Set in a unique
fantasy world eons from now where Humans and Beasts battle violently for their
very existence. Savage transports PC gamers to the next level in multi-player
gaming. Choose to fight on the side of HUMANITY, armed with science and technology,
or take the side of the BEAST HORDE, masters of nature and magic. Each race has
its own style of battle, its own leader, and its own way to victory. Which side
are you on?
Savage is an online-only title that will attempt to meld elements of real-time
strategy, first-person shooters, and third-person action titles. Players will
get to take the role of both commander and grunt as they play in a non-persistent
online world against others, with each side taking either form of man or beast.
Taking place on Earth, millions of years from now, gamers will get to
battle over varying landscapes with a variety of weapons that range from crossbows
to makeshift shotguns. With up to 64 players (32 vs. 32) per map, there are sure
to be some massive conflicts. In this future, man has merged his primal hunting
skills with skewed technology to pose a formidable foe against the magic and melee-intensive
beasts. With one player as the commander, the rest of the troops will take the
roles of defenders, attackers, harvesters, and repairers -- all those lovely tasks
we've enjoyed watching little troops doing for so long.
With the promise
of a true morphing of the player from god to grunt, Savage is looking like
an interesting title that may well provide a haven for those who want a little
more variety from their online titles.
With Savage due in early September, I'll do what I can to garner some interest
in this unique title. To be honest, I wasn't particularly pumped about Savage;
how many times have cross-genre titles gone well? Not very often, I'll tell you
that. So, the thought of an online-only title that tried to blend not only action
and first-person shooting elements, but also strategy, left me a little leery
- after all, the last title I played that was online and of a mixed genre was
Purged, and I've yet to play more than four games of it due to lack of
servers and lackluster performance.
However, it didn't take long for Savage
to hook me. The player can either start off as the commander (the strategy aspect)
or a grunt, which puts the player in both a third-person action mode and first-person
mode, depending on whether or not the weapon equipped is a long-range or melee,
although some long-range weapons keep the player in third-person, but that's class-specific.
Either way, the strong mix of styles and gameplay becomes strong shortly after
starting, and the player can settle into whichever role they're most comfortable
The instant action hooked me immediately, with both sides having
a basic grunt character that's used for close-combat; each also has secondary
feats, as the humans can block and beasts have a super jump although each of these
drains the player's stamina bar. At the beginning, the player can either do what
their commander instructs, help harvest resources and assist in building, or gain
experience by killing NPC creatures - which also drop gold and other goodies.
Or, for the more bloodthirsty bunch, go on and attack with the classic rush approach.
strategy titles, once the appropriate buildings are built and gold is gathered
or given, the player can enter a stronghold to upgrade themselves. Aside from
melee-based upgrades like siphoning energy, poison, and health, there are also
ranged upgrades, like enhanced crossbows, upgraded elemental attacks (beasts;
fire, electricity), or guns that have characteristics of auto and semi-automatic
weapons (humans). There are also purchasable items, similar to those that heroes
can use in WarCraft III that will refill health, ammo, or induce a state
of fury, and so on. Similarly, there are also unit upgrades that alter health,
strength, and speed; some of these are limited in what they can use and carry,
but often make up for their shortcomings. During the course of gameplay, the experience
that the character gains will also increase their stats and will provide upgrades
in weapon and armor. To top things off, there are also siege weapons that can
be used in taking a town, which need to be escorted and accurately deployed for
The commanders can not only tell the NPC workers what to
do (mine, build, and repair), but also what the actual players should do as well.
During my time with the beta, I found nearly everyone in this position to be competent
and enjoying themselves. The leaders can instruct players on where to go, thanks
to a nice navigational system that has a beam indicator like Star Wars Galaxies,
but also what to construct, mine, and repair. They can also grant requests to
players for goods and unit upgrades that they may not be able to afford on their
The levels included consisted of lush jungle and harsh snow-filled
areas. Scattered throughout are rocks and gold to mine, but also random structures
that can either be fortified or used as defense positions; these tend to be deployed
well and can be very handy. The designs were actually solid and left many spots
for skirmishes and heavier encounters to take place. I'm looking forward to trying
out the rest.
It'll be interesting to see how Savage fares. It's
a beautiful, fast-paced, and tactical affair that, if continued in proper form
from the beta, should be a hit. It's surprising how well the mix holds up; by
my accounts, both sides are balanced and are equally enjoyable to play. How long
it remains exciting without a constant story or development to change remains
to be seen, but I'm looking forward to heading back in and slugging more humans
with a tree (screenshot