ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 4.0 stars
After its release, I played the original version of "Battlefield 1942" for more than 400 hours. It's one of my all-time favorite games because it throws players into an open sandbox where creativity trumps raw firepower. Sadly, the "Battlefield" franchise has become severally structured, but the newly released first-person shooter, "Ravaged," harkens back to the fun-filled days of old-school gaming.
Players begin each match in this multiplayer-exclusive title by choosing to join either the Scavengers or the Resistance. Then it's time to jump right into the post-apocalyptic action and blast the enemy to smithereens! Each faction offers five unique classes to choose from, ranging from bandits to assassins to weapons specialists. This is a welcome feature as it adds variety and lets players adapt to constantly changing scenarios.
Even more variety and unpredictability is provided by ten deadly air and ground vehicles that players can use at any time. Providing vehicles also promotes team play because most of them have room for passengers, and many of those passengers can operate extremely powerful weapons. I love having the freedom to jump into a dune buggy and zip across the battlefield or slowly tear my way through enemies with a heavy tank.
Vehicles also provide a much needed distraction from infantry combat, and we all know that infantry-only multiplayer games quickly outgrow their ... uhh ... perkiness. In addition, the ability to actually spawn in the same vehicle as a squad mate is not only convenient but also keeps the action flowing.
Be forewarned that "Ravaged" is an extremely fast-paced game where new players are the equivalent of wildebeest. Moreover, the nimble Stryker helicopter has a steep learning curve, but it's the most powerful vehicle available when piloted by skilled combatants.
Anyone who's tired of the inhibiting structure of modern online games will surely have a blast playing "Ravaged"!