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PREVIEW / Battlerite (PC)

 

MOBAs are the lifeblood of the competitive gaming scene right now. DOTA 2 still commands amazing numbers on Twitch. ESPN has been airing League of Legends matches. Players are getting athlete visas in order to come to the USA and play. The genre involves everything from Greek mythology to DC heroes. It seems like everyone wants a piece of the MOBA pie right now. Enter Battlerite, a 2v2 and 3v3 MOBA that takes a slight deviation.

 

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Instead of holding your abilities back and making you level up to unlock skills, Battlerite gives you all of your abilities at the start. Cool down timers are still in effect, but that doesn’t stop the insanity from firing on all fronts.  Battlerite also takes the minions out of the equation. And there isn’t a structure you have to worry about destroying either, so your attention is solely on your opponent.

Battlerite’s greatest strength is the accessibility and quickness of its combat. Matches take between 10-15 minutes to complete, which is just enough time to get you hooked to the gameplay. Timing is your friend in the controlled chaos. Learning what your opponent can do and noticing a pattern to their moves is crucial to survival. The game is also grounded in skill shots so you won’t get far just frantically pressing buttons.

 

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Although you do get all of your abilities from the start, modifiers – known as Battlerites – can change the way you play. Battlerites are used to alter your champion in order to respond to the champion you are combating. This is a game that you won’t win if you try to just solo and ignore your partner. I tried that. I died very quickly. You should actually get used to dying without actually contributing to the battle until you get a hold of the controls.

Having to manually aim each and every shot can be a harsh reality. Most of the time it isn’t enough to merely aim in your opponents direction as both of you are consistently moving to avoid being a sitting target.  It might be a great idea to test a bunch of champions against bots until you find the one that suits you. And even then be ready to watch your thirty minute expertly crafted strategy be picked apart by someone who actually knows what they are doing.

 

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As of right now there are fifteen heroes broken into three categories. Melee, Ranged, and Support. As of right now it doesn’t seem like any one class is superior to the other. Teamwork is the main goal here. Since the game is in Early Access on Steam with a price tag of $19.99 all the champions are available to play with no rotations. Champions level up through matches and can be customized with different outfits, weapons, poses, and mounts. Those items can either be found in silver chest that are earned through the completion of levels and quest or bought at random through gold chest.

Since the custom items don’t affect the battle in any way the game avoids a possible pay-to-win system. The outfits seem to only be palette swaps with slight deviations in-between them. Champions don’t have the quite the character as those in League of Legends, Vi and Twisted Faith are amazing, but they are far from the staleness of DOTA 2’s characters. This game could possibly benefit from showing off its champions. The art style is beautiful and engaging and it deserves to be the main draw of this game. Overwatch has surely used a similar strategy.

 

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For an Early Access game, Battlerite is extremely polished. The gameplay is solid and engaging and the characters have a little spark to them. I can see Battlerite blowing up in the MOBA scene and maybe one day even being covered by ESPN. It surely deserves its own following and every fan it’s going to get.

 

 

 

This preview is based on an Early Access copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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