Ravensword 2 Hands-On Preview

Two and a half years ago, before iOS gaming had terms like “Retina display” or “universal apps”, a 3D RPG called Ravensword arrived in the App Store to unleash the device’s potential. It wasn’t a fully-featured console experience, but for mobile gaming, it was a breakthrough. Arriving later this year, Ravensword 2 will be more like the action-focused original than Crescent Moon’s last open-world RPG, Aralon.

The early build we played of Ravensword 2 had jaw-dropping, gorgeous environments that instantly brought to mind current console RPGs like Skyrim (click here and here to see the screenshots in their full resolution). Our character was wearing gleaming armor, with the sunlight glinting off of his sword. iOS technology has improved a lot in just two years, and Crescent Moon’s development team has taken full advantage of it.

The storyline of Ravensword 2 takes place a few centuries after the first game, and you play as the original game’s descendant. As a result, you’ll see a few familiar areas, like the first game’s village, but expanded and aged.

Our demo area was restricted to just a few small environments, the village and a wooded area, but the final game may be as large as Aralon. Your character will have to search the world for broken pieces of the Ravensword itself, and then reforge them.

Before you reach the game’s titular weapon, you’ll have plenty to arm yourself with. In addition to axes, hammers, and swords, you’ll be able to fire bows, crossbows, and primitive rifles called blunderbusses. Using bows is easier than in Aralon, due to a first-person view that can be activated with a touch. This also reflects the fact that the game will have more accessible, Zelda-like combat.

Some of the enemies we faced in the demo included boars, orc spearmen, a giant troll, and a pair of velociraptors. In addition to typical fantasy enemies, there may be a Land of the Lost style region with dinosaurs to hunt. The game will include boss fights, too, with yetis and demons being among the bigger foes.

Although Ravensword 2 is still in an early state, without any quests for us to play right now, the game’s graphics engine and user interface seem elegant and robust. Crescent Moon wants to combine the outstanding visuals of Infinity Blade with the freedom of Aralon, and it looks like they’re on the right track. We’ll bring you more details on this promising sequel when we can.