Anonymous Ragdoll Warfare with “Ravenfield”
Inundated as the mainstream game market is with First-Person Shooters it takes real ingenuity to cut through the noise. Ravenfield Download, so named after the handle of its creator SteelRaven7, has managed to grab the gaming community’s attention with its quirky approachable game-play.
Back to Basics
In the timeless war of Red against Blue the player takes up arms as a nameless, faceless all-blue ragdoll among many all-blue ragdolls. You fight, in either the Island or Dustbowl map, to control the 6 flags. The more flags your team has, the greater the point multiplier per kill. The goal is to be 200 points ahead of the red, but like all things in this game the end goal is customizable.
Where most FPSs have focused on unlock-able goodies, character customizations and rankings to entice playersv – Ravenfield’s appeal is its simplicity. There isn’t even an individual kill counter! Like your featureless body, all individuality melts into the group in a liberating sense of ego-loss and tribal camaraderie. Though the sense of competition isn’t extinguished, winning and proving your prowess takes a backseat to exploring the game and its features.
You can cycle through the archetypal guns, from an off-brand AK-47 to the standard green sniper rifle, to find your favorite. All the guns, tools and grenades have just enough detail to distinguish them, which is more than the characters. The controls are easy and predictable while on foot making it easy to jump right in.
A Unique Take
The real beauty of the game is in the ragdoll physics. As you lay waste to the swarms of reds their bodies don’t stick or disintegrate but become spineless toys susceptible to the physics of the game. Watch as your enemies fly into the air after you bomb their tank, or watch your own body flail and roll down the side of a hill after being kneecapped by an enemy sniper.
Newtonian physics create hilarious issues when maneuvering vehicles. Inertia has more than once sent my helicopter into a spiral or cause a glaring over correction in my tank aim. Once the player masters momentum these vehicles turn the tides of the battle. The Jeep and Quads, however, are only really useful in traversing the Dustbowl map in order to reach the front lines.
The game is totally customizable, even down to the amount of vegetation, so you can create whatever story or situation you desire. When I started to find the game too easy I switched to assault mode, which takes the standard capture the enemy bases game but splits the 6 bases 5 to 1 instead of 3 to 3. Then I switched to night mode, gave the reds more men and plotted my sneaky sniper recon mission.
The AI feels well thought out and pressing O, I suppose for operations, gives the player some insight into the commands that the vehicles and NPCs are following.
While the game has no multiplayer in it’s current incarnation, and that may turn some readers off from trying it out, interacting with the computer-controlled soldiers is surprisingly delightful and refreshing. They are brutally accurate little cuties, and I found myself, more than once, waiting in the gunner seat of the helicopter or tank because I trusted the NPC to better control the unruly vehicle than myself.
Overall Ravenfield is a novel and entertaining experience.
Ravenfield Download Links
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