Raven Shield takes place in the not so distant future. You are the commander of an elite group of special forces personel who are called upon to save the world from evil terrorist organizations, out to undermine and destroy capitalism and democracy across the globe.
Ok, so that isn't exactly how they pitch it to you on the box. But that is the story in a nutshell, and lets get real for a second here. How many FPS can you name that really required a GOOD story to keep you engrossed in the game? Probably none, and I would hazzard a guess that if the only thing that keeps you playing a particular FPS is the STORY, then the devs didn't do a very good job creating the game in the first place.
But, now I digress. Let us get back to the game at hand!
Raven Shield consists of two playable modes. You have single player and multi-player mode. Under each are a few subcategories. Single players can do the campaign, or you can just pick a map and jump in for a terrorist hunt where you and your squad have to seek out X number of terrorists before the clock runs out, or you and your team get wiped out. Multi-player also has several modes. There is adversarial mode and co-op. Co-op is a blast! It is basically a terrorist hunt, but instead of having computer AI squadmates, other players round out your crew. You can have up to 8 people in a co-op game hunting terrorists. Adversarial multi-player games pit two teams (red v green) against eachother in a battle to the death. During the timed match, each team tries to kill off the other team. Adversarial does support quite a few players 24+ but most servers run at about 24 player max to maintain reasonable performance levels during game play.
In game audio is now, and has always been outstanding. This has always been a strong suit for Red Storm. They capture environmental audio very well. From the crunching of snow underfoot to the crackle of automatic gunfire in the distance, the sound effects really serve to draw the player into the game. And immersion is everything.
But, if you can find a good multi-player server, and get a few people on a voice chat (TeamSpeak, RogerWilco etc) then it adds a whole new dimension to the game. Slinking around a large map with 40 terrorists waiting to ambush you with 8 friends is a blast. And being able to chat with them on voice to coordinate your movements adds some real excitement to stalking the enemy. Of course, this can also be tedious, because once you get killed, you are out for the rest of the round. And if you get killed early, and are playing with people who can hold their own, you could be looking at 15 minutes of sitting there, watching your team fight for the glory without you. So, if you don't have a healthy dose of patience, this game could have you fired up and in a blind rage in no time.
Down time aside, the muti-player aspect of this game is really a lot of fun. Especially if you can find a good group to play with. The kind that are more interested in playing then trash talking. More interested in team work then showboating. Yeah, I know its hard to find that kind of group to play with, but when you do, it makes playing all the more worthwhile.