Raven Squad: All-Guns Blazing Squad

By Kieron Gillen on July 5th, 2008 at 2:07 pm.

Strategy or tactics? It's so hard to tell with these modern hair-cuts

Okay. This is me suspecting I know what interests our readers more than traditional wisdom would dictate. You see, if you look beneath the cut, you’ll find lots of screenshots of men with guns blowing stuff up in the Jungle. However, I actually think people will be far more excited in seeing this overhead tacticsmap, because it shows that we’re not just in the realms of the standard Honour Call of Crysis Duty game, but something a little more singular.

Or we hope so, anyway. Don’t let us down, Raven Squad. We’re being nice here.

Not much is revealed yet other than Southpeak will be distributing it, and you’ll be put in charge of a couple of mercenary squads. In other words, looking at the maps, and the team load-outs, it’s a cross between Hidden and Dangerous and Brothers in Arms. Its main feature is the ability to skip between first person shootage and small-squad real-time strategy. It’s being made by Atomic Motion games, who I can find absolutely no details on anywhere, so I’ll start a rumour that they’re actually a crack team of Mongolian Wrestlers who’ve decided to turn their hands to game development. Southpeak’s press release claims there’s more details on the game on their website, but there jolly well isn’t. Someone needs to give their web-design time a real-time boot. Get a move on.

Anyway, it’ll be available in autumn and looks like this:





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30 Comments »

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  1. DeliriumWartner says:

    Hmm. That last screen looks incredibly clustered. I wonder at the wisdom of having a top-down view that’s mainly obscured by the jungle’s trees.

  2. Optimaximal says:

    The chunky interface tells me its console-bound. Not exactly promising…

  3. Cigol says:

    Hidden and Dangerous? Ah, the memories. Where have all the slow paced action games gone. Same thing happened to Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. Hopefully this can recapture some of that.

  4. Volrath says:

    jagged alliance 3, jagged alliance 3, jagged alliance 3…

    Please for the love of god don’t let that game suck!

  5. The Shed says:

    Looks like GRAW/ Brothers in Arms meets Soldiers: Heroes of WWII to me. Tiny amount of info makes this a hard game to gauge in terms of quality.

    @Optimaximal: Good point, but how is that a bad thing? More importantly, how can we know yet?

  6. Dinger says:

    Atomic Motion Games, I gather, is not to be confused with Atomic Games? Maybe Atomic split?

  7. Arsewisely says:

    I’d give my right knee for another H&D. There’s been too much consoley pap in the tactical shooter department for far too long now.

  8. MetalCircus says:

    Just judging from screenies here but it looks very dodgy…

  9. Will Tomas says:

    I agree it doesn’t look all that great, but I think Kieron is spot on about what interests at least this RPS reader. We all want to see something new, or at least, a new spin on something old, rather than the same sort of shots of big men shooting other big men with big guns.

  10. Vasara says:

    First impressions: the interface is huge and ugly. Looks a tad bland visually but the idea definately has potential. Mercenaries in a jungle killing terrorists/drug dealers/innocent farmers isn’t really the most original of settings, but I guess it could be interesting.

  11. EyeMessiah says:

    Ah H&D. AI controlled squad-mates suicidally running into rivers for no reason. Climbing a ladder with your AI squad behind you, then discovering you can’t get off the ladder at the top and then falling all the way back down, killing your whole squad as you go. Jumping into a jeep for a quick getaway only to find a bug which was supposedly fixed in the last patch means you can only steer right. Looking over your shoulder and watching a squadmate going *so* prone that they fall through the earth itself and die. Spending an hour completing every mission objective only to find that end of level trigger has broken – in a game with no mid-level save option (pre-patch).

    Still, awesome game!

  12. Cigol says:

    Is it wrong to smile affectionately at that list of bugs :D

  13. EyeMessiah says:

    Not at all :)

    H&D is definitely one of the best worst games of all time.

    Or is it worst best?

  14. dr_demento says:

    RTS-slash-shooter two-squad tactics-fest? Sounds a lot like Full Spectrum Warrior, the World’s Most Paranoia-Inducing Game.

  15. Arsewisely says:

    @EyeMessiah: Exactly, war is indeed hell and H&D recreated it with disturbing accuracy.

  16. Caiman says:

    It reminds me of an older 16-bit Amiga / ST game, where design aesthetics weren’t particularly refined compared with games of today, but that didn’t necessarily tarnish the experience. Here’s hoping for some nostalgic game design.

  17. Martin Kingsley says:

    I wonder why it is we all gave Hidden and Dangerous so many, many, many chances. God, that game. That. Fucking. Game. I read that bug list and wanted to crawl into a hole away from the light of the world, on account of the fact that it was like being hit in the face with a brick called Nostalgia. These days, I suspect a game like Hidden and Dangerous would be crucified and then defenestrated cross-and-all, instead of (as was the case) being declared GOTY in every publication this side of the Soviet Bloc.

  18. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Martin:

    Because, much like Neverwinter Nights’ original horrid state which many reviewers glossed and which took Bioware about a year or so to clean up, we gave Hidden and Dangerous those chances because we all wanted to enjoy the game.

