By – Carlin Au

ravaged

It’s not often that I get the pleasure of playing a multiplayer based game with large scale combat in a post apocalyptic setting. The ideas behind the Ravaged are cool, but there’s only a handful of people who have experienced the world 2Dawn has created.

Ravaged felt very familiar to me as the various gameplay aspects reminded me of Battlefield 2. This was not surprising since 2Dawn Games is comprised of individuals who worked on the BF 1942 Desert Combat mod under Trauma Studios and went on to assist DICE. So it would make sense that the gameplay experience feel familiar, even though Ravaged is focused more on vehicular action rather than infantry combat.

For the most part, the gun play is very similar to Battlefield 2 because of the way ADS (Aim Down Sights) and bullet spray patterns work. In the Ravaged, the guns shoot in the infamous cone pattern that is seen across all Battlefield games. There’s a twist, though; the cone pattern is larger than what is seen in Battlefield 2. Because of the cone pattern, it’s a good idea to fire in bursts like in any game, but more so in Ravaged as the spray tends to be very exaggerated. Aiming down sights helps since it’s almost instant and it helps narrow the cone pattern. It’s all very familiar to me, being a Battlefield 2 player, because of the way the weapons handle.

Ravaged

The vehicular focus makes the multiplayer chaotic with cars flying and helicopters circling above. There’s never a dull moment in Ravaged.  I’m always waiting for some Tractor Tank to ruin my day or a LittleBird Helicopter to blow me to kingdom come. All the vehicles in Ravaged have something that makes them useful in their own unique way. There are vehicles that are great for their speed, some for their explosive damage, and a few that are great all-around. If I felt like going for the objective, I’d take a Trike Bike to get to flags quickly. Or if I felt like hunting tanks, I’d take the Stryker tank and sit on top of a hill. The nice thing about driving these vehicles is that they really don’t take too much time to learn how to drive. It’s easy to just hop in and blow people up.

What makes vehicular combat work in Ravaged are the sand dunes that conveniently make ramps for vehicles to jump off of or hide behind. The landscape is, for the most part, barren and open, which creates all sorts of funny encounters. There are times when I’ve driven my car off a ramp and then another player passes by me in their car. At this point, we circle around each other until we give up on trying to kill each other and drive away.

Ravaged

There is a sense of community when you play with the same people every night. I frequented the Official US East server because it was the only server in my area that was always populated. Every day after 6 PM, people would start coming into the server and play against each other. After a couple of days, I figured out who was who and learned their playstyles. To some, playing with the same people would be considered boring, but everyone in the server seemed to really close, and it became even more evident when I heard two other players go paintballing together.

As a newcomer in their community, they were indifferent towards me. I’m sure they were used to seeing people come and go and they didn’t reach out to talk to me, despite my efforts to try and get to know them. I did notice that a lot of other newcomers were jerks; a couple of them team-killed me for vehicles, which would usually get them kicked, but no admins were on. If all newcomers were like the ones I encountered, I’m not surprised at the way the regulars acted towards me.

Ravaged

I can understand why dedicated servers are good in general for multiplayer based games, but there’s a point where they don’t work well. Dedicated servers are worth having when a game has a very large community who plays regularly. So, what happens when there’s a small community with dedicated servers? Very few servers are active and only the loyal players remain. That’s the problem Ravaged suffers from – I could only find one active server in my area that was populated. When that server was full, I had nowhere else to go. Sure, I could go a European server, but I’d get a ping of 200. I could try to start up a second server, but who knows how long it would take to populate. I’d either waited until a spot opened up on that server, or I’d try to play again the next day.

Since the only server near me that is populated is an official server, there are no admins to get on and moderate what’s happening. There has been a couple times where I’ve been team-killed and there was no one to kick the offender. I could try votekicking, but that only works so often.

Ravaged

Is it Worth Your Money?

For $10, Ravaged is worth getting if you enjoy fast vehicular combat in a post apocalyptic setting. The environments that 2Dawn has created are nicely designed and don’t take up a lot of resources either. On most maps, I was getting around 60 FPS on High settings. It isn’t hard to find action in Ravaged despite it’s barren, open landscapes, as long as the server is populated. Finding a server isn’t exactly easy to do, considering how small the community is, but there are a few servers that remain reasonably populated. Despite it’s small community, Ravaged is a good FPS with a vehicle combat focus that works nicely with it’s post apocalyptic setting.

Ravaged Technical Summary:

  • Time Played: 5 Hours
  • Widescreen Support: Yes
  • Resolution Played: 1600×900
  • FOV Slider: Yes
  • 5.1 Audio Support: Yes
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered: CTD on Windows 8, High pings on Windows 8
  • Control Scheme: Mouse and Keyboard
  • DRM: Steamworks
  • System Specs: AMD Phenom II X4 955,  Radeon 6870, 4GB RAM
  • Game Acquisition Method: Review Copy
  • Availability: 2Dawn Games, Steam, GamersGate, Origin, Raindg, Green Man Gaming
  • Demo: Yes
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