Review of Battlerite a Free To Play Team Arena Brawler
Battlerite is one of those titles that grow progressively. The game takes several months in advance access to Steam. Months in which the community of players has not stopped growing, even knowing that the game would be free-to-play and that it was still in development. The test of fire for the title of Stunlock Studios, however, begins now, once the game is already available as free-to-play for all players. This has resulted in the number of players increasing.
It can not be said that the success of the game, of course, is the fruit of its originality, but rather of the elements and options that make it up. In fact, you can not even say that the game is 100% original, as it claims to be a remake of Bloodline Champions, another game by Stunlock Studios, also free-to-play and published in 2011, but that was not as successful.
The foundations of the game remain intact, with short-duration battles, which favor fast games (even with little time limit in each), but charged with action and much more frenetic. If you take a game like League of Legends, remove all the items, minions and long drawn out Matches, Battlerite is what you’d be left with. Whilst it’s clearly taking heavy inspiration from the MOBA genre, Battlerite instead cuts straight to the PvP battles and calls itself a Team Arena Brawler.
Most games of this style opt for a point & click system for movement, allowing only the mouse to be used for it. Battlerite is completely away from this trend and bet on a handling more similar to whathas been seen, for example, in shooters. The movement of the character its done using the WASD keys, while the mouse is used only to aim and attack. This change, which seems somewhat smaller, totally changes the way of playing, thus giving more importance, if possible, to the skill in the aim and the agility in the movements.
Battlerite comes with an easy to follow tutorial that explains every facet of the game’s fundamental dynamics from loadouts to special moves and should quickly bring any player up to speed on how to approach the game. Battles are either 2v2 or 3v3 and matches its won by being the first team to win three rounds. Even though a typical round lasts about two minutes, the game entices players to close their proximity with health power-ups that spawn in the center of the arena, forcing teams to engage with one another, and teams can quickly snowball to a win or loss. Where this gem of a title truly excels though is that it has an incredibly high skill ceiling whilst remaining very accessible. The main keys to victory lie in outplaying and outwitting your opponents, knowing the right time to go all in and having tight team cohesion. For the more competitive gamers out there, knowing things like which champions have invincibility frames, counters and maximizing your preferred style of play with your preferred customized loadouts, quickly becomes intrinsically rewarding as well as addictive. Battlerite feels like a game that rewards hours spent with more skill to overcome your opponents.
The game is not compatible with joystick, something logical to see its control system, although it is a possibility that could be added later in the PC version, since the game is also scheduled to be released on Xbox One. The changes to other MOBAs are very subtle, but they make the experience feel different and, especially, fresh, as something new. The combination between keyboard and mouse is perfect, giving a more tactical and deeper touch to the control. The difficulty in aiming, far from being a handicap that can throw back some players, manages to engage. Really, the feeling, sometimes, is more to be playing a classic arcade game.
The champions are well differentiated from each other and sufficiently balanced so that the skill of the player continues to prevail. Of course, as usual, the decision to choose champion marks the rest of the game, since you can not change in the middle of a game, or even between rounds. It is important to keep in mind that, if we play without a group of friends, we do not know allied heroes until we are inside the arena of play (at which time we also know the weapons of the rival team). Here we can only modify the loadout or select one previously created with the preferred skills.
Each champion has predefined abilities, but we can also customize them by modifying the default ladout or create one of our own with our favorite abilities. In addition to the skills, we can customize the outfits, weapons and even poses of each of the current heroes. Beyond the champion, in our own profile we can edit our avatar and title. For this, of course, has resorted to the fashionable box system.
In Battlerite we have several types of boxes: silver box, gold box, legendary chests and thematic boxes (which are available temporarily, for example, on Halloween or Christmas). Each of the chests includes different personalization objects of higher or lower level. For example, both the silver and gold chest include 3 random objects. The difference is that gold ensures, at least, an epic object, while silver only ensures a while object. Silver chests can be purchased with the game's currency, obtained by overcoming challenges or playing, but I'm sure you'll get an idea of how to buy top-level chests.
The champions have 5 skills by default, two of them can be modified by pressing a button in the game and, in addition, we have special abilities EX and R, which can be used once we have enough energy. Thus, we have a total of 9 skills for each champion. This variety of attacks makes cooperation between players important, as well as making learning time necessary with each character until we find our favorite, which, yes, may not always be the best indicated depending on the selection of our teammates.
Initially, due to the novelty of control and skills, it is more than advisable to make the game tutorial, divided into different levels that explain the basics of the game. In addition to the tutorial itself, we have a free training camp to test the skills of each champion and, if it falls short, we can always choose to play a game against the AI (which we anticipate is quite hard) with another player To train. In any case, the help texts available at all times will guide us when selecting a character.
If we prefer the action against other players we have 4 options: casual, private, league and the latest addition: Battlegrounds. The private games, obviously, consist of games in which the different rules and maps can be edited. In these games we can play well with a friend or against bots in which, undoubtedly, is the least attractive option.
Casual games will be the basis of the game for most players. Here, we just have to choose our champion, if we want to look for games 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 or both and hope that the matchmaking does its "magic". They are games in which fun is sought especially without more, which is what the game knows best. The only objective is to finish with the rival team.
The leagues in Battlerite are the equivalent of competitive games. They are divided by seasons and that is where we will find the biggest challenge. Initially we will have to play some preseason games that determine our rank and, once obtained, fight to ascend ... or at least not to descend.
Finally, Battlegrounds came to Battlerite recently as an alternative to classic games. In this 3 vs 3 mode, you will have to meet a series of objectives to get points, these objectives are interspersed with the classic defense attack rounds. In the end, the team with the most points will win the victory. The games in Battlegrounds are quite long, although it can be a good alternative to give the game more variety.
As usual in this type of games, Stunlock Studios has opted for a graphic style similar to that of animation movies, with very cartoon characters and very colorful scenes. You can not say that the game enters through the eyes as soon as you see it, as it has a design that is too sober and does not have great graphic displays. It's not that I need them, but it could have been a great differentiator from the competition. In favor, yes, the game offers great performance thanks to very accessible requirements. Something similar happens with the sound section, which is there, although it goes unnoticed.
A well designed competitive brawler that separates itself from the crowd. Battlerite is as rewarding as it is addictive. Highly recommended if you want to have a good time.