Savage2: innovative first person/real time strategy hybrid, now freeware

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Savage 2: A Tortured Soul is a freeware game that incorporates real time strategy and action role playing elements. It is exclusively a multiplayer game and supports multiple OS platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux).

Savage 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Savage: The Battle For Newerth. It is developed and distributed by S2 games, a U.S. developer. Like its predecessor, Savage 2 pits the forces of Man against the Beast Horde, in a unique fantasy setting.

Fans of the steam punk style should feel at home. This is one of the few game series ambitious enough to try and blend such an array of game genres, and incorporate exclusively multiplayer gameplay. Savage 2 tries to break new ground, does it pull it off, or do its ambitious design goals work against this free-to-play game?

Savage2 ScreenshotAnother Savage2 Screenshot

Gameplay: Savage 2 pits two factions against each other in close combat, under the watchful eyes of team commanders. Most gamers play in over the shoulder view (or first person mode), as units in their commanders real time strategy game. It’s a very neat idea. When playing as a unit, gamers choose between a good variety of unit types, ranging from builders to siege engines. Typical real time strategy game unit types like spell casters, melee soldiers, and scouts flesh out the class selection screen. As you collect kills and achieve commander set objectives, the player can distribute skill points to increase damage delivered, endurance, and magical damage. In the second half of a match, the feared Hellspawn become available, providing your team controls the right map positions.

Resource control is the domain of the commander. This player views the game world from a birds eye view, placing buildings, managing resources, and issuing non-binding orders to their player controlled units. A good commander can be hard to come by. If this all sounds a bit complex, that’s because it is. Savage 2 boasts a serious learning curve. Basic game mechanics will be fairly familiar to seasoned gamers, but there are a lot of unexplained features. The in game tutorials are not really sufficient, and Savage 2 is largely lacking written documentation. The learning curve never proves frustrating, its just longer than it needs to be.

More notes on this game below:

  • Replayability: This game takes some effort to learn, but those who stick with it will be well rewarded. Both sides are well balanced, and most every unit has appropriate strengths and weaknesses. Whether your sniping a Hellborn unit, bashing a building as a siege creature, or fighting hand to hand on the front lines, there is a lot to master. Savage 2’s straight forward melee combat and spell casting offers more replay value than I had expected.
  • Sound: Savage 2 sounds good. The music cuts in and out unobtrusively. Matches are full of vocal status updates, letting you know if your base is under attack. Bashing, blocking, and spell slinging all sound fine. Most of this games audio serves as background noise, and that’s a good thing. Unusually for a multiplayer game, sounds in Savage 2 don’t become too repetitive.
  • Visuals: Graphically this is a very appealing game. Character models are well done, stylized and generally cool looking. The game maps are populated with resource’s, canyons, critters, mountains, and foliage. Ruins of once great city’s and towers dot the landscape. Steam punk gear adds visual interest. With its impressive spell effects and low system requirements this a respectable looking game.
  • Bugs: Savage 2 occasionally suffered from crashes, and my character got stuck in the environment a few times. Fortunately these sort of issues are very rare.

The Verdict: Savage 2 sets out to combine the best elements from a wide range of genres. It’s well designed, and a blast to play. Populated game servers are surprisingly few, but there’s always at least a few full games to choose from. Gamers can also check out recorded matches on the S2 website, as all games are saved by the developer. This is a fun, free, well put together game. The online player community is helpful and mature. For those who don’t mind the learning curve, Savage 2 comes very highly recommended.

Version Tested: 1.8.0

Compatibility: Windows (XP, 2000, Vista); Linux, Mac OSX. Requires internet connectivy. Graphics card requirements: 128MB fully DirectX 9.0 compliant Geforce or Radeon.

Go to the game page to download the latest version (approx 1014 megs).