Ravaged Review: An Empty Apocalyptic Wasteland
I think there’s a game hidden in online multiplayer first-person shooter Ravaged that I like, one in which bands of Mad Max extras drive cars around the desert, blasting each other in the face and stealing gas from one another.
That game is in there, it seems, but it’s difficult to find. Mostly this is because there’s barely anyone playing Ravaged, and with so few players, it’s difficult to get into enough games to determine if Ravaged is actually all that fun. Server populations hover at around a total of 50 players day in and day out, many of those players using the demo for Ravaged rather than the full title. And thus games are constrained to the same level, the same game type, and the same problems over and over.
Ravaged can be fun. It has good ideas, mostly centered around driving with two teammates and shooting fleeing enemies as they make off with your base’s resources. But it’s also unpolished and has a few flaws, and those might be too much for it to gain the popularity that would allow players to uncover the fun from beneath the post-apocalyptic sands that cover the game’s landscapes.
Ravaged: PC (reviewed)
Developer: 2 Dawn Studios
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Released: Oct. 17, 2012
A multiplayer-only FPS with heavy vehicle combat overtones, Ravaged sounds cool on paper, even with a done-to-death setting of the post-apocalyptic world. It looks and feels a lot like titles such as RAGE, to its benefit — there’s something compelling about fighting over the ruined world. Players take on characters from competing factions: the Scavangers, who seem the most Mad-Maxian of the available characters, and who are probably the more “evil” of the two factions; and the Resistance, who look more like woodsmen and seem generally cleaner. I guess they’re resisting being scavenged? I dunno.
The point is, however, that these two groups kill each other across six relatively big maps, all of which consist of multiple bases that can usually can be captured. Multiple game modes are available, including a capture-the-flag-like mode, a king-of-the-hill-like mode, and a lot of killing.
All of the maps are interesting. The primary one seems to be Canyon, a huge, sprawling field with rocky crags and a lot of lower, deserty areas. It’s speckled with several camps that users can overtake and use as spawn points, and at those places new vehicles spawn that you can use to reach different areas in a hurry. In the game type that’s available in most of the fuller servers in Ravaged, “Capture the Resource,” players steal gas tanks from opposing camps and have to bring them home. It’s capture the flag, but you don’t have to have the flag at home to score, basically.
The vehicles are Ravaged’s best feature, especially when you can get into real combat between them. There are a number of different cars and bikes, with different properties and different ways of handling when you use them. ATVs are quick and maneuverable for a single player, but lack weapons; flat-bed trucks offer more ammo and a mounted gun; retrofitted cars carry explosives and let an additional player lean out a passenger window, firing a machine gun; helicopters drop bombs (if you can figure out how to fly the damn things). All the vehicles have a boost feature, and taking on a car with another car is a lot of fun, as well as fast and crazy. Chasing down a guy running away with your resources (if you can actually catch and kill him) can be really fun.