); a machine gunner (depending on the type, the barrel can overheat and you will have to manually replace it with another barrel); a bolt-action rifleman (the only class which has unlimited slots); a semi-automatic rifleman; and the squad leader, who is basically just an assault trooper with smoke grenades. On maps where there are tanks, you also have the option of playing as a tank crewman, a tank commander (the only classes that can drive tanks), or an anti-tank trooper who starts out with a gun that can destroy tanks with one or two shots to less armored areas. Tanks are also handled realistically in that you either need at least two people to drive them (one to drive, one to fire and reload the gun), or one person who switches very fast between the two positions (which is an Acceptable Break From Reality, since waiting 30 seconds to switch from the driver's seat to the turret does not make for exciting gameplay).

Maps consist of either pure infantry battles, pure tank battles where everyone has to play a tank crewman/commander, and combined arms battles which use both infantry and tanks. Strategy revolves around capture points, where one side has to capture a certain amount of area in a given time and the defenders have to stop them. Each side is also assigned a number of 'reinforcements,' which indicate how many times a player can respawn after death. Once they reach zero, no one can respawn anymore. If any side is at 0% reinforcements and has all of their members killed, then they lose regardless of any other factor.

The game itself, as a mod, was released in the Editor's Choice Edition of Unreal Tournament 2004, (alongside Alien Swarm, itself another Ascended Fanfic) and sprang from an entry in a mod contest held by Epic Games, with first prize being a million dollars and free Unreal Engine 2 licenses. They won, and founded Tripwire Interactive on the spot. There are two mods for Red Orchestra called Darkest Hour, which focuses on the Western Front after D-day, and Mare Nostrum, which focuses on the battle in the Mediterranean and features Italian troops.

The sequel has been released in September 2011.

This game took its name from the Soviet Union's espionage network during the war, which was called the Red Orchestra by the Gestapo. This game otherwise has no connection to spying.

Tropes used in Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 include:
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI bots that play the combat engineers have a nasty habit of dropping their timed det packs in the middle of a group of friendlies.
  • Artifact Title: Inverted in regards to the "Orchestra" part at least. The maps originally had no music playing when the game was first released, a later update added music as an option.
  • BFG: Treated realistically in Heroes of Stalingrad - machine gunners need to be prone or on cover to place their weapon down to fire it fully automatically. It may be fired from the hip, but very slowly. Anti-tank rifles in both games have a similar requirement and are impossible to fire when not set up.
  • Boom! Headshot!: A One-Hit Kill.
  • Break Meter: Heroes of Stalingrad has a a suppression meter shown for yourself. When it depletes, your screen greys out making it impossible to see (and therefore shoot) very much past twenty feet.
  • Excuse Plot: Don't buy Heroes of Stalingrad for it's singleplayer campaign unless you want to be very underwhelmed. Although that's still a step up from the first game: your only non-multiplayer option was practice mode, which was exactly the same as multiplayer except with retarded bots instead of human players.
  • Fackler Scale of FPS Realism: Very, very much on the realistic end.
  • Game Mod: Began life as one, and won one of the "Make Something Unreal" contests. The retail version has two mods itself - Darkest Hour and Mare Nostrum.
    • And the developers hired the Darkest Hour team to create an expansion for Heroes of Stalingrad set in the Pacific with the American and Japanese armies. Apart from this, the developers already released the SDK to several modders so they could create mods early: there is a Vietnam War mod and a WW 1 mod. This all before the game even released.
  • Hit Scan: Averted. Ballistics need to be taken into account for every ranged weapon.
  • HUD: There is one, but it provides neither crosshair nor exact bullet count, unlike most other FPSs.
  • Instant Death Bullet: An Averted Trope in Heroes of Stalingrad - if you are fatally wounded, you may conk out instantly (likely from a Boom! Headshot!), but occasionally instead you may still survive some seconds more to continue firing before your character blacks out. As well, being non-fatally wounded requires your character to bandage themselves before they bleed to death (you get two).
  • Meaningful Name: In addition to the above about the name "Red Orchestra", Ostfront is German for "eastern front".
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted in the sequel, there is a single-player campaign for both the Russians and the Germans.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted. In fact, you don't even HAVE an exact bullet count on the HUD - just the number of remaining clips or magazines and some text describing the weight of the current mag after a reload. Kind of like Trespasser, but without the voices. In Heroes of Stalingrad, characters will reload box magazines on weapons that use them and toss out the last clip, but will insert rounds one by one into rifles, unless the rifle is totally empty, in which they will insert a full magazine via stripper clips. With the telescopic scope getting in way for the Marksman class' rifles, they always insert rounds one by one for reloading.
  • One-Hit Kill: Very likely, though not always.
  • Nintendo Hard: To be expected with all the focus on realism.
  • Sprint Meter: In both games.
  • Translation Convention: In Heroes of Stalingrad, after the Bilingual Bonus from the original.
  • Universal Driver's License: Averted. Not only do you need to be a tank commander to drive a tank, tanks need multiple crewmen to function efficiently.
    • However, a player going it alone can drive, then switch seats to the gunner position when needed. Many players do this almost exclusively.
    • Similarly, there is only one commander on each team in Heroes of Stalingrad, and only they have the clearance to call in support with the radio.
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