There is one word that I would use to sum up RAW. It’s quite a common word for such games that are found in this genre. That word, quite simply, is ‘average’. RAW is another dungeon scrolling Hack and Slash game that has the same play style as you will find in most of its kind with the capability of co op play. Skill points are obtained from levelling up to help define your character, environments are filled with baddies, some (very minor) customisation based on gear and not to mention what some games can pass as a storyline. Plus lots of quests – pointless, pointless quests. In fact, before contemplating buying this game I will say this. If you get thrills over reading the same chapter of a book four times, but changing how you read it by editing the scenery, then this games storyline will have you drooling, however if not, avoid it. To be honest, the only reason I bought it was because it was heavily discounted at the time!
The game sees the standard reoccurring characters classes. There’s the Rogue, the Warrior and the Wizard. All have their different play styles due to their abilities, however you will still be spamming the same buttons when something gets within 5ft of you and, as there’s no block, it’s either an all out attack in true button mashing style or run away in a bid to get far enough to use a ranged ability and not get pummelled and die (which if you picked the Warrior, you will be doing a lot).
The graphics aren’t too shabby for the small developer Wizarbox, with lots of creepy crawlies under foot roaming about and blood flowing after every swipe, plus the environments in general are fairly crisp and lifelike.
The storyline truly feels like a copy and paste job throughout. It’s like the writers did about one quarter of the game and then stopped because they’d realised they had some other more important tasks at hand, like Harlem shaking. So the only way I can think they did it was to copy and paste what they had after a night of drunkenness, press control F, replace the name of the current setting with another title and repeat a few times until the game was sorted. To keep on this positive note, there is no character connection due to the sheer emotionless scripting. This tends to make the NPC’s extremely dull and would come across as worse actors than those found in mid-day commercials. I hope I’m being persuasive here?
At random parts of the game you will be able to take control of a powerful enemy by possessing them. This is usually followed by said creature dying shortly after taking it over or it living long enough for you to automatically transport back to your other characters body. This game is repetitive; these moments occur commonly throughout the game – taking rinse and repeat to an entirely new level.
The controls are a pain to utilise, as nothing really makes it feel comfortable and flowing, instead you will be spamming the same button time and time again until you feel RSI creeping down your hands. Everything feels sluggish, brash and unfinished. Combine this with relentless enemy spawns, and you’re going to have a bad time. And as much as flicking the right analogue stick to change to a second set of abilities is a good feature, I just found I didn’t need to use it besides maybe when I was bored enough to actually do so.
A couple of things that bugged the heck out of me, besides the skill point system being based on no true definition of the gain you get from levelling a skill (for example, level 2 of the skill being “prevents more than level 1” and level 3 being “prevents more than level 2”,I mean how do you even work out how beneficial that is?!) is the fact that there is no mini map. I found I ended up not knowing where I was actually meant to go half the time and had to spend less time on exploring the map and more on actually going directly to the finish line. This is not good for the type of gamer who loves to get in each nook and cranny for the hidden loot!
Secondly are the weapons. It will not make two tiddlywinks of a difference to how your character performs from using one to another. I mean come on; any Hack n Slash should take this into consideration. A sword performs the same as a dagger or an axe and the difference in ranged weapons is absolutely naff all. Frustrating, yes? At this point you’ve only been playing half an hour! There are the elements of fire, poison and wind that can be attached to weapons to add a little variety, although this also doesn’t feel like it makes a difference besides the graphics and the sound of a woooft as opposed to a shhffooft.
Overall it is a below standard game which felt like it was trying to be different enough to stand out. It feels like the title has been shoved onto the conveyer belt that is gaming in the hope that it might sparkle enough to get attention.
I might be a little harsh on this title, and am subconsciously bench marking it to game giants such as Blizzard’s Diablo and on a smaller scale, a gem like Bastion, which doesn’t really help make it a fair review, I suppose. But when games such as those nail an enjoyable experience, I cannot help it.