Battlerite Review

Were you ever a fan of Bloodline Champions? Were you ever a fan of Arena PvP games in World of Warcraft? Well the time has come for you to let all of those aside and join the new age of arena multiplayer games, with the latest and best addition being Battlerite.

Choose a champion and step into the arena, built by Stunlock Studios, to enjoy a bloodbath like no other. Battlerite is the multiplayer indie-hit of the year as many would characterize it and rightly so, because it brings all the fun elements the players of this game’s genre have been waiting for from a game. By combining aspects of MOBA games and other genres, Battlerite manages to bring a very unique kind of multiplayer fun to the table.

It is very important to mention that the game is the spiritual successor of Bloodline Champions, but unlike BC, Battlerite manages to make the arena combat more fun than it ever was. Even from the very first moments of playing the game, we can tell how the game has changed and has become better. First and most important is the fact that the champions now actually feel very unique and different from one another. In Bloodline Champions, unless you spent a good amount of time playing the game, you would feel as if most characters were the same, due to both design and choice of colour palettes on them. Not only does Battlerite fix this but it also gives a bunch of customization options that with every new patch, makes the champions feel more and more unique.

Moving on to the gameplay part, just like with the graphics and the looks of the characters, the gameplay feels way more clear than it ever was in Bloodline Champions. But maybe we shouldn’t just compare it to its predecessor, so let’s take it for what it is itself. Battlerite manages to blend in the elements of a nice over-the-top moba style game with the thrills of a World of Warcraft PvP arena fight. Choosing from a wide range of champions, each with very different abilities, once you are familiar with their abilities, you can play a stun and kill kind of fight with your opponents. Be it in 2vs2 or 3vs3, the mayhem that ensues is quite amazing. Practice makes perfect in the game and once you know what is going on, you can learn to control that mayhem to your advantage. Stuns, counters and silences are the keywords of this game and allow any team to progress through the ranks easily.

The game is called Battlerite by the way, because after every round (playing a best of 5 matches) you get a passive ability, called a battlerite, that will aid you furthermore in your upcoming combat. A fancy name basically for a passive ability. With so many abilities for every character though, fancy names are just the front, since there is a lot of depth to the combat found within Battlerite. Players estimate about 5+ matches before you are even familiar with what your buttons actually do. You need double that amount of time in order to start using those abilities well together.

The game currently has no unranked mode, which is quite weird if you consider the fact that a lot of people just want to goof around sometimes. For example, I made grade 11 easily (not that it is super high or anything), but I sometimes do not want to be try-harding but just want to chill out. Unfortunately, the game does not offer me that option, unless I of course want to play against bots or against friends in a custom match. The ranked mode however, is quite balanced and I have not found opponents that were not of a fair skill level yet.

Customization-wise, the game offers quite a lot. The first few skins for both outfits and weapons weren’t that great, but with the first patch, the studio behind the game has already catered to the needs of the players and improved the looks of all the newer stuff. Playing games allows us to level up characters and collect gold, which in turn allows us to buy chests where we can find various items to equip on our champions. I found it quite annoying that even at maximum level, my favourite character who goes by the name Jade, still did not have any fancy weaponry or outfit. So, basically, the RNG is strong when it comes to getting vanity items so I would not advise getting too stressed out about that part. Unless you are me and you want to be fancy-pantsy while shooting enemies.

Audio-wise, the game does a really good job. Games like this need to make the player feel very familiar with certain sounds in order to learn to move to those sounds. For example, when an enemy is unleashing an ultimate (think Overwatch) you need to be able to recognize it in split seconds in order to move out. The audio-visual part of the game is very well tuned in order to allow player to learn these things better and better, the more they play the game.

The game is worth pretty much anyone’s while, as long as they are a fun of the genre, and I can safely say that it has quite a bit of a future, seeing how the studio is very supportive and continues to bring updates in a timely fashion.

Battlerite is availlable on Steam, currently for the discounted price of 17,99€.


Verdict

Battlerite is one of those games that hardcore multiplayer arena players will love and spend a lot of time on but also casual players will enjoy for quite a while. Once you get higher in ranks, you may get tired of losing too many fights to people that practice this game way more than you do, but Battlerite definitely does a good job in delivering a fun experience that you and your friends can enjoy night after night. Personally, I am not bored of it yet, but playing with friends is the only time I can enjoy it anymore after having played for a month solo.


+Very well balanced gameplay

+Addictive combat that leaves you wanting more

+Good customization

+Good studio support, continuous updates

May get tiring due to online matches being only ranked

Hard to get vanity items for your champion unless you play a lot

Score: 8.4/10

Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis