The GoodThe virtues of Raven Shield have been extensively discussed in many reviews over the web, but I would like to share my views on the aspect that receives little attention - whats its like as a LAN game? While it can be difficult to define exactly what it is that compels my friends and I to fire up RVS at every lan party, the fact remains that it is the one game that never leaves our hard drives. Technically the game is what you want at a LAN; scalable graphics that look awesome on todays machines, realistic sound, a wide variety of maps. The weapons look believable(and I am led to believe realistic) and the sound varied. It is possible to tell the variety of weapons apart by their retort. Game play provides everything from roll on the floor laughing moments to intense, hand cramping, nerve racked mission. RVS is intended as a serious tactical shooter, and indeed plays brilliantly as one, but it is this exact reason the game is so hilarious to play with friends. There is nothing funnier than seeing the uninitiated run out of ammo and then frantically ask "what button reloads?!" as someone shotguns their dumbfounded character. A close second is the guy who walks through teargas or watches the flashbang explode, usually bringing a swift death. While there is no shortness of laughter it certainly doesn't mean you can't get a serious game going. The enemies are accurate and aware, forcing the use of the many tactical weapons like smoke grenades and flashbangs, heartbeat sensors and silencers. These items are not just eye candy but are actually useful. The team playing co-op needs to work together to succeed, and although sometimes the computer doesn't play fair in most cases a good performance on the player side will produce results.
The BadTactical shooters as a single player exercise are very demanding on the developer, and certainly RVS has its faults. But in multiplayer there are only a few issues I have with the game. Firstly movement is not all that intuitive; you cannot jump or scale even the smallest elevation. Walking feels ultra smooth like you are skating, and is slower than I think is realistic. Secondly is the AI, they do have a tendency to line up for a duck shoot, or act in either superhuman or incredibly stupid ways.
The Bottom LineIf you are looking for a multiplayer shooter that looks great, sounds awesome, has a variety of useful and interesting weapons, provides bots and a co-op mode, look no farther than Raven Shield