Reviewers’ final scores for the original Savage: The Battle for Newerth varied wildly when it released three years ago. Critics seemed to either love or hate the real-time strategy/first-person shooter hybrid, and reviews ranged from rave to nasty.
Those in favor focused on its unique combination of RTS elements and team-based FPS action. Each team had one commander, who could manage resources, construct units, and dispatch orders; the rest of the team’s “action players” controlled individual units who would wage war on the other side’s units and base, leveling up and increasing in strength as their kill count rose. As the commander built more advanced structures, more powerful units and siege weapons became available for each action player to choose from.
But those opposed felt the game was too rough around the edges and executed its otherwise novel concept clumsily. The game had an incredibly steep learning curve, and forced you to figure things out yourself through experimentation in the large, and sometimes overwhelming online matches. Melee combat was sometimes frustrating, and mastering the art of flailing at your opponent while hopping about was difficult.
Fast forward to today, and the sequel Savage 2: A Tortured Soul is warming up for a second go. Don’t expect any drastic changes to Savage’s core concept. Each team will still posses a commander who oversees the big picture, while the rest wreak havoc on the enemy.