Raven Squad puts the player in control of six, tough as nails, men. I can understand why it was not called Budgie Squad.
Raven Squad: Operation Hidden Dagger is published by SouthPeak Interactive and Evolved Games and is available on PC and Xbox360. Two teams of mercenaries are heading out to what should have been a straight forward mission in the Amazon. Unfortunately, their plane gets shot down and they are stranded behind enemy lines, with nothing but their guns and muscles to help them survive.
Raven Squad has classed itself as a merging of genres, combining classic FPS action with RTSÂ strategy. The player takes control of one of the two, three man teams of mercenaries. Each member of your team has unique skills and different weapons, and the player can swap between them at any time. Also, in most places, the press of a button will take the player into a real time strategy style screen, with an overview of the surrounding area and the ability to issue orders to your troops. The player must follow a given path and complete objectives using the skills and weapons available within their team.
I personally have a great deal of love for both of the genres that have been combined here. However, in my experience, combining the two together rarely ends well. Sadly, this game is no exception.
As an FPS game there are some flaws. The game feels quite dated to start with. Movement is not as fluid as it should be and the aiming is horrible. Lining up a good headshot and then having to fire the gun six times to achieve it is just frustrating. From the sights, it looks like each bullet should hit, but they don’t.Â Swapping between characters, to use their special skills seems like a good idea. However, in practice, having to swap over just to throw a grenade seems pointless.
As an RTS game, Raven Squad works slightly better. It is good fun playing the game in this mode. But not all parts of the game can be played as RTS, and this means having to endure FPS mode again. From the top down view, it is easy to command your squad and fulfill objectives, perhaps a little too easy?
The levels are very short,and most players will complete the game in just a few hours. Also there is very little variety in the levels. They are all based in the Amazon, so expect a lot of jungle and small villages.
The games graphics are not particularly inspiring, giving the look of a much older game. The character animations are equally uninspiring, with choppy movement and lack of variety. The audio work is fun, though perhaps not in a good way. These guys are tough as nails, and sound like it. With one of the characters sounding a lot like Vin Diesel and spouting one liners that Mr Diesel would be proud of, this games audio is that of an action movie. Think Predator without any aliens.
Take the game online and play through the entire campaign in a co-op mode. Playing online increases the entertainment level a fair amount, and prevents the dodgy AI from controlling the other squad, which can’t be a bad thing. The only problem is that, unless you have a buddy that also owns the game, you will have trouble finding anyone else online to play with.
This game was fighting an uphill battle before it even began. The combination of two genres into a great game is like the holy grail. This game made a damn good attempt, but sadly was left with a lacking fps and a simplified rts. There is some fun to be had in this game, but sadly the fun is short-lived. Raven Squad or Turkey Squad?