Savage Resurrection is a third person shooter strategy game created by S2 Games. Savage has had two prior installments in the form of Savage: The Battle for Newerth and Savage 2: A Tortured Soul, both of which have the same type of gameplay. The only game really similar to Savage are Natural Selection 1 & 2. I’ve spent a ludicrous amount of time playing NS2 and probably only a little less playing NS1 so I was eager to try Savage Resurrection.
Savage Resurrection is a team fight between humans and beasts with the victor being the first to destroy the other team’s main structure. As you progress in the match you level up which increases stats health, gathering amount, stamina, etc. and earn gold. Gold allows you to to purchase different characters alongside weapons and items to make your custom loadout. Both teams have similar characters to purchase which are light(free), medium, heavy, healer, artillery and an expensive endgame unit in the form of a mech for humans or the Behemoth (huge dude with tree trunk as weapon). Each team has unique items to purchase and a few different types of weapon to buy. Beasts are slightly better at melee while humans seem to have a better selection of weapons.
What makes Savage Resurrection different is that each team has a commander who has a top down real time strategy type view who builds structures, researches, gives orders, collects resources, etc. A human commander is required in ‘Advanced Mode’ while a AI commander is provided in ‘Standard Mode’. Because of this ‘Standard Mode’ plays a bit more like a team deathmatch because predictability of the commanders actions while the ‘Advanced Mode’ can lead to a great range of different matches. Obviously, having a human commander can also be a bad thing because if you have a bad one you’re a bit stuffed - a problem this particular type of game will never fix.
Typically a match involves building closer and closer to the enemy and constantly trying to push forward and attack their main base while the other team does the same (maps are pretty symmetrical). Eventually your team destroys the enemy base first or your forward bases get destroyed seriously hindering your chances of victory. In a stalemate it usually comes down to money and research progress.
Sadly, Savage Resurrection is pretty much dead in the water as there was a grand total of 16 players online the last time I played. As expected, there is a pretty steep learning curve which is both good and bad. Probably more on the bad side given the need to grow a player-base. Experienced players can be pretty annoying - I was particularly fobbed off when 3 of us working together got killed by one experienced player versed in the melee blocking mechanic.
The extent the developers have gone to creating the different game modes and stats system with leveling is impressive. Along with match stats you also have your own global stats as well as leaderboards and tiers to challenge yourself against.
While the graphics are good quality, the performance is poor; I had to decrease my settings to the lowest setting to get a stable 60FPS which is critical for a multiplayer game, nevermind a heavily melee focused multiplayer game. Audio is pretty pants, at one point I thought my weapon was bugged and not firing but it just turned out the audio cue wasn’t noticeable. The music is pretty irritating after about 4 hours.
I encountered a couple of bugs such as dead people occasionally floating and cosmetic upgrades not working. I’m also convinced there is something wrong with the movement prediction or melee collisions when attacking from behind (chasing) as on more than one occasion I watched other players (and experienced it first hand) struggling to kill enemies running away despite clearly being in melee range. No show stoppers though.
I loved the matches that worked out perfectly but these were few and far between. One excellent match in five hours just isn’t good enough. The most significant problem with this game is the lack of players, there was literally 16 people online when I played last. Marketing plays a massive part in kickstarting a multiplayer game like this and S2 Games don’t appear to have done any; I only knew about it because I saw a pop-up on Steam and Nik has never heard of Savage. I fear the experienced players may also put off new players because of the skill gap. With sadness, I don’t recommend Savage Resurrection.