2Dawn Games’ first project recently released after a successful Kickstarter campaign and with backing from Reverb Publishing. A first-person shooter (FPS) set in a post-apocalyptic world, Ravaged may not sound too original a concept – and truth be told, it’s really not – but to play means that this matters very little. Ravaged is a combination of settings and style that’s been seen a hundred times before, but it’s gameplay hits a sweet spot that so very few manage to reach.
Just as with Reverb Publishing’s other big PC title launched this winter, Primal Carnage, Ravaged is designed as a multiplayer-centric experience to the point where there is no single-player component included. Boosting-up Ravaged for the very first time – and every time thereafter – will simply give you the option of jumping straight into a quick match or browsing a list of available servers. Ravaged is a videogame that is designed to be played over significant periods of time, learned inside-out, and played by skilful players. If you’re looking for an online experience that you can dip in-and-out of, Halo 4 or Call of Duty: Black Ops II is more likely to fill your need; Ravaged is a videogame designed to be played by an ardent fanbase.
Thankfully the videogame has already picked-up a significant amount of regularly players making finding a match a relatively easy task at almost any time of day. Launching straight into a match on a random server, players will typically find that they are quickly overwhelmed as soon as they even see an opponent player. They will learn to use caution, approaching their targets (enemy bases in the most popular gameplay mode) from the path less trodden. Those few times you’ll get the upper hand are all you’ll need to learn the basics of playing each of the five available classes, with their own unique weaponry and specialist uses.
Of course, all of this is par for the course of any modern multiplayer-orientated FPS videogame; there’s very little to separate Ravaged from the pack. While it’s a comfortable and enjoyable piece of design, it rarely strays from the familiar mould established by decades of investment in the genre. But this is until you uncover the next asset available to players in Ravaged: vehicles. It’s clear that 2Dawn Games has taken inspiration from id Software’s Rage in more respects than one, in fact it comes a bit too close for comfort on a number of occasions.
The vehicles available come in all shapes and sizes: one man transport, small buggies, armoured multi-person cars and heavily armoured trucks. All vehicles are controlled in the same way – as is becoming industry tradition – but all handle considerably different, giving the player yet another edge to their learning curve. Thankfully the map design accommodates both newcomers and experienced players, with wide open spaces offering practice room and tight corridors gifting a tactical advantage to those skilled enough to travel along them at high speed.
Ravaged is a decent looking videogame for the most part, with surprisingly detailed cultural relevance in the maps and welcome variety in the character models. The overall design is somewhat tired, but 2Dawn Games has done well to breathe life into the well worn setting. That being said, the animation is inherently flawed, presenting a stuttering quality even when run on a system far exceeding the recommended hardware specifications. It’s a jarring issue in an otherwise respectable appearance, and hopefully one which will be fixed in the near future.
Available to download now via Steam, 2Dawn Games has taken an interesting route for attracting new players to Ravaged: gamers who download the demo get access to the exact same servers as those playing the full videogame. Not sure whether to join your friends online? Download the demo and play with them for a short while. Chance are, if you’re an FPS gamer with friends already playing Ravaged, you’re going to end up finding a rewarding experience in 2Dawn Games’ debut. Ravaged doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any respect, but the fact that it stays true to the well worn multiplayer FPS template and can still provide an absorbing experience is more than anyone would expect of a new studio trying it’s luck in the modern industry’s most popular genre.