Pages: 1 2 3
Review by: Dustin Arient
Published: November 13, 2003
Savage is an online game, set on a far future version of Earth known as Newerth, in which the human race has just emerged from a post-apocalyptic dark age and is beginning to reassert its dominance over the planet. A brilliant and ruthless general named Jaraziah has united the hapless nomadic bands into a single army known as the Legion; however, the humans are no longer the only organized force on the planet. Over the millennia, mundane animals have evolved into intelligent killing machines who don’t intend to give up control of the planet. In the midst of the brewing conflict, Jaraziah’s sister, Ophelia, discovers she can telepathically communicate with the creatures. She leaves her people to command their forces, known as the Beast Horde. An all-out war ensues in which each race is determined to eliminate the other.
Savage is played online exclusively and works in much the same way as the multiplayer modes of many real time strategy games: Two commanders take the roles of embittered opposing generals and give orders to their forces via a fairly standard RTS interface. The difference is that, with the exception of computer-controlled worker units, the armies are comprised entirely of other players. Sixty-four players can populate each server, and there’s no monthly fee.
Each side’s goal is to destroy the enemy’s central stronghold while defending their own. Defensive buildings and technological upgrades are built using gold and a mineral known as “Red Stone.” Gold can be obtained either through mining or by killing opposing units and computer-controlled prey animals, while Red Stone must be harvested from finite sites on the map.
Since there can be only one commander per team, most players will spawn as action units, which do all the fighting and most of the other tasks usually performed by computer-controlled minions. When a round starts, each side has only one building – a Stronghold for the humans and a Lair for the beasts. The players on each team spawn from its location, as do four of a possible ten workers. Initially, each combatant can only take the form of a basic fighter with low hit points and a not-so-powerful melee attack. The humans have a slight advantage in that they get a free ranged weapon (a bow) with which to start.
Action units employ one of two viewing perspectives depending on the weapon you’re using. When utilizing melee attacks, you’ll see your character from a third-person perspective similar to Rune. While you’re fighting with ranged weapons, the view switches to first-person.
The commander’s perspective, on the other hand, is identical to that of many real time strategy games: He looks down on the entire map from above, using the mouse to select characters and give orders. His first priorities are training more workers and constructing the buildings required to research ranged weapons and more powerful player units. When he selects a location for a building, a translucent ghost image appears on the site; both workers and players can then assist with its construction. To build, you simply walk over and repeatedly attack the building with your melee weapon. This looks odd at first, especially when there are a dozen people clustered in one place, whacking on it. Action units can also mine stone or gold by hitting the resource site in the same manner. After a few blows, you’ll get an automatic order to drop off your load at the base.
For each task you perform and enemy you kill, you get experience points. As you receive points, you can attain higher levels, which translate into bonuses and abilities. For instance, a level two character’s skill at mining and construction is improved, while level three gains you basic armor.
Pages: 1 2 3