Saturday, July 11, 2009

Suddenly Savage

With Demigod being such an engrossing game, I have been trying to find other role playing games that play similarly to it - the exception being Defense of the Ancients because I recently tried to play that but downloading and extracting the mod and setting up a separate account outside of the Blizzard server were just a bit of a hassle for me. Apparently, there is hardly any other games like it but I do vaguely recall an online real time strategy/RPG hybrid that I played sometime last year via Steam where you can either play as a "Commander" who manages the team's military expansion or as one of the many fighters out in the battlefield. I was having a real hard time remembering the title of the game so I had to actually browse through the list of available Steam games alphabetically until I reached the "S" titles. The game in question here is Savage 2: A Tortured Soul and I could see that I have only played it for a day last year when I researched my Daily Game Log: I just love being able to access this kind of information even though maintaining this log can be a nightmare sometimes - *hint* I am a bit behind on it lately.

Looking at the note I left back then, it was apparent that I didn't like the mandatory teamwork element of the game and the utter lack of a single player character progression. Playing a lot of Demigod actually made me appreciate the idea that your character's level resets at the beginning of each match. The goal of the game is similar - basically, you need to keep building up your army until you are able to destroy the enemy's main base. But instead of controlling overpowered Demigods or majestic "hero characters", here you only get to control one of the many small army units. You can however summon and play as a more powerful creature when a Sacrificial Shrine is built. Savage 2 also doubles as a separate strategy game if you choose to play as the team's "Commander" - here, you get to view the whole map in a top down view typically found in a RTS and provide commands to all the other players running around the map while fulfilling other resource management tasks.

It feels like playing one of the Demigod's minions but it's still a lot of fun.

So I decided to download the game again and here's the greatest thing about Savage 2: It's free. The free version is fully playable but you are denied being able to participate in the online rankings, unlock achievements, and watch the replay that's recorded for every single online match without upgrading your account to "Premium" level. Before you slap your forehead and turn the other way, this "Premium" upgrade is a one time fee to access all of the game's available perks. It's just a weird way of selling the game - and a generous one at that too because of the excessive amount of initial contents given to you for free. The game used to ask for a one time charge of $29.99 and now, it's reduced to $9.99. You can also order the disc to be sent to you as a back-up and this includes a number of extra materials too - even this is free of charge but you do have to pay for shipping & handling. The were an average of 150 players online when I played the game so Savage 2 is far from dead. I am seriously considering officially "buying" this game because I am really liking it this time around. Just like Demigod, this game lacks any helpful tutorial and to be good at it takes persistent learning from what's happening on the battlefield. Check out the website and download the game: - it's well worth your time. If I decide to upgrade, I will announce it in a "New Game Alert" post.

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