It feels good to be back. Believe it or not, I'm still not feeling 100% better, but I am feeling well enough to get back in the posting saddle. A lot has happened in the month I've been away, most of it unremarkable. So what do I do, you ask? The answer is simple: I don't write about anything that has happened in the last month.
Savage: The Battle For Newerth is a game that had me interested, but for some reason I never even got around to trying out the demo. Since it was liberated last month, I figured it was about time I tried it out. Honestly, I can't believe I've deprived myself of this game for so long. It was definitely a smart idea on the part of S2 Games, as I'm now also very interested in the sequel.
If you're unaware of the game's concept, Savage is a novel mix of a first/third person shooter, and a real time strategy game. One player is elected commander and sees the action unfold RTS-style, while the rest of the players see the battlefield through the eye of a traditional soldier.
The part of Savage's recipe that appeals to me so much is actually knowing what it is I should be doing. I'll admit it, in most games, I'm just following the largest group of my allies. Having a little notification pop up, telling me to attack, followed by a glowing column of light showing me exactly where I need to go is something wonderful, as far as I'm concerned.
Of course, it's not like there's some unseen hand forcing you to bend to its will. If you don't like your orders, there's absolutely nothing stopping you from running off on your own and doing whatever the hell you please. Sure, chances are your team will hate you and your base will end up a flaming ruin, but it's your choice.
The battles I've had a chance to partake in have generally been nothing short of epic. The music is a big help in this case, so much so that even losing is fun due the dramatic score swelling up as your comrades fall around you. If there's one fault, it's the melee combat. It feels clunky, there's no way around that. The best you can hope is that your team does well enough that you'll have access to ranged weapons soon.
I'm going to give Savage: The Battle For Newerth a very high recommendation. I did myself a tremendous disservice by not trying it out until now, a mistake I certainly won't make with its sequel which, like its predecessor, will have a Linux version available from day one.