Oh, no, the world has ended! Well, kinda – more like the world has been through a series of natural disasters, killing off the majority of human beings, and leaving behind nothing but a handful of survivors and large stretches of destruction. As resources become scarcer, two factions arise: people who wear shirts, and people who don’t (yeah, they have names, but they are not memorable, and, frankly, this is an easier way to tell them apart), and these two factions are in a constant battle for resources and territory.
The premise of Ravaged sounds promising enough. The destroyed landscape can make for some interesting maps and locations, and the motivation of the two factions can make for some intense capture-and-hold gameplay. Unfortunately, 2 Dawn Studios’ Ravaged can’t quite deliver on this concept.
Ravaged is a multiplayer-only FPS, with an emphasis on vehicle combat to traverse large maps and capture objectives with ease. On a positive note, the level design is fairly good: the maps are creative and look very good, even on the lower graphical settings. It really is quite something to find a hunting rifle inside a destroyed statue of liberty and then snipe unsuspecting enemies that pass by the wreckage. Clearly, a lot of attention and effort was put into designing the maps; everything from the makeshift bases to the ravaged city landscape feels believable and very fitting to the game’s non-existent story. It’s easily Ravaged‘s strongest point.
Unfortunately, the game falls apart after giving off a promising first impression. Right off the bat, I had trouble finding a server. There are roughly a few hundred players who play the game, meaning you either find empty servers or full servers. The server browser isn’t easy or friendly to use, and it took me 30 minutes to get the quick match option and find a spot in a server. The downside to all this is that the server was in Australia.
My first match was plagued with lag that made the game unplayable (yet I still managed to get a really good score – I assume everyone in that server was also European and was lagging just as hard), so I had to quit the game and try to find another server. Luckily, this time I managed to join a UK server, and the game ran smoothly.
When you first enter a match, you are asked to pick a class, ranging between your typical sniper/scout to an LMG-wielding supporter. Classes can be changed before you respawn; however, it’s recommended you pick a class you like and stick with it, as it’s the only way you will ever unlock anything. Earning XP is a sluggish process, and unlocking new weapons is a grind. There are only a few unlocks to chose from, and most of them don’t seem worth the trouble.
On the control’s side of things, it’s exactly how you expect an FPS to run on a PC. The main issue I had was controlling vehicles. In a game such as Ravaged, which puts a heavy emphasis on vehicles, you would expect for the developers to offer solid, working controls. On the other hand, driving a vehicle is almost impossible. Cars and quads always feel sluggish and unresponsive, and helicopters are straight-up death machines. Going inside a helicopter will result in you own death 100% of the time.
Once you are done staring at the game’s maps, you won’t find much enjoyment here. The game quickly becomes boring and repetitive, and in order to accomplish the goals, you need some sort of cooperation, which is very hard to pull off in a game where everyone else just wants to play like it’s a death match. I tried to play with a friend so we could work together to accomplish the objectives, but doing that is a mission on its own. There is no party support, so you have to manually find a server (using the god-awful server browser), join it, hope that your friend finds it quickly enough before it fills up, and pray to God you are on the same team. In this day and age, playing with a friend shouldn’t be this difficult, especially on a game which requires a minimum of team play and uses Steam.
What’s worse is that the whole game just feels…empty. I don’t know if that’s what the developers intended, as there are only a handful of humans left in Ravaged‘s world, but you will spend a large portion of your time running or driving through desolate terrain without finding a soul – even if the server is full.
Ravaged retails at 1$0, or 7£, on Steam, but I can’t recommend it at this price – or any price. Whilst the level design and maps do deserve an honorable mention, it’s no good if the gameplay is not there. The game is straight-up not fun, and there are dozens of better FPS’s out there for the same price or even less. Ravaged just can’t compete with other retail FPS’s, and even if the game went free-to-play, I wouldn’t recommend it.
This game needs to be reworked: the ideas are there, but the execution isn’t. Right now, Ravaged is a sub-par shooter in any category you put it in. You are better off looking elsewhere if you want a fun and engaging multiplayer experience on the PC. In case you are interested, however, you can find out more in Ravaged‘s official website.