Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022

It feels like yesterday that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale introduced the world to the fun and excitement of the battle royale genre. But in the three years since their relatively sudden emergence, we’ve seen countless copycats, big and small, remix the same basic “many come in, only one survive” shooter gameplay.

At this point, it takes something completely different to stand out, and Spellbreak might just be one of those special Battle Royale highlights. Ahead of the game’s relaunched and expanded closed beta today (which includes PS4 support for the first time), we got a sneak peek at some serious updates to this unique take on the genre.

game match

As the title implies, Spellbreak tries to stand out from the pack by replacing fighters with firearms with spell casters in a generic fantasy setting. The class-based setup gives different players control over different elemental powers through the use of upgradeable gloves, and the differences between each set of powers are far from cosmetic. The Fire Glove emits slow but powerful flying fireballs, while the Stone Glove can send out a targeted earthquake attack, for example. Each gauntlet also has its own charged attack, such as having a pyromancer lay down a mighty wall of fire for area-based protection.

Each class starts with a specific gauntlet that is attached to its character all the time, and that gauntlet receives special class-based bonuses. But players can grab secondary gloves for the other hand to mix and match powers. For example, after charging an area of ​​effect tornado with a wind gauntlet, you can zap it with a lightning bolt to create a wandering electric cyclone that can stun opponents.

While most battle royale shooters focus on bullets hitting their target almost immediately after you shoot, spells in Spellbreak tend to travel more slowly through the air and often land with a large area of ​​splash damage. This often leads to a careful cat-and-mouse game of positioning, with dueling players feeling the risks and benefits of their relative distance from opponents. Too close and you won’t have time to dodge incoming attacks. Too far and your own attacks probably won’t have much impact. Being in a high position can be a huge advantage in this style of fighting, but it also puts you at risk because any player nearby will immediately see you and look for you.

I like to move it

Locomotive takes on an extra importance in this slower, enchanting battlefield, and Spellbreak puts a lot of emphasis on movement skills that make darting and dodging the world easy and fun. This starts off with an extremely pleasing double jump that easily transitions into a one-second hover. In addition to being easy to climb over small ledges and over obstructing walls, the easy hovering makes three-dimensional positioning crucial to any battle in a way that feels much more natural than the usual rabbit hopping or building vertical fortresses. It’s not quite the free-floating jetpack gameplay of the tribes series, but it gives a small taste of that same freedom.

Aside from that basic movement technology, each class also has its own specific ability to dodge and fight faster or stealthily. For example, a pyromancer can run through a wall of fire and temporarily become a lightning-fast fireball, while the stone specialist can use a mid-air attack to quickly descend to the ground (and potentially avoid incoming fire). The wind-based class, meanwhile, lets you fire a quick blast of air toward the ground for an ersatz “rocket jump”-style ascent or extended glide that seems difficult to learn, but is valuable to master.

There are also reusable runes scattered around the map that allow the player to break the usual rules of movement in a number of ways. The rune rune was my favorite of these, which allowed you to launch up and forward quickly, Superman-style, to jump on an enemy or get away quickly. Other runes can provide simple quick dashes, high jumps, slow descents, or teleportation skills that can be crucial to avoiding damage at close range. If quick moves aren’t your thing, there are also runes that offer invisibility and the ability to see through walls to make a jump on your opponents.

Instead of the usual 100-player standard, Spellbreak currently only has 40 to 60 fighters per match – more than that can cause it to get too crowded too quickly, a representative told Ars. That means you’ll likely feel isolated during the early stages of a match, free to search for hidden chests that can upgrade your gloves and runes. Even if you can’t find them, the level will automatically increase as time goes by so your stats don’t fall too far behind the competition as the shrinking security bubble forces you into a close quarter battle to be the last survivor.

With the addition of PS4-based players today, we’ll see how the cross-play battle between mouse-and-keyboard and controller-bound players changes the competition. regardless, Spellbreak‘s unique motion technology and magical themes are a breath of fresh air in a genre filled with many generic “me too” shooters. You can sign up for beta access on the game’s website.

By akfire1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.