In a market dominated by games like COD and Counterstrike you’d be forgiven for thinking indie developer 2 Dawn were completely insane for trying to make a multiplayer FPS to compete with these online juggernauts, but having spent a few days playing the Ravaged beta I’m starting to think they’ll have a fighting chance.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign Ravaged is well on its way to release, and its an absolute blast to play. 2 Dawn games have promised us a fresh take on the FPS genre, free from publisher restraints allowing for a game that focuses on fun, skill and teamwork. So far Ravaged delivers on all of these promises and then some. The frantic combat, great visuals and a very satisfying difficulty curve make Ravaged a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by natural disasters the game offers a host of real-world inspired maps, a decent amount of weapons and 9 ludicrously difficult to drive vehicles. (With more still in development).
The developers weren’t lying when they said this game needed skill. I’m an FPS veteran and I’m pretty confident in my abilities but I got my ass handed to me in the first few matches. Getting to grips with the weapon and vehicle mechanics takes some practice, I still can’t pilot the damn chopper without careering into the side of a cliff, blowing myself to smithereens in the process. But after couple of games I got my bearings, figured out how most things worked and I was well on my way to becoming a machine-gun toting, quad driving badass.
Between the two factions available the game offers 10 playable classes, all of which will be familiar to any FPS fan. Most of the classes seem to be pretty well balanced with each class having their own unique starting weapons. My only issue is with the Sniper class, the Resistance sniper starts out with a 6-shot semi-auto rifle, while the Scavenger equivalent is given a crossbow which can only fire a single bolt before reloading. Both weapons seem to do the same amount of damage which begs the question: Why can one side fire 6 shots in quick succession while the other has to make do with just the one? Still, its a beta and things are being improved upon all the time so hopefully we’ll see some changes.
At the moment the beta only has two game types available to play. Thrust: A tug of of war style mode in which the two teams compete to capture and hold territories spread across the map and Resource Control: Combining the territorial gameplay of Thrust with traditional capture the flag mechanics. Both game types are good fun and we can expect a few more to be included with the games release. There are a few balance issues here and there on the three included maps, with the Resistance being given preferential treatment again but hopefully they’ll be sorted before launch.
Vehicular combat plays a big part in Ravaged, with the sprawling maps allowing for plenty of Mad Max style races, with RPGs and machine-gun fire tearing up the environment and body parts flying out of burning wreckage like bloody chunks of overripe melon. Racing around the huge maps is loads of fun. As with everything in Ravaged the vehicles require some patience to master, but once you’ve gotten the hang of things it becomes extremely satisfying.
All in all Ravaged is shaping up to be pretty damn great, a refreshing change of pace from the myriad overly realistic military shoot-em-ups bloating the online market. At the moment the beta is closed with codes being handed out piecemeal, which means I’ve only managed to play games with around 10 players per team, but as the beta ramps up I’m looking forward to getting stuck into some proper 32 vs 32 player matches. The action is already pretty frantic as it is, but with 64 players on the same map I expect things will only get more intense, more hectic and even more enjoyable.
Ravaged is set for release this summer via Steam. You can check out the official website and opt into the beta on the official 2 Dawn Website.