Past Entertainment

For the week of 11/8/09

Toggled Review

‘Raven Squad’ not elite among games, but creatively fun

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

The first person shooter genre has had a love/hate relationship with gamers over the years. Many times I’ve actually not bought a game because it seemed like a clone of 40 other titles similar to it and a lost purchase might have been saved if I could have only switched game modes somewhere.
SouthPeak Games and Evolved Games seemed to have answered this call for temporary escape and not mucked up the controls in the process. It’s not an absolute have of the holiday season, but where it fails to innovate it makes up for in playability. “Raven Squad” for the Xbox 360 does shine enough to make you at least consider putting it on your rental list.
Set in the year 2011, the adventure thrusts two groups of a mercenary squad into the Amazon Jungle when their aircraft is downed during a mission. What should have been simple recovery of information turns into full-blown guerilla warfare and questionable survival.
You play the role of two leaders, Paladin and Shadow who must use their special skills from sniper to heavy weapons wisely in either a first person or real time strategy situation. While the ease of switching between these two modes is relatively simple, the game often leaves you feeling like you are stuck in a B action movie, without a decent hero to make it exciting. At first, I struggled to be interested in the game, but found it a bit more thrilling past the half-way point.
Perhaps because it is numbed for younger audiences makes it not as good as it could be (though still not appropriate for children), but not to the point where you give up entirely. It certainly helped kill several hours of boredom and was saved somewhat by being able to see things from above when given the opportunity.
The only thing is I just can’t see it being worth more than a bargain buy, but that should be something that helps it in the current economy. If you like the concept of RTS meets FPS, then you may want to check it out at least once (though if you use the co-op mode you’ve used up the online possibilities as well). For a so-so romp through cheesy one liner laden battles, I’ll give “Raven Squad” three out of six toggles.

Images are copyright of Evolved Games and SouthPeak Games.

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