Savage: The Battle for Newerth

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Savage: The Battle for Newerth
Savage The Battle for Newerth box 2003.jpg
Developer(s) S2 Games, the Savage community
Distributor(s), Desura
Platform(s) Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Release date(s) September 9, 2003
Genre(s) Real-time strategy, first-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer, online

Savage: The Battle for Newerth is a 2003 video game combining aspects of the real-time strategy and first-person shooter genres, developed by S2 Games.[1] It takes place in the science fantasy distant future when mankind has rebuilt society post-apocalyptic, but is threatened by intelligent beasts led by a sorceress.


Savage is a solely online game, as it does not include a single-player mode. Each match takes place on a map of varying size. A single match has two or more teams, which can be either human or beasts (most maps have one human team and one beast team, but any configuration is possible). The goal of the game is to destroy the primary enemy structure — the "Stronghold" for the human race, or the "Lair" for the beast race. Each team has one commander, who plays the game like an real-time strategy (RTS), and additional players, who play the game like a first-person shooter (FPS) but with a 3rd person mode for melee.[2][3] The human team is better at defense and ranged combat, while the beast team is better at offense and melee combat.[citation needed] A lot of gameplay is based on melee combat, which is notoriously hard to master and very different from most games.[4]

A commander is responsible for directing his team, constructing buildings and researching technology.[5] The commander is capable of creating a maximum of ten workers, which are NPCs that are fully controlled by the commander. These workers can be commanded to construct and repair buildings, mine resources and even attack other players or NPCs. Commanders can also issue these commands to the players on their team, allowing the commander to coordinate team movements and attacks.[2] Players can also receive buffs from the commander once the technology tree has been sufficiently developed. When a match starts, players may request to act as the commander. Depending on the game server's settings, they may either be promoted immediately, or the team must vote on the request. A match cannot start until both teams have a commander, although commanders may quit the game after the match has started.

The other 1 to 127 players on the team are the field players. These players play the game as an FPS, although melee combat is performed from the perspective of a third-person shooter. Field players receive orders from the commander, which appear as visual waypoints. They can be ordered to attack enemies, mine resources, or construct buildings, although there is no penalty for ignoring orders. Some players can be promoted to the rank of "Officer" by their commander, which allows them to issue similar orders to other players on the team. Officers also grant a passive healing bonus to team-mates around them. When a field player is killed, they are presented with the option to purchase units and weapons before spawning. The units and weapons that are available are determined by the commander's development of the technology tree and the amount of gold the player has (although players can request items from the commander if they don't have enough gold). Gold is obtained by killing enemies or NPCs, or damaging enemy buildings.[citation needed]


The game was released in 2003, was turned freeware on September 1, 2006,[6] and its source code was made available to the public. S2 Games have discontinued the game since, but its community continued developing it. [7]

Developed by a team at with S2 Games' support, XR is the most widely used continuation of Savage. It includes all improvements contributed by the Savage Full Enhancement mod, and adds better player models, new animations, new music, an additional 500 props for map designers, a reworked GUI and better support for mods, among other features.[8][9] Unlike the original Savage, XR is not open-source due to concerns about cheating, which has been a problem in the past for open-sourced versions of the game.[10]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 78%[15]
Metacritic 75%[14]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8 out of 10[11]
GameSpot 7.1 out of 10[13]
IGN 8.7 out of 10[12]

Eurogamer awarded Savage 8 out of 10, criticizing technical glitches and the lack of any introductory tutorials, but highlighting the RTS-style gameplay aspects, accommodation for a wide range of player styles and good looking graphics.[11]

It won the 2004 Seumas McNally Grand Prize for best indie game.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Savage slips to July - PC News at Gamespot". CNET Networks. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  2. ^ a b "IGN: Savage: The Battle for Newerth Preview". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Savage Updated Preview". CNET Networks. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  4. ^ "How melee works.". Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  5. ^ "IGN: A Savage Game". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  6. ^ " - Savage: The Battle for Newerth now Freeware". linux-Gamers. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  7. ^ Newerth Savage XR - About us on "In 2007 acquired the source code for Savage: The battle for Newerth and announced its continued development with the implementation of new features and content into the game via a patch named XR, incorporating previous community modifications."
  8. ^ " - What is the community patch Savage XR?". Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  9. ^ "Savage XR 1.0 Released - Full Details". 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  10. ^ "Why isn't Savage XR open-source?". Retrieved 2012-09-23. 
  11. ^ a b Tom Bramwell (2004-02-17). "Savage: The Battle for Newerth Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  12. ^ Steve Butts (2003-09-12). "Savage: The Battle for Newerth Review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  13. ^ Greg Kasavin (2003-09-26). "Savage: The Battle for Newerth Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  14. ^ "Savage: The Battle for Newerth Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  15. ^ "Savage: The Battle for Newerth Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2008-10-30.