2 Dawn Games has a fine lineage. They bring experience from Battlefield and Frontlines. They know how to make things go “bang” and “boom”. Ravaged is the culmination of that experience and then some. If it isn’t already on your radar, get it there now!
Ravaged pits you and your rough-necked marauders against a band of equally rough-necked marauders. Teams square off for some good old fashioned killing and stealing. The game mode available to me at the time of review was Capture The Resource. In this mode, players must travel from their spawn point, moving across the map and capturing bases and eventually, resources that are held in the enemy camp. Capturing bases grants your team the ability to spawn there, while capturing resources nets your team points. Kills don’t count towards your team’s score, but it’s still important to take out those rascals trying to steal your team’s resources.
While on foot, game can be played in either first person or third person perspectives and is swappable at the press of a button. I preferred the first person view, so that’s how I played.
There are five playable classes, and each class has a Primary weapon, a secondary weapon, some type of grenade, and a melee weapon. The classes and their primary weapons are Bandit (SMG), Warrior (Assault Rifle), Bodyguard (RPG), Assassin (Sniper Rifle), Grunt (Heavy Machine Gun).
You start on foot, but like in Battlefield, you don’t need to stay that way. Players spawn with several mobility options including quads, jeeps, pickup trucks, and helicopters, most of which allow you to buddy up with a teammate or two while one drives and the others do the shooting. While you are not completely harmless against opponents who are in vehicles, you are mostly defenseless, so if you find yourself in the middle of the wasteland without a ride, you have a fair chance of ending up as someone’s hood ornament.
Both player movement speed and vehicle speed seemed right on and balanced. Turning in the vehicles with the WASD is a little unnatural, but functional. The vehicle physics have a nice balance of arcade and realistic behavior. Crashing into another vehicle at high speeds doesn’t result in both vehicles crushed into unrecognizable masses. Instead, you get a some thrilling spins and flips as both drivers struggle to be the first to regain control.
While “post apocalyptic wasteland” doesn’t usually beg for beautiful vistas, if you’ve got the video card, Ravaged has the pretty. I loved the details in the vehicles, and the look of the rocky terrain (I know it’s just rocks, but I am a sucker for geology).
Explosions are satisfying Shooting and running animations are natural and realistic, and the look of choppers and land vehicles in motion was glassy smooth.
The level design is also impressive. Hills and long inclines are present where many other games settle for flat maps. This adds to the visual aspect of Ravaged, as well as the playability of the maps. Enemy targets are harder to hit when cresting and falling over the dunes, but it just looks more interesting because of the rolling hills and natural structures that populate the game worlds.
The man-made structures vary from simple, small, single floor buildings to large ramshackle fortresses. All of this fits the mood and setting of Ravaged nicely.
There isn’t much to say about the audio work here. Gun and vehicle sounds are well sampled and executed, and there is some cool echoing and occlusion with the sounds seemingly acting like their real life counterparts would.
There is no epic score here, it’s kind of a “bring your own jams” occasion, but we don’t think you’ll mind the scarcity of tunes, what with all of the ‘shooting and dying’ going on.
This Means War
The nature of a multiplayer-only game means that it’s only as strong as it’s community. Ravaged has the potential to take off and build a strong community. The folks I played with were helpful and generally good sports. A good start indeed.
Since this is a multiplayer-only game, there is no vast campaign to play through and there is no leveling up, meaning everyone is on the same footing from the start. The only thing that will get your team the win is the skill and teamwork you bring. This is a pro/con feature. On the plus side, you won’t get worked by some level 50 that has unlocked the super sniper or some insanely overpowered killing machine. Unfortunately, this means there is no carrot-on-a-stick dangling in front of those who may come from Call of Duty backgrounds and love their perks and unlocks.
But regardless of what camp you honed your shooting skills at, Ravaged brings a surprisingly fresh take (given the wasteland setting) on the multiplayer shooter genre and is worth a look.
Four out of Five
Preorder/Buy Ravaged here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/96308/