Ravenbound battle

Ravenbound Review


Ravenbound Review


need to know

what is it? An ambitious but under-convergence of open-world RPGs and roguelites

Expect to pay: £29.99

release date: March 30, 2023

Developer: systemic reaction

Publisher: systemic reaction

commented on: AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, 32GB RAM

multiplayer game? No

Association: Official Website(opens in a new tab)

My instincts told me the Ravenbound took off a bit too early, flapping its half-formed wings wildly as it spun mediocrely. Developed by Systemic Reaction, an offshoot of Avalanche Studios, Ravenbound has the bones of a decent game—gorgeous environments, fast-paced combat, and the ability to keep you only Enough forward momentum to stop you from giving it flying lessons by throwing the monitor out the window. But that gorgeous world is also dull and lifeless, a world that makes little effort to disguise its role as the grinding backdrop of punitive power.

The premise of Ravenbound is explained in the game’s introductory cutscene, in which the fabulous Scandinavian atmosphere is only slightly spoiled by the distracting London voice-over. The island of Àvalt is guarded by six gods known as Ellri.But one of those gods basically went leave, Like a bag of potatoes that’s been sitting in the cupboard for too long, the black goo of hatred covers the ground.In order to fight against the traitors, the remaining five gods tried their best to create a magical crow, which seems not the best… actual The way the five gods defeated the other, especially since the effort to do so weakened them so much that the Betrayer imprisoned them forever in the mountain tomb. Fortunately, the magical crow escaped and has been looking for a worthy warrior ever since to ally with the Betrayers and fight them.

(Image source: Systemic Response)

That warrior is you.Or at least, once the skulls of dozens of other friends of the crow were ground into flour by Àvalt ferociously hostile residents. Between you and the Betrayer lies an assortment of bandits, trolls, draugr, electrified mages, weird goblin-like critters, and other deadly foes. They all guard chests with goodies, you need to free the remaining five gods from their tomb prisons, they will kill your Ravenbound in seconds if you are not fully focused on the task at hand .

Combat forms the bulk of Ravenbound’s gameplay, and it’s best described in two words: hard and quickly. Combat in Ravenbound is fierce. Enemy attacks are relentless, and you’ll rarely have fewer than three at any given time, meaning you’re dodging their blades almost constantly. After finishing the tutorial part, my first Ravenbound died the moment they walked into their first bandit camp because I was simply not prepared for the power of the attack.

Surviving combat requires judicious use of two abilities: dodge and block. The former is a sliding dodge move that, if timed well, will fill your characters with frenzy, giving them a slight damage boost. The latter protects your character in a giant energy bubble that can take several hits before bursting. Additionally, if you arrange a block so that it activates before an enemy attack hits, it will parry it, making you briefly invulnerable and often knocking enemies down.


(Image source: Systemic Response)

Is the battle well designed? I’m still not sure. The game relies heavily on outnumbering you to maintain the difficulty level, and as a result you spend a lot of time kneeling in encounters, like Sam Gideon from Vanquish.Fighting certain enemies, such as the trio draugr and the goblin-like tuftir, requires absurd Number of escapes. The foam blocks also feel like compromises from a budget. One of the base classes has a buckler, they are never actually used for blocking. Still, it does have a certain flair, and winning a fight in Ravenbound always gets my blood pumping.

The rewards for clearing the Ravenbound camp are twofold. You’ll collect card shards from fallen enemies and unlock chests guarded by your enemies. Both come with the same reward: a chance to choose one of three cards from your Warrior deck. These cards can improve your weapons or armor, or give you more specific status effects, such as a 75% bonus to weapon damage, or more resilient bubbles of protection.

In this way, your characters grow stronger with each enemy camp they clear. But there are two complications that rudely take over your power curve. First, cards require mana to use, a resource that appears in chests semi-randomly. Second, every time you open a chest and implement an upgrade, it increases your threat level. Hatred increases your chances of drawing a hated card alongside the reward. These will automatically increase HP and Boss damage with each subsequent upgrade. In short, the more upgrades you pursue, the harder the game becomes.

(Image source: Systemic Response)

So when you first confront the wardens guarding those pious prisons, you’re likely to be covered. But it’s okay! As you explore, you can not only upgrade your character with existing cards, but you can also unlock new cards after completing certain challenges. When you die, these new cards are shuffled into your deck, increasing your chances of creating a more powerful build in the next Ravenbound.

As a roguelite, Ravenbound works well, although the system does create some issues. The random way mana appears, combined with the fact that you have to unlock more powerful mana cards like all the other upgrades, means that early runs are really bad as you struggle to amass enough mana to buy decent cards.More broadly, must craft your Ravenbound gear completely Starting from scratch every time does get tiresome.

That’s where the open world comes in, at least conceptually. As I mentioned, you can unlock new cards by completing challenges ranging from killing a new enemy type for the first time, to killing a certain number of enemies, to killing a certain number of enemies without taking any damage Clear multiple camps, and more. Because of this, it’s not always wise to rush straight to the first boss, but look for challenges to complete so you can expand your hand. Exploration can also add character-specific legacy, a separate currency used to buy new character types (such as werewolves and deermen), new weapons (such as longswords and greataxes), and new status effects.

grind flat

(Image source: Systemic Response)

This way you can create your own targets for Ravenbound, which I appreciate. When these goals involve defeating a new type of enemy for the first time, they’re pretty fun. However, most new cards are unlocked by grinding, killing 50 or 100 enemies of a certain type, killing a certain number of enemies with a certain weapon type, or completing a certain tomb a certain number of times.

The arbitrariness of the open world intensifies the sense of grind. Àvalt is a huge space with multiple biomes, including Forest, Autumn Forest, Snowy Forest, and Desert (or as I call it “non-forest”). You can travel almost anywhere thanks to your character’s ability to turn into a crow and fly across the map.

But nearly all of this real estate was occupied by enemy camps, and everything else was purely cosmetic. The many intriguing ruins scattered across the map offer neither treasure to loot nor narrative context to enrich the world. The well-designed settlements you’ll visit throughout your adventure contain some basic suppliers and a quest giver. These missions always involve — you guessed it — clearing out enemy encampments. You just get more money. Occasionally, you’ll come across a stone with a story engraved on it, but that’s about it as far as an invitation to explore.

(Image source: Systemic Response)

The sheer size of the world, combined with how sparse its features are, made me wonder if Ravenbound was flying out of its perch in premature form. There are other indicators here as well. All the NPCs you encounter in the settlement stand in the exact same default pose, no attempt is made to make these areas feel like living places. The game is also riddled with a ton of bugs, ranging from cosmetic issues like NPC models disappearing from settlements to more serious issues like audio glitches or enemy health bars not draining properly.While neither of these is ideal, the latter two are real pain Cope in boss fights, especially when death means resetting a lot of progress.

All of these issues are a shame because there’s potential here.Combat is entertaining at its core, especially when you absolutely cannot beast a camp. The roguelite system seems neatly put together, and unlocking new cards is always a relief. While it can feel tedious, the open world can be beautiful. I especially love the mountains, where chunks of snow fall from the sky, effectively conveying the coldness of the environment.

Still, I don’t think I can recommend Ravenbound. The attempt to marry an open-world game with a roguelite structure is admirable, but the emptiness of the former undercuts the latter’s potential, resulting in a combat system spread too thinly across a canvas that’s too large.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.