Last fall, TVGB had the opportunity to preview Battlerite during its early access phase. We were incredibly impressed with the game and looked forward to its future. It didn’t disappoint. One year later and Battlerite is going strong and gaining quite a few accolades in its wake. In the month of November, it made Steam’s top 10 list for player count with an astounding 45,000 active users. It also ranked as the #2 top-selling free-to-play game on Steam. That’s right. This amazing arena brawler that gamers are crazy about is now FREE-TO-PLAY!
What makes Battlerite great?
Combat in Battlerite is short, fierce and comes with a steep learning curve. Players must masterfully utilize their champion’s nine different abilities on various maps in order to defeat their opponents in intimate 2v2 and 3v3 confrontations. While matches typically only last 6-8 minutes, combat is no less intense as any other MOBA.
Battlerite relies heavily on teamwork and strategy. For unlike similar games, there’s no respawn timer or items to buy. When someone dies, they’re not coming back. I hated this mechanic at first. If I died early, I was stuck doing nothing but watching my team win or lose (usually lose) for what could be several more minutes. However, this ended up making me a better player. It drove me to learn the game quickly and “git gud” as fast as possible. Battlerite earns my respect for that.
And speaking of learning the game, character load-outs also required a lot of study. Similar to the Heroes of the Storm talent system, in Battlerite players can upgrade their champion’s abilities. These upgrades, aptly named “battlerites,” can be adjusted or swapped around before a match to suit your needs in combat. Battlerites offer a plethora of damage options and utility to a hero, adding a much-needed layer of diversity and customization to the game.
Room for improvement
As a seasoned MOBA player, I genuinely enjoyed Battlerite. It’s a refreshing addition to the genre that I’m sure will only get bigger and better as time goes on. But it’s that same experience that gave me issues with it as well. For one, the characters have too many abilities. Something I thought I would never say about a video game character but it’s the truth. Nine is simply too many for a MOBA. I kept finding myself reading and memorizing the abilities of characters I’d played dozens of times before.
Another issue I have is the lack of shared team vision. Having most of my screen go black, especially in a team fight, simply because I walked behind a wall is one of the most infuriating things I’ve dealt with in a MOBA. I hope it’s a change that happens in the future as I can’t describe how dumb I think the mechanic is. What purpose is there in having an ally lose sight of their team in any videogame?
With its diverse pool of champions, intimate battle arenas and unique combat elements, Battlerite will make a great addition to any MOBA player’s library; doubly so now that it’s free on Steam! Players wanting to spend a little cash, however, can purchase the $30 All Champions Pack which unlocks all current and future champions forever. There’s even a $50 package that unlocks even more. Download it today.
Feels Like a MOBA. Plays Like a Brawler.
Gameplay - 8/10
Challenge - 10/10
Design - 8/10
Battlerite offers a one-of-a-kind experience. It's fun. It's different. And it's free. Games don't get much better than this.