Spellbreak Review

Sep 18, 2020

It’s been three years since PUBG appeared in Early Access on Steam to throw the fledgling Battle Royale multiplayer genre into the spotlight, and since Fortnite seized opportunity and released its own Battle Royale beta later in the same year, further legitimizing an already powerful movement in multiplayer gaming. In the intervening time, Battle Royale has matured into a staple of online multiplayer gaming, both as standalone, focused titles, and add-on modes for other existing franchises. At this point, everything from Battlefield to Fallout to Tetris has tried its hand at Battle Royale, hoping to find a fresh spin on the formula and corner a lucrative chunk of the audience. Trouble is, most Battle Royale games are mutations of a familiar formula, making their own adjustments to the rules, the game’s setting, or small mechanics designed to differentiate without breaking out of a comfort zone, and the result is that most of these games end up feeling pretty similar after a few rounds. Sometimes, iteration and refinement can be good! But three years on from 2017, we’re starting to need more than just “now it’s on a tropical island and there are cars and the ring is a dimensional rift!” What if the way to make a really new and truly interesting game in the now-crowded Battle Royale space is to do something outside of the typical shooter?