When developing Ravaged, 2 Dawn Games promised to make fun the top priority, a feat they claimed would be more easily accomplished without publishers forcing restrictions on their every decision. Of course, choosing to create a multiplayer FPS meant they would have their work cut out for them, as they would be going head-to-head with some of the most popular franchises in gaming. To succeed, 2 Dawn would need to make a game that’s not only fun, but also unique enough to draw gamers away from the Call of Dutys and Battlefields of the world. That’s asking quite a lot for an independently developed game in an over-saturated genre, but 2 Dawn comes through on their promise despite some problems.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which two factions, the Scavengers and the Resistance, battle it out for the world’s scarce resources. The maps are massive, very similar in scale to Battlefield 2, which some of 2 Dawn’s developers worked on. Some of the maps have a lot of open space to allow for wide-scale vehicle combat, while others have more cover and choke-points for fighting on foot. There are two game modes, a capture-the-point mode called Thrust, and what amounts to a capture-the-flag mode called Resource Control. Even in the latter, controlling bases is important, though some of them are perhaps too spread out in certain maps (particularly Canyon), meaning people often don’t even bother with them. I’ve also run into bugs in the maps that caused me to get stuck until somebody came by to kill me. But regardless, the sheer size of the maps allows for vehicular warfare that can’t be called anything other than fun.
And the vehicular warfare is exactly where Ravaged excels. While the steering is a bit stiff, and the vehicles accelerate too rapidly, the ability to use your mouse to lean while steering allows for intuitive vehicular control that makes driving a blast. It also makes for extremely difficult helicopter controls (not helped by the lack of a helicopter control layout on the menu), though you can terrorize your opponents when you get used to them. There are also a variety of different cars and buggies with an assortment of different weapons. Some have grenade launchers, some have machine guns on the back or on the side, there’s an armored personnel carrier with a cannon on top, and so on. There are just so many options for you to utilize with your teammates (whom you can squad up with), and with high-speed battles encompassing large swaths of land, it’s easy to get addicted and lose yourself in the action. Perhaps a better damage system could’ve been utilized with the vehicles, especially the implementation of tires that can be shot out, but it’s a small criticism that isn’t very noticeable due to the quality of the vehicular action.
On the flip side, the gunplay is noticeably weaker, though still fun in its own right. The taunts are a cool reminder of Team Fortress, except 2 Dawn goes even a step further; nothing says “shut up noob” like flipping a fallen foe the bird after mowing him down. But the animations can be jerky, bringing up the iron sights can be twitchy, and hitting the “go prone” button results in your character lying flat instantaneously. There’s some strong recoil with the guns, meaning aiming down the sights and shooting in bursts is recommended, though hitting your enemies at a distance is still very easy as long as you’re using an automatic weapon. You can choose from five classes, all equipped with several different weapons, which seems like a waste considering the relative worthlessness of melee attacks (plus the fact that you can pick up enemies’ weapons in addition to the ones you already hold). The sniper rifles don’t seem as effective as the automatic weapons even at a distance, and the shotguns make other close-range weapons obsolete. Throwing knives are a cheap one-hit kill, and the Scavengers’ tennis ball bomb is absolutely devastating. Due to these issues, fighting on the ground doesn’t feel balanced and can be rather annoying.
Problems to the gunplay and minor bugs aside, Ravaged looks spectacular. For $25, it certainly out-classes many full-retail games in this regard. Everything is very detailed, and the textures are sharp. There’s very little pop-in, and the amount of detail that can be seen across vast distances is very impressive. Indeed, it’s amazing how good this game looks despite the size of each map. The character models look great, and the lighting effects really stand out. The textures often take too long to filter in on the weapons you’re holding, and the design of the maps would benefit from some originality, but those are among the game’s only visual faults. And it sounds good too. The only issue here is that there could be a better echo from bullets in the more closed-in areas, as can be heard in the Battlefield games, but each weapon sounds distinct and realistic. The grenade explosions are particularly good and mesh perfectly with the sound of gunfire.
With a price tag of $25, it’s quite easy to recommend Ravaged to multiplayer FPS fans. There are some annoying bugs and problems with the gunplay, but the intense vehicular combat is worth the cash. While it might be a bit too similar in many ways to Battlefield, 2 Dawn has come through on their promise to prioritize the fun factor, and that’s what matters most. The action is relentless and addicting, the visuals are highly impressive, and the battlefields are enormous. There’s plenty of room for the game to be smoothed out, but overall, it’s quite entertaining. Being able to turn around and give someone the finger is just icing on the cake.
Great visuals | Vehicular combat is a blast | Huge maps allow for large scale battle
Many minor bugs provide annoyances | Fighting on foot needs to be evened out | No tutorial or control layout for helicopters
First introduced to gaming with Wolfenstein 3D, Daniel has never looked back. He still returns to the old classics while enjoying the current generation, and beats every game he can get his hands on. In addition, he loves to read and write and is an avid follower of sports and martial arts.
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When developing Ravaged, 2 Dawn Games promised to make fun the top priority, a feat they claimed would be more easily accomplished without publishers forcing restrictions on their every decision. Of course, choosing to create a multiplayer FPS meant they would have their work cut out for them, as they would be going head-to-head with some