Ravenfield is a pick it up and play shooter. You won’t have to read through a novel-sized instruction manual or sit through a ten minute cut scene a la Call of Duty before you can get on with things. However, it also means no special gaming mechanics either.
You won’t spend hours customizing a character with armor, shields, or class. You won’t hunt for rare power ups or treasure, work for hours leveling up a character, or hunt for hidden maps within the world of Ravenfield. What’s that leave you? A breezy, addictive first-person shooter without the gruesome violence, gore, and adult storyline featured in well-known, mainstream picks.
Point and shoot using the WASD keys and the mouse. Use “c” to crouch down and hide from the enemy. Driving? Use “q” and “e” to lean in. Reload with “r.” Want to know all the keyboard and mouse functions? Once the game loads, before you click “Play,” choose “Input.” Scroll through the long list. Practice your memorization skills before you hit the battlefield. You’ll use your mouse to look around and fire at the baddies.
Some games turn sluggish as they gobble up all the memory. Not so with Ravenfield. Graphics are often compared to Upturned, another Indie classic. The graphics are a nice bit of nostalgia, and feel familiar without being invasive, but the real perk is this: even slow computers can handle Ravenfield. You can up your bot counts so more bad guys can hit the fields without lagging. Test your system at different levels to figure out the right balance. The bot counts are total counts.
Tailor the game to your gaming level. Opt for easy or challenging mode to get the party started, if parties involved pixelated people and a large-scale deadly game of capture the flag. Craving customization? Sorry, you won’t find much here. You won’t start with a boring pistol, however. You can choose among a RK-44, 76-Eagle, SL-Defender, Signal DNR, Recon LRR, and AK-47, so you aren’t without some options. Click on one of your three ammo bags before you zip into the game. What will you put inside? Scope? Bil scapel target-seeking missle (based of the reallife FGM-148 Javelin), a medipack, binoculars, night vision goggles, or grenades? Grab the wrench — it comes in handy repairing vehicles to help your base. Fill them up. Save trying out weapons until you meet the red team. Kill a teammate and you help the other team score.
Hit the fields and defend your team
Armed and dangerous? Enter the game. While this is, in essence, a game of capture the flag, Ravenfield offers more. Gain 200 more points than your enemy, Red team, to win. How do you get points? Shoot the red team. Capture the flag. Repeat. Grabbing the flag adds a multiplier bonus. It is easier said than done. Each flag you gain serves as the amount of scored points when you down the other team. For example, if your team has three flags and kills the red team, you gain three points. Yes, this can run almost to infinity — or until one team has scrubbed the other team from the face of the Earth (so they can’t respawn).
The red team launches air assault and ground coverage with jeeps and tanks. You can zoom in for a head-exploding sniper shot off the hill or you can stick with a few clean shots to the chest. The fun amps up when the red team arrives on the scene…with vehicles. Vehicles don’t sit there looking pretty waiting for you to find them. In Ravenfield, the bots are capable of driving and shooting.
Take care of business. After shooting them out, press “f” on your keyboard so you can hop in. Mow down your red team enemies. Simple, satisfying game play. Ragdoll physics. In Ravenfield, it’s death without the cringe-worthy gore. Blood appears as paint-like splatters of red or blue (depending on the team color). By the end of a battle, the field looks like a kindergartner took a paintbrush and speckled paint everywhere like a little Jackson Pollock.
How do you know if things are going well? Other than seeing more red splatters on the field than blue, look to the large bar across the top of your screen. The bar indicates what team is in the lead. If the bar is more blue than red, good job. It means your team is ahead. It’s a move used by other games to make it fast to judge your progress and fits right into the look of Ravenfield.
The red team isn’t brainless. They know what to do and where to go to destroy you. Don’t worry — the AI isn’t too powerful or all-knowing. Perform a sneak attack, if you can. The red team won’t see you coming.
Is there a better alternative?
If you prefer realistic graphics and a strong story, Battlefield would be the perfect pick. Both offer first person shooter style with the ability to drive vehicles and even, get left behind by the AI as you watch your team zip away. Your squad will ditch you. You will get left behind. But Battlefield is meant for a more mature audience and advanced gamer. Ravenfield offers easy accessibility.
For a nicer-looking, though sillier game, try Havocado. It’s a more colorful game in a similar style using the same ragdoll physics in a first-person shooter.
Ravenfield is a refreshing throwback to Super Nintendo-era style gaming. For busy game players, it’s wonderful to sit back, relax, and get playing without all the usual waiting around for screens and cut scenes to load.
Should I download it?
Yes, download Ravenfield if you have a fondness for simple first-person shooters and can overlook the blocky figures and basic graphics. It’s fast-loading and easy to play, but harder to win.