Ravaged Review: An Empty Apocalyptic Wasteland
Gunplay itself is a little more hit-and-miss. Ravaged tends to pit players against each other in open areas, far apart, and so hitting what you’re aiming at is tough. Assault rifles handle well, as do pistols, but explosive weapons like rocket launchers feel next to useless — especially when enemies take direct hits, go flying, and come back for more. In fact, explosives are pretty disappointing in general, as taking down vehicles on foot is a hurculean struggle at the best of times. Even lying in ambush while defending your resources, for example, you’re probably not going to do enough damage to stop a car. It takes multiple rockets to stop a vehicle, and reloading is slow.
I’ll say that I wish more games worked on the other maps, because Ravaged’s maps are inspired. Several are too small for vehicles, but offer lots of great locations in which to fight. Icebreaker, an arctic-themed map, includes a wrecked, beached freighter ship right in the middle of the map. Bridge puts players both below (a desert-ified) Golden Gate bridge, and on it — where you can jump vehicles between destroyed chunks of concrete. Oil Rig is highly vertical, and if you play it on the territory-capturing game mode, you’re tasked with holding the lower levels and then advancing to the top. Liberty has the destroyed Statue of Liberty in the center; Rooftops lets you drive cars on the roofs of destroyed, half-buried buildings.
All the maps are big, well-balanced, interesting and full of opportunities to hide in interiors or find higher ground. It’s a real shame that it’s really, really difficult to play on those maps because there just aren’t enough people to do so. Ravaged could be really fun and exciting if those areas were allowed to breathe, if they could find the life of getting players to tool around within them. Right now, they sit stagnant, and it’s really a shame.
Ravaged has its flaws, to be sure. It lacks a degree of polish that would make it prettier and easier to play — it’s really hard, for example, to tell at any distance whether a character is friend or foe, and this is doubly true for vehicles. If an enemy gets your can of resources and jumps in a car, they’re basically guaranteed to get their capture point, since vehicles are a struggle to bring down. And the game could use some weapons balancing, for a start. I’ve also heard players complaining about the effectiveness of sniper rifles: generally, the guns are okay, but things don’t seem to perform to expected patterns.
But I’ve liked what I’ve been able to play of Ravaged, especially with competent players. Its low price point mitigates a lot of the issues with things like weapon balance. But while I think players could unearth a fun, if somewhat rough, multiplayer experience from this title, it seems tough to do so because there just aren’t a lot of people playing. So I urge players who do like Ravaged to spread the word, or at least recommend the demo. It’d be a shame to never see the game reach its potential just because it was too obscure to draw players.
- Class-based first-person multiplayer shooter action
- Lots of vehicles that open up maps and offer both on-foot and fast-moving battles
- Helicopters, if you can learn to fly them
- Some really impressive map design
- Affordable price tag
- Some weapons balance issues make stronger guns, like rocket launchers and sniper rifles, feel kinda useless
- Vehicles seem too tough to destroy unless you’re in one; a car guarantees a flag capture, most times
- Really low server populations mean that only one map and game type is played
- A little rough around the edges and unpolished
Final Score: 70/100