Battlerite Royale PC Preview

A neat new monolith for you and yours only, Battlerite Royale, is 'that' trendy game.

By Daavpuke, Posted 13 Sep 2018

Everything is a battle royale game now; the last-man-standing multiplayer model where one glorious warrior takes it all home, by any means necessary. Enter Battlerite Royale, the stand-alone spinoff to the arena game, Battlerite, which came and went late last year, rearranging its cogs to fit the more popular genre. Rake in that Fortnite money while it’s still possible; who cares if your game mode doesn’t relate to the new fad? Remarkable as the developer’s dedication is to adapt, however, it is veterancy and game literacy that might hurt the new project the most.

Battlerite Royale still possesses the same core aspects of the original. Players command one hero with a set loadout and skills that go on cooldown when activated. The difference is, in this rendition, abilities and equipment are strewn across a map, as loot of different tiers. Rarer gear comes with better stats, improving on their base ability or the big numbers will make the character stronger, faster, better.


Battlerite Royale,PC,Beta,Battle Royale


Before dropping on the map, in traditional airborne style, each hero gets one set attack that’s always available, along with enough currency to purchase one more of their loadout’s abilities. Once on the grounds, orbs that require a good bashing, like a loot piñata, can be found all over the place, some requiring a time to unlock. Additional currency can be used to purchase more loot in the few shops scattered around the shrinking play area. Gear up, head out, kill them all; it’s all standard battle royale stuff.

Where the game massively differs from its peers is that Battlerite Royale is still, in essence, an arena game. Therefore, combat can be different than what people are used to, with fights often being more relying on poke damage, waiting for an opportunity to gain the upper hand before finishing the opponent. The more hits heroes land, the more they’ll charge an ultimate attack; some of which have devastating results.


Battlerite Royale,PC,Beta, Battle Royale


This arena mechanism also hides one of the bigger problems Battlerite Royale will need to overcome. Players often gain that upper hand from just landing the first strike. With the opponent now down in health and the attacker one step closer to their ultimate, the power balance quickly topples in one’s favor, leading the other to fight a rapidly growing uphill battle. If any third parties are around, which often happens in battle royale games, this victimization becomes even worse. It’s a good ganking, if you will. There’s a distinct anti-climax to knowing the game is over from the second one single hit comes in that makes trying again, hoping not to get hit first, an increasingly more demanding task.

The other issue with Battlerite Royale is another classic game design flaw, often tied to arena games specifically. People who have played Battlerite and stuck around from the main game will almost always trounce anyone else. There is no evident baseline playing field in arena games, as there would be in a shooter, for instance. Game knowledge is everything and those that have already committed their time to studying up on characters, loadouts and so on, will dominate anyone coming in to give the game a try. As a separate title that would like to attract an audience, Battlerite Royale is going to have an extremely rough time finding anyone willing to go through a trial by fire for hours on end; landing and immediately getting curb stomped over and over by veterans, even with differing ranks. Yeah, that’s just plain anti-fun.

For the select few veterans, however, Battlerite Royale is still a fully fleshed out idea and game mode, even though they’ll require old users to purchase the spinoff again. The transition from arena game to battle royale is impressively seamless. The same polished cartoon visuals and swooping effects of thunderous attacks apply, in a fluid game with a decent top overview and clean user interface that has handy tooltips when hovering over abilities. It’s all still there. Heroes range from melee bashers to swift attackers, ranged fighters and even support characters that might really spice up play once squads are introduced in the full release. In particular, characters with good mobility might become powerful, given only having one life means it’s pretty important to be able to get in and get out at whim. Whether or not the giant barrier of entry is worth it is another question, one developer Stunlock Studios will need to ensure it answers, before everyone simply logs off and tries one of dozens of more welcoming alternatives. Beginner only lobbies are going to be a must or this project will cater solely to the few who were already there, because those are presently the only ones enjoying this rigid game. 


Battlerite Royale,PC,Beta, Battle Royale


The currently 2,000 remaining Battlerite players can look forward to an interesting new way to play with Battlerite Royale; a surprisingly well-adjusted game, from its older arena roots to the popular last-man-standing model. Whether or not this multiplayer massacre will sell to more than this tiny pool remains to be seen, as the bar is set incredibly high by its community for anyone else trying to get in. Especially considering other battle royale games do not have such an extensive rite of passage that demands such an amount of time and dedication to even start playing, it’s going to be tough opening the gates. No one enjoys just undergoing their fate in perpetuity, from the second they meet anyone else. Battlerite Royale has about two weeks to become accessible in any way, shape or form to make sense of its grab to the battle royale craze. That’s not a lot of time.
 

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Battlerite

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Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Stunlock Studios
Developer(s): Stunlock Studios
Genres: MOBA
Themes: MOBA
Release Date: 2018-09-26

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