A while back there was a devchat with 2 Dawn Games, the developers of Ravaged. Now there was a beta giveaway and I managed to score myself a key. Without hesitation, I installed the game, took pen and paper and started taking notes for a preview. These are the fruits of that session.
First of all, let's look at what the developers promised in the devchat and how well those things are already incorporated into the game.
Promise 1: Vehicular multiplayer action.
True. Even though there's only one game mode in the beta (Capture the Resource) with a single map (Canyon), there are vehicles around; quad bikes, armored vehicles, light armored scout vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles (better known as IFV for Battlefield players) and even helicopters. Most vehicles have multiple seats and weaponry, only the most smallest vehicles have only the drivers seat.
Promise 2: Love for players with low end rigs.
Untrue. Our dear buddy cham0d tried the beta with his rig and reported it ran with around 25 FPS on low settings at 512 x 384 resolution (I don't even want to think about how it looked...). The official requirements state that the minimum GPU required to run the game is 7600 GS/HD 2400 Pro so they've got a long way to go in terms of optimization.
Promise 3: Huge open maps.
Untrue. The developers should really look up the definition for the word 'huge'. Players have gotten used to really huge maps (like the one in DayZ) and the beta map doesn't really deliver in this department; you can easily run to the other side in a matter of just a few minutes. And being a vehicular action game, the map feels a bit cramped.
Promise 4: In-game physics.
True. The physics are well done in the game, even now. It's always fun ramming into your enemies vehicle, sending them rolling down a hill doing barrel rolls. The mass of the vehicles really feels and there's a huge difference in driving an armored IFV than a nimble quad bike.
Promise 5: Constant updates.
True. I've had the beta for about a week now and I've already received at least 5 updates. 2 Dawn Games are really taking care of their customers with fixing reported bugs and balancing/improving the game.
Promise 6: 1st and 3rd person viewpoints.
True. When outside a vehicle, the game plays just like any other FPS game. When you grab a vehicle the viewpoint chances to behind the vehicle, making it a vehicle combat game basically.
Promise 7: Extensive graphical features.
Untrue/true. The developers said there will be UberSampling in the game (which I thought was a joke when I saw that) and it's still not implemented. And I doubt they'll ever do that. In fact, I doubt they even know what that is. There was talk about MSAA and that was implemented in a recent patch. There was small stuttering when I switched MSAA and FXAA to maximum so I'm sure the recommended GTX 260/HD 4870 will never run this game smoothly with AA enabled.
Overall the game is still far from finished. The controls are quirky; the vehicles feel like they're on ice and helicopters are practically useless. The graphics could do with a bit of polish; at the moment the textures look bland and simple. Can't say much about the gameplay/teamwork at the moment since there was only one beta server with any players in it and they were all just messing around in the map. The game does show a bit of promise. If they get the controls sorted, update the graphics a bit and provide bigger maps, this could surprise be a surprise indie title. They have a lot of competition in this area, with even the big devs providing free to play shooters, so they really have to play on originality, which is what Indie titles have going for them. Until then, I'm staying away from the beta (as should you).