Playing out my fantasy of living in a Mad Max style post- apocalyptic future, Ravaged – developed by the indie team at 2 Dawn Games – breaks free from modern day shooters and brings back the feel of old-school competitive shooters. Replacing perk systems and experience points with solid fast-paced gameplay, you will find yourself running, gunning, driving and flying as you fight for survival across 8 unique multiplayer maps.
Bringing the “fun” back to the competitive online circuit, 2 Dawn has crafted an objective-based shooter focusing on teamwork to win the day. Battling it out with up to 32 players online, the two competing groups: the Resistance and the Scavengers. Each of the two groups has five distinct classes that fit well with the style of the game. The lightly equipped “Recon” class can traverse the landscapes at the greatest speed while wielding submachine guns – which are better suited for close-range combat. On the opposite spectrum the “Support” class carry’s a light machine gun that can shed apart infantry in the matter of seconds, but moves like molasses.
Along with you main weapon and side pistol, you can choice from a variety of melee and grenade weapons. Just watch out for a bouncing tennis ball bomb…yes in the future all tennis balls will be converted into weapons of mass destruction.
The two different game modes can be played across each of the different maps. In Resource Control the goal is to capture the other teams gasoline tank and bring it back to your base – while at the same time trying to prevent the other team from stealing yours. It’s essentially Capture the Flag, but with a twist – the twist being your gasoline tank (flag) isn’t required to be at your base in order to score points.
Playing similar to other conquest modes, Thrust has both teams fighting over capture points that are scattered across the maps. Once a team loses all of their control points they won’t have any place to spawn – then its just a matter about cleaning up the stragglers.
With vehicles making a major impact in matches there are plenty of different options available. Do you hop in a heavily armored truck with a passenger machine gun attached to the door along with a grenade launcher mounted on the back, a modified car with a rocket launcher or do you go for speed and precision and drive a single seat ATV or a dune buggy with an exposed forward facing minigun?
If you are feeling adventurous why not test your skills in the gyrocopter – offering a one of a kind view from the sky – if you can manage to stay in the air for more than 10 seconds. Once mastered however, you will be nearly invincible – with most skilled pilots finishing close to the top of the standings in each game.
For the maps that don’t focus on vehicles, the infantry action can be intense as the focus shifts to vertically focused maps. “Rooftop” features a war torn frozen French town with infantry fighting for capture points on top of rooftops. “Canyon” on the other hand has a large wide-open area prompting large-scale vehicle battles. No matter what map you are on, you will experience some of the best action moments in any recent multiplayer shooter. In the matter of a two-minute period, I was able to rack up 6 kills using a variety of vehicles, guns and grenades – while still returning our stolen gasoline tank.
Visually the maps are highly detailed with blowing sand in deserts and textures that show battle torn vehicles from dents and scratches to mud and other various touches that help to bring the post-apocalyptic future to life. More importantly the game is silky smooth even with a full server and countless amount of explosions and vehicles on-screen. A major high point in the presentation comes from the amount of sound effects you will hear throughout a match. From the distant dull sounds of a far off explosion from across a map to the loud thud of explosive shells making contact with vehicles right in front of you.
As with all online multiplayer only titles, Ravaged will live or die by the community. The good thing is the game only cost $24.99, which is a perfect price point for impulse buyers looking to spend a few hours in a hectic fast-paced old school style competitive shooter. The occasional players that don’t help out their team do make for some frustrating experiences, especially if they drive a vehicle into a wall with you in it, but the included voice commands do help with communication between teammates.
Note: The Ravaged review was written based on the PC version of the game provided by the publisher.