Here's a tricky problem for all you budding game designers out there: in a game that merges the FPS and RTS genres, allowing you to seamlessly switch between the two perspectives at the push of a button, how do you prevent the player from favouring one style of play over the other?
Well, Atomic Motion has settled on a devious solution. Rather than both viewpoints having unique and subtle strategic advantages in certain situations, it's made the FPS and RTS perspectives so equally terrible that you'll repeatedly try to escape from one only to wind up in the other. So whether you like it or not, both sides get a good airing. Problem solved!
Though executed badly, the idea here is sound - take a regular through-the-eyes sort of shooter and give it a bird's eye tactical view for all your strategising needs. From on high you can order your squad of three (a gun man, a grenade man and a rocket man) to run to different places and shoot at things, and from inside the skulls of your men you can do much the same, except with a better chance of actually killing something.
The D-pad lets you flit between the minds of your commandos, who have names like Shadow, Thor and Crazyface, while the Y button alternates between the aforementioned FPS and RTS views.
Whether or not it was splitting the game in half that caused both to become so worthless, we can't tell. In both guises Raven Squad runs the gamut of shoddy design: enemies lie in wait behind corners in a jungle-themed hedge maze, stirring to life as you approach them, only to appear deeply confused about their situation.
The flappy-lipped animations and voice-acting are comedic, the agonisingly bland levels are as satisfying as trying to munch your way out of a styrofoam avalanche, and the weapons feel about as ineffective in the FPS mode as your squads do in the RTS mode.
It feels like two terrible games stapled together. Like a game developed by two teams, each slacking off in the hope that the other would make something decent enough to prop them up. Raven Squad is less a genre-blend than a genre car-crash. But even then, car crashes are generally more interesting to watch.
You'd be a Raven lunatic to buy it
- Voice-acting so bad it's funny
- Basic, repetitive levels
- Wacky enemy AI
- Rubbish shooting
- Rubbish strategy