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 Home -> Reviews -> Raven Squad
Raven Squad By: John "Award" Del Percio
September 4, 2009
Developer :Atomic Motion
Publisher :SouthPeak
Release Date :August 2009
Platform : PC, XBox 360
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Play It For the Gameplay!

Let's face it. Raven Squad isn't going to score major victories in the cinematic immersive game genres, but what it does have is good solid gameplay. It may be too easy at times, though the harder difficulty setting definitely ramps up the tactical combat, arguably by too much, but it does make for some enjoyable tactical gun-play without making it too realistically complicated, so I can't complain too much there. At a lower cost than many games it delivers in spades: great graphics, well put together, exceptionally fun and simple gameplay, and music that's a few levels higher quality than it really needed to be (shame there's no soundtrack available!) If you can look past the horrible voice acting from the lead actors, or just fixate on the fairly good acting from the supporting characters, it's a pretty clean package, if only on veteran difficulty for the hard-core FPS gamers out there. Voices aside, the most critical failing of the game is its length. With only twelve missions, on the normal difficulty I was able to complete the game in just a few hours. Thankfully it's fun enough that it's worth some replay at a higher difficulty which I imagine would take considerably more time. Damage is higher, enemies more numerous, and restarts will definitely be more frequent. Overall, it's a gamer's game. It's not groundbreaking or cinematic, but features some great gaming fun for the money. Were it not for the voice acting, the score would have been even higher.


Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
83 %

Graphics are shockingly good. I expected flat lighting and muddied textures from what would otherwise have been considered a "double-A and a half" rated game. These are clearly AAA graphics, though not the top-tier graphics one may be expecting from blockbuster games. Character models are a bit behind the times, as is the character movement, but I certainly won't hold that against the game too much.

60 %

The music is exceptional, and the gun shots are very convincing, and accompanied by well done vibration feedback on the XBox 360 controller. Generally the sound and environment effects are great. It's a shame the voice acting had to bring this score down to a careening halt. Again, I think with the proper direction, the actors could have done well. Possibly with proper time and budget, the director could have done well, so the blame either lies with the voice director, or with whomever controls the purse strings. A shame, but livable. We can hope those responsible will improve this in future games!

84 %

The gameplay is the game's strong suit by far. A few points lost here and there for issues like the bounding boxes and lack of a full cover system. Big points lost for the short length of the game. But overall, it's a fun game that's seldom frustrating with decent replay value. The tactics and deep jungle scenery rarely get old.

50 %

Story? What story? It's about as generic and nondescript as a story gets. It's not a detriment to the game, but certainly it doesn't deserve a huge score on its own. Gameplay depth is a mixed bag. It's a tactical action game that keeps it light on the tactics and high on the action. There are no cumbersome controls or heavily calculated tactics. It does not feature a super-realistic battle system. But, then, neither did Doom or Quake. It's plain, simple fun with a hint of just enough tactics to make it varied and thoughtful. Good, clean fun for the overall game, so in this case the depth score is somewhat unimportant.

70 %

There isn't much multiplayer available in the game, however two-player co-op exists in which each player controls one of the squads exclusively. I'm always in favor of a good co-op experience, and often against tacked-on deathmatch type multiplayer additions, so overall this is a great feature. A big negative for it is no split-screen local for the XBox 360 version, though that's hardly exclusive. The biggest set-back to this configuration is that part of the fun is thinking about how to tactically deploy your squads. If you can't control both, that element is removed, though it can surely be replaced with yelling at a friend who just bumbled securing fuel for the ferry...

Why did it have to end so soon? Just when I got into it, learned to forgive the voice acting, and started really having a blast with it, the game ended. I'd rather have a short game with good pacing than a lengthy game with terrible pacing any day, but it can't be wrong to want more of a good thing, can it? These sorts of retro jump-in action games that don't take themselves too seriously have become rare these days; replaced with realistic, complicated shooters that try to supplant mindless hero action with more believable battlefield conditions. Supposedly hardcore gamers like that more. Apparently the "hardcore gamers" of today weren't around when the rest of use were having hardcore fun with the thoroughly unrealistic games of yesteryear! This is definitely a far better game than one would think after glancing at the box featuring the geeky gun toting demo man with the black frame glasses, and is definitely worth a second look for those just passing by it as another generic game. I'm sure I'm breaking the mold in giving this title a relatively high score given its production value, but it's hard to deny the simple reckless fun provided here despite its production missteps, so long as you're thinking arcade, not tactical simulator. But what gamer doesn't like arcades?

Overall Rating



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