Hands-On Preview: Ravaged (PC)

With their game due out this week, I was able to have an online session with the Ravaged development team, 2 Dawn Games. While I can say that strictly PVP multiplayer shooters haven’t been my thing for awhile now, Ravaged brings a certain over the top fast-paced savagery that I find highly appealing. First a little history behind 2 Dawn. Based out of New York City and founded in 2009, the team consists of people with history in the Battlefield, Desert Combat, DCON and Frontline as both modders and designers. They decided they wanted to focus on their own brand of fast-paced combat in an FPS and went it alone. Ravaged is the end result, and it is a blast.

I’ve plugged a number of hours into this Beta version already which gives me access to more servers than the Demo which gives me more maps to romp on. The developers had a great session this last Friday where the press popped on with them on several maps as they walked us through some of the ins and outs and what they’ve been working on and what to expect. The vehicle combat takes a bit to get used to, I will admit, but its fast pace really kicks it up a notch. Most of the vehicles have some kind of weapons attached, but don’t expect to fire them if you’re the driver. The driver is there to get from point a to b without getting blown away. You can pile in a bunch of people in some vehicles but only one is the gunner, the rest are along for the ride. All of the vehicles are based around player skill, so if you jump into a helicopter, prepare to crash until you learn it. I’ve pretty much given up on that one and have stuck to high speed cars which I’m very efficient at getting around the battelfield and running fool-hardy enemies who think they’re able to take a car speeding with nitro and live.

I got to play on a variety of maps with the devs and not every map is geared up for high speed car chases. There are some great infantry maps as well with varying levels of terrain that make running around on foot a blast especially hunting the enemy team. Based around the idea of Mad Max meeting the Battlefield games, the levels I got to play on consisted of destroyed and drained rivers and bridges, a level based around a depleted ocean and the Statue of Liberty, a box canyon that’s great for vehicular running as it’s built like a big open bowl with only a few obstacles and cliffs to get around, and then there’s the winter wonderland map with massively snowed in buildings to get around. While not accurately detailed inside, the toppled Statue of Liberty makes for a very interesting king of the hill scenario as snipers take each other out for the perfect perch over the map.

Most of the matches we play in consisted of stealing the other team’s fuel resources and running them in car or on foot back to your base. If you take out the enemy runner you can return it as well. I’m actually a pretty decent runner and enjoy that more than chasing other people down, but taking camps for better spawn points and sniping has become another of my favored hobbies as well. I do recommend sticking with servers with a decent ping to get in on the game though as a bad one will affect how well your vehicle handles. That’s all server side based so that people can’t tweak their config files to get an unfair advantage. But there are servers all over the world so it makes it easy to find one to hop on with a decent enough ping.

It’s a nice blend of vehicular and on foot mayhem and the fast pace is what’s held my interest. It works much better when there are a lot more people on a map as the insanity is amped up and makes it feel much more like a warzone. When it’s just a few people it becomes more of a camp fest with people waiting not by spawn points, but near the resources which makes you get a little more inventive in snatching that liquid gold. I do like that it takes a team to make things work properly on a filled map. If you’re just out bumming around more than likely you’re going to lose, but in this game, and especially during the developer’s run, even losing was a blast when it’s coupled with high explosives and adrenaline. I’ll have a proper review up when the full game goes live and I get to properly run through all the maps and classes, but if you like online FPS mayhem, this game needs to be on your radar.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEbmbCIFNG8&w=560&h=315]

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