Review by gameanamic
"Not For the Weak-Hearted."
This is a very.. unusual game to say the least. The developers try to create an original experience by combining a first person shooter, real time strategy, and role play type game play in an online-only multyplayer experience. For the most part, they succeed, but as you play the game more and more often, you see and identify nearly all the flaws within the first 4 hours. If you've played the first Savage, you'll notice that Savage 2 is much like it with some major changes. I will go in-depth in the changes in the next few sections.
The way the graphical power is increasing in games (especially on PC's) games which were considered very intensive will soon be considered not as graphically intensive. None the less, this game is very pretty. The environments are beautiful, and when a demon is spawned (which I will talk more about later in the review) turns the atmosphere a deep blood-red, and cause thousands of particles of molten ashes to drop through the sky. Though, on the negative side, many of the maps you play on quickly let off a claustrophobic feeling, which you're not supposed to feel on immense battlefields between the human race and horrible monsters. This is only a minor complaint. What they could have improved greatly on is the anti-aliasing. I run the game with all the graphical options maxed out, including the anti-aliasing. I still see little pixels and imperfections on the edges of things. Mainly on the character models, but you'll still catch some on other objects, which gets kind of annoying with the standards so high. One thing they did excel on were the animations. They are extraordinary; truly ground-breaking. From building houses to turning around a narrow corner, it ceases to amaze. You just have to pay attention to the details of all these things to appreciate it. Such as when your commander spawns a hell shrine, you should take the time to watch it build, and see granite plates cascade together and the like.
There's not too much to say about the controls. They do feel sluggish at times as well as awkward. Most of these feelings leave when you get through the learning curb, which is fairly steep. (I suggest you take the tutorial, especially if you haven't played the first Savage.) Especially when trying to use special abilities like back-stabbing when you're using the class 'Marksman' it feels incredibly hard to position yourself just right, then moving your hand through the keyboard and pressing a number. Still, like before, it's not too much to complain about; They're functional, just frustrating at times.
Again, nothing special. At times it does create a very distinct and atmospheric feeling, at others it kind of gets in the way (the music that is). The sound effects carry my similar feelings. They are definitely not bad, it's just they don't stand out enough. It feels like sometimes they were half-done.
There are definite original experiences in the gameplay of this game. Though, at points it feels a bit shallow, as you're pretty much doing the same thing over and over. You choose classes, as you would in a role play game; some of these classes are standard sword classes where they hack n' slash. Others change into a first-person perspective with a bow or gun or staff or even hand. You can level up as you kill your enemies, using it to upgrade your classes and buy items with the gold you make along with it. Later on, when your commander (a player who's in an overhead perspective as you would in a real time strategy game) builds certain buildings, you can buy certain units like a quite huge troll. They did a very good job creating the size differences and perspectives of characters. You truly feel like a giant when there are 12 enemy players around your feet, whom look no bigger than a large cat or small dog, then you squash them with a click of a button killing a number of them, then become overrun by these small people causing you to retreat as a wall of arrows are fired at you by players and towers. There are three currencies in the game: Gold, Souls, and Attribute points all used for distinct different things. Unlike most RTS's (or Real Time Strategy) when you are commander, you are only responsible for collecting one resource from mines: gold. This creates an even large feeling of shallowness unfortunately. I feel that they should have had at least two resources to be responsible for, and give you a better feeling of having someone watching over you and helping you, rather than you just roaming around and killing everything you see. As mentioned above there are very similar points in Savage 2 as in the original Savage. Though there are some changes like only a certain class can help build buildings, and you can no longer mine as it is done automatically.
Overall: It's an unusual game that doesn't require you to have an outstanding PC to run it. You should definitely check it out, especially on the program called Steam developed by Valve whom regularly places sales on the game. I bought the game for 10 dollars, when it had originally been about 30 dollars or so. This game is very under-hyped, only a few thousand people are online at one time. This game could have easily been a success with the right marketing. Give it a shot and help it become popular, because with its fair price, it's definitely worth a shot, despite the flaws in it.
Extra Info: The original Savage is now free; so if you still do not know if you're willing to spend the money on this game, get an idea of what you'd be playing in the first Savage.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/04/08
Game Release: Savage 2: A Tortured Soul (US, 01/16/08)
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