Ravenswatch’s Early Access Provides a New Spin on Old Classics

Just one more run.

Ravenswatch, the new early-access rogue-lite from Passtech Games, developers of Curse of The Dead Gods, blends action RPG combat with classic tales of Beowulf, The Pied Piper, Aladdin, and more. While the early access build itself is short and sweet, there’s so much to plug away at underneath the surface.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the structure of Ravenswatch, a team of up to four players each picks an iconic character from various epochs, fairy tales, and other media. You’re then tasked with roaming the deadly map, searching for items, Dream Shards, and various buffs to increase your skills and abilities. A running in-game clock constantly ticks up, and when the 25 minutes are up, you’ll have to face the boss of Chapter 1.

Ravenswatch’s Early Access Provides a New Spin on Old Classics

How you spend your 25 minutes is up to you. Do you grind for experience to hit level five and unlock your character’s ultimate ability? Or do you search for Dream Shards to spend at the local shops and increase your abilities’ potency? Ravenswatch is a game about split-second decisions. As you’re cleaving your way through the enemies on the map, you must always have your next goal in mind to maximize your efficiency.

25 minutes seems like a lot of time, but it goes away in the blink of an eye. On one run, our team planned to hit all of the chests on the map, increasing our items and character abilities. Still, we constantly got sidetracked by powerful enemies blocking the way or the promise of unseen riches in a different corner of the map.

There are so many activities to complete that finding the most optimal path through the map is ever-changing. Sometimes you have one goal in mind, only to discover it’s more beneficial to help the lonely villager build their house and defend it.

Maybe you decide to hunt down the battle arenas to reduce the final bosses’ max HP before the fight. How you carve your path through the constantly changing map is up to you.

Combat in Ravenswatch is very similar to games like Hades or Diablo. Each character has a slew of different abilities, from the chilling ice spears of The Snow Queen to an army of rats led by The Pied Piper. How you build your character is up to you. As you level up and complete quests, you’ll be given options for branching your character. Which abilities do you modify with unique properties, and in which way do you build your character?

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Beowulf, for instance, can modify his spinning cleave attack to last longer, create explosions, and deal incredible amounts of damage. You can then stack extra Vitality on him using special consumables and further that by increasing his strength for every Vitality point he has. As you complete more runs, you’ll level each character up. This unlocks new augments and modifiers for their abilities, furthering the level of customization you can have in a run.

After you complete Chapter 1, which is the extent of the early access build, you can then run it again on a higher difficulty. This increases the challenge and the rewards. So while early access is still fairly limited in its scope, there’s still a heavy amount of replayability. You’ll start with four characters, The Snow Queen, Scarlet, Beowulf, and The Pied Piper, with two other characters to unlock by completing Chapter 1 with those four.

The map itself is filled with so many different little stories, abandoned villages, broken docks and piers, and so much destruction. Roaming around fighting a wide variety of enemies, from puking lizard creatures to cultists with a mean knife swing. Ravenswatch has a promising future, and we hope it sticks the landing.

While Ravenswatch’s early access is on the lighter side, it provides a new spin on these old classic tales. Being able to harness the power of Little Red Riding Hood and Beowulf feels great. The ability to play alongside friends makes for a chaotic mess of decisions and communication.

The boss is no pushover, with telegraphed aoe attacks, powerful tentacle swings, and even some bullet hell projectiles. The boss is fast, hits hard, and will absolutely mess your team up if you didn’t spend your 25 minutes wisely.

Having to constantly call out when someone needs help or if someone found something valuable. It’s a team game that scales with the number of players in a match. If you’re looking for your next “one more run” game, Ravenswatch’s early access is the perfect thing to tide you over.

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Jesse Vitelli
Jesse loves most games, but he really loves games that he can play together with friends and family. This usually means late nights in Destiny 2 or FFXIV. You can also find him thinking about his ever-expanding backlog of games he won't play and being constantly dehydrated. Do not contact him.