Ravenfield 0.5.1

A free first person game that features 16-bit graphics and a wide array of characters to battle

  • Category:

    PC games

  • Version:

    0.5.1

  • Works under:

    Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 7 / Windows 10

  • Also available for:

    MacAndroid

  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    5.0 (15)

Ravenfield may not look like much at a first glance, but there's a surprisingly fun and impressively solid shooter hiding beneath the primitive and chunky plastic designs of this game. If you've ever played a first person shooter before, you'll know what to expect. Two teams, each helpfully painted in solid blue or red to help distinguish them, compete with one another to get the most kills. It's a simplistic formula that's gone through countless variations since Wolfenstein 3D first came on the scene, but the FPS has remained fundamentally the same at its core. Ravenfield doesn't upend this formula, but rather it manages to succeed by embracing it and honing it down to its core values.

That said, those fundamentals really are stripped down to their core components here. Ravenfield isn't a pretty game by any standard you could use. All the characters are interchangeable and faceless blobs, with a distinctly plastic feel and no meaningful expressiveness. The settings, meanwhile, look like they might have been stripped from a generic shooter texture pack from a decade ago. That makes the bright colors that define both the characters and the guns the most distinguishing feature of the aesthetics. But somehow that makes the kills more satisfying. The game started as an attempt to experiment with ragdoll physics, and that's remained a critical component of the final product. These aren't realistic physics, but that's hardly to be expected given the primitive design of the characters. A proper kill leaves characters flopping and flailing wildly, and it's a nice change of pace from the more proper realism that's dominated the military shooter market for the past few years.

While Ravenfield follows a pretty simple formula at its core of point and shoot, the developers have done a fine job of packing the core values of iterative design into their final product. You can see the influence of decades of design stuffed into Ravenfield's crude package. The inclusion of helicopters, boats, trucks, and other vehicle clearly draw inspiration from Battlefield, and they're surprisingly a huge blast to play. They're also clumsy, unwieldy, and easy to crash, but that's just part of the fun. Then there's the diversity of the objectives themselves. The goal is for your team to outlap the opponents by 200 points, but how you earn those points are up to you. Options range from capturing flags to killing the enemy.

One thing worth noting is that Ravenfield is a single player only experience. It's somewhat of an odd decision to take a team-based formula and leave only the option for AI teammates and opponents, but there's something almost relieving about that decision. It allows players to sit back, enjoy the game, and just have a blast instead of stressing about kill streaks and win ratios.

Pros:

  • An FPS stripped down to the genre fundamentals
  • Absurd but satisfying ragdoll physics

Cons:

  • Very primitive graphics at work
  • No multiplayer options available
  • Very weak AI

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