This is not what I call fun.
One of the first Kickstarter games, that was on our radar, to actually meet its goal and be released is Ravaged, an online only, competitive multiplayer First-Person Shooter, with an emphasis on vehicular combat. It all looked great and sounded fun on paper but now that the full game has been released and I’ve had some time to play it, I can honestly say that it’s one of the worst shooters that I’ve ever played.
Being an online, multiplayer only shooter, there are no Single Player modes to play in Ravaged, but 2 Dawn Games have provided a little bit of backstory as to what’s going on in the world that you’re about to enter. Keep in mind, I said it’s only a little. Following several major natural disasters, two factions have emerged on a post-apocalyptic Earth, the Scavengers and the Resistance, battling for control of the land and the minimal resources left to find.
It’s not that important to have a rich backstory in an online shooter, but it’s nice to have something to give you an idea of why the world is the way it is and what you’re fighting for. Sadly though, just like how Earth has been stripped of its humanity, gamers who purchase Ravaged will be stripped of everything great about modern-day shooters. I know that not everyone is going to agree with what makes shooters great, but this review is made up of my opinion on them, and I think most gamers will agree that Ravaged is not worth their time, or money, compared to almost any other shooter out there. If you don’t agree with what I like in shooters, then there is a demo for Ravaged that you can check out to see if you’ll like it or not.
When you load up Ravaged, you’ll be presented with the options to play, check your stats or change your settings, and there are plenty of settings to mess with to get things right on your PC. I didn’t have to do much for Ravaged to run smoothly on 1920×1080 on High quality settings, which was nice considering that the beta was a brutal mess and barely ran on my machine. One thing Ravaged does have going for it is that it’s a rather good looking game running on the Unreal Engine. It’s not the best looking game out there, but the environments and vehicle models are both quite nice.
Overall they work fine, but one thing to note on the controls is that if you’re going to use a controller, which the game does officially support, you’ll want to check the setting for Sprinting as it wasn’t mapped to the controller by default for me. I know that since this is a PC game, most of you will scoff at the idea of using a controller, but there are plenty of us console gamers that enjoy playing on PC as well and we like to bring our controllers with us. The vehicle controls can be a little hard to get used to at first, especially when flying, but if you can force yourself to keep playing Ravaged, then you’ll get used to them eventually.
Once you’ve got your controls and settings to the levels that you like them on, it’s time to play. This is where the problems in Ravaged start, as there is no way right now (dedicated servers will be added later apparently) to start your own game, and you can only join games that are already in progress from the list of available servers. There’s no matchmaking or lobbies, so playing with friends is hard as you have to find a game with enough open slots and hope that you all make it in, individually, before it fills up. Having to wait who knows how long for the dedicated server option is not the best way to launch your game. This makes playing with friends very difficult right now and if that’s something that’s important to you, like it is to us, you should probably wait until the dedicated servers have been added before even thinking about buying Ravaged.
Ravaged features eight different maps and at least two game modes, and I say “at least” because there were only two available while I was playing and they are Capture the Resources and Thrust. The Ravaged website says “multiple game modes” but doesn’t elaborate on what they are or when more will be available. Capture the Resources is just like CTF, but here you have to retrieve gas cans and bring them back to your base and Thrust has you capturing and holding control points around the map. The main selling point of the game has been that it features 30 different types of vehicles, but I only saw a handful of them during my games. There were two different kinds of Buggies with turrets on the back, a mini Helicopter, an unarmed ATV, a Jeep with a turret on the back and a Tank. Like I said before, controlling them isn’t easy at first but with some practice it’s not too bad. The helicopter is by far the hardest to get used to and I still can’t really fly it for very long before I’m nose diving into the map. The vehicles do help make the game more fun, but it’s not the only shooter to feature vehicles and games like Battlefield and Halo do them much better than Ravaged, so it’s not really that much of a selling point if you ask me.
Then there are 10 classes to pick from, five on each side, each with different weapons and items to pick from. Depending on which class you pick you can use weapons such as the Assault Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle and a few others. You can also pick which melee weapon you want to have but I really didn’t like how you had to switch to your melee weapon before you can use it, compared to having a button assigned to quick melee like the majority of shooters have. I also don’t like how you don’t earn any EXP or level up in Ravaged and there are no new weapons, gear or perks to unlock, which makes it about as basic as it gets. I for one am enjoying the evolution of the shooter with all of those things and going backwards does nothing to make me want to play your game over all of the shooters I already have and the ones coming out soon.
In my opinion, the worst part about actually playing Ravaged is that it’s not easy to tell which team each player is on. Everyone looks very similar, regardless of which faction they are, and there are no options to change how players look or even to add their name, team or color above their head. The mini-map will show your teammates but not your opponents, so every time you see someone you have to check the map to see if they show up or not. If you’re not constantly checking the map you can end up killing your teammates quite often as they don’t look much different in-game. Some easy ways to fix this would have been to make the characters outfits drastically different colors, put their name in their color above their head and make them show up on the map in the opposite color when they are shooting. All of the other shooters I play make it very easy to tell your teammates and opponents apart so it’s not that hard to do.
If you can get past all of that, you may enjoy Ravaged, but it just doesn’t do anything new or better than any other shooter that I’ve played to give me any reason at all to keep playing it. I’ve already played it and talked about it way more than I wanted to.
For all of the talk, Ravaged does nothing to steal you away from your favorite shooter. It’s not that fun to play, it makes it really hard to play with your friends and there’s no progression system to reward you for doing good, and that’s not the kind of shooter that I want to play. With games like Medal of Honor Warfighter, Halo 4 and Black Ops 2 coming out very soon, I recommend that you avoid Ravaged and save your money for them. If you don’t agree with what I thought about Ravaged then go download the demo and see for yourself. I hope you have more fun than I did.