    I don’t think, however, that its reception was as heart warming as some suggest. It was definitely panned by several magazines and sites, and I’ve yet to personally encounter a gamer who looks back fondly at it. Even the Deluxe version shared some of the more obtuse problems, such as pathfinding and the incredible awareness of German soldiers. By contrast, it’s sequel was a far superior game in every sense, and most gamers I know are either oblivious to its existence or haven’t bothered with the title based on the original’s bugginess. Which is a shame, really. Hidden and Dangerous 2 is a kind of game you often don’t see anymore, and a good one at that.

  19. Erlam says:

    I’m still surprised how many people gloss over Deus Ex’s massive flaws. I mean, it’s still one of my top 5 favourite games. But every time I read someones nostalgic remarks, they always seem to avoid the massive, massive problems.

  20. malkav11 says:

    Dude. I could only wish for more bugs involving sudden, hilarious teammate death.

    Most of the ones I encounter involve sudden CTDs or hangs. Only occasionally do I get ported into a weird, empty alternate dimension (LOTRO beta), or watch my herald swim majestically along the ceiling (LOTRO release.)

  21. Frank says:

    Kieron knows how to get us excited about a game, and Erlam knows how to piss us (or me, anyway) off.
    The only problem I have with Deus Ex is the skill points system. I’ve memorized where to pick up the points (enter the statue three ways; that sort of thing), but it’s tedious to do so on a replay.

  22. James T says:

    DX’s flaws are utterly, utterly vanishing in comparison to its successes. Although it is, of course, a bit cruder in its mechanics than the (disappointingly few) games which took after it (ie, the game has aged — heaven forfend!), I’ve never had it ‘break’, much less present me with lesser flaws that might aggravate me into not playing the game (what are the ‘massive’ flaws supposed to be, anyway? Some of the voice-acting sucks? Whoop-de-shit.)

  23. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Actually, I think some of the major flaws can be found in the choices it presents. The choices in Deus Ex were exceedingly limited, and easily breakable if you wanted to step outside the script. It was good that it offered multiple ways to overcome obstacles in the course of missions, but a lot of the choices seemed entirely superficial. I seem to remember a corridor that branched into three separate passages, one filled with water, one filled with LAMs, and the third filled with robots. The choices in many places were so black and white, they may as well have done away with them. It’s when choices are somewhere in a grey area that they become a reasonable inclusion.

    I also tend to dislike heavy dialogue interactions as a primary means of character exposition, something that both System Shocks handled nicely without suddenly wrestling control away so that the author could force you into reading “deep” dialogue.

    Also, the skill system was somewhat botched, in the sense it tried to have physical dexterity and background statistics work simultaneously, which would either frustrate the player or let the player circumvent the statistical restrictions by exploiting the game.

  24. The New Guy says:

    Atomic Motion is none other than the merger between CDV and Digital Reality. Raven Squad started out as Ghost Wars which was to be published by HIP Interactive(which went bankrupt). Later Freeze Interactive picked up the game and renamed it to Field Ops.

    Just google ‘Atomic Motion digital reality’.

  25. sinister agent says:

    Deus Ex’s choices were limited, yeah, but it’s hardly fair to call that a massive flaw after looking at what came before it. And how else are you supposed to do character exposition without dialogue?

    What exactly did the System Shock games do with character exposition that was so different? You meet almost no characters at all in them, and what you do get is done in monologues. Comparing most any game to SS in terms of characters is pretty pointless, because in SS you can’t interact with anyone at all in any way.

    Sure, you can listen and play at the same time, but that wouldn’t really work in Deus Ex unless you had the entire cast following you round the high-security underground laboratory, and doing that would remove all player choice from the interactions anyway.

  26. H says:

    If you can command your squad using action points in a turn-based stylee, I shall marry it forthwith.

  27. Crash Monkey Dog says:

    Digital Reality was working on a similar game called Field Ops that was supposed to be out last year and has since then faded away. Anyone know what happened to that one? The trailers for it looked pretty sweet.

  28. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @sinister agent:

    Deus Ex’s choices were limited, yeah, but it’s hardly fair to call that a massive flaw after looking at what came before it.

    I didn’t call it a massive flaw, but it is a flaw nonetheless. There were certainly examples of less ham fisted level design before Deus Ex, for instance – Thief and System Shock come to mind. And if we want to sub Ion Storm’s game somewhere in the role-playing genre, you can’t go wrong with most games of the genre between Ultima VII and Fallout when it comes to ethics, morals, and consequences to actions.

    And how else are you supposed to do character exposition without dialogue? What exactly did the System Shock games do with character exposition that was so different? You meet almost no characters at all in them, and what you do get is done in monologues. Comparing most any game to SS in terms of characters is pretty pointless, because in SS you can’t interact with anyone at all in any way.

    So by your definition, Half-Life and its sequel’s character exposition are either pointless or non-existant.

  29. Roger Giraud says:

    Hello,
    I would like to send you the final packshots for the the title Raven Squad.
    Also, Evolved Games is the publisher not Southpeak, they are the distributers.
    Please send me a contact to send updated packshots to.
    Thank you.
    Roger

  30. christian says:

    i love your game i never play this.