‘Battlerite’ Review – A New MOBA Enters the Fray
The MOBA genre flooded the gaming community years ago and it doesn’t seem like it is going anywhere anytime soon. We’ve seen games like League of Legends, Smite and Heroes of the Storm reach to the level of eSports intensity. Battlerite is among tons of new MOBA games on the horizon that has captured my attention over others. Battlerite has been in the beta testing phase on Steam for quite some time before getting a full release on the same platform just recently. I strongly feel that with enough support from the developer, like they have planned, that Battlerite could reach that same level.
Battlerite is a free-to-play, multiplayer online battle arena game from Stunlock Studios. Like other MOBA’s, you can download and play the game for free right now, with the optional purchases that come in this genre. You can purchase a pack that will give you all the available characters and all future ones as well. There are a couple different currencies in the game that will allow you to buy chests for characters. These chests will include cosmetic items, similar to how Overwatch handles their loot system. Each champion can be customized via skins and also have different weapons to choose from. The cool thing is, if you happen to get duplicates of high any item, you immediately get currency instead. I have personally opened up some boxes and have netted about 15,000 of the in-game currency. This is enough to buy a few legendary skins if I wanted to. Skins and weapons can be purchased separately, unless they are event-locked. So just looking at the business model for the game, it works out. You can pay once to have every champion unlocked for good and everything else is cosmetic. This is similar to Smite and it works out well.
Now, lets get into the meat of the game. After you’re done opening your loot chests for the best looking gear, you will jump into the arena. As of right now I have played two different game modes. The first is the original arena mode in Battlerite. This is the classic mode that launched with the game. In this mode, you play 3v3 against an enemy team of players. You will pick your champion and get thrown into the arena with your teammates. What is interesting about Battlerite is right in the namesake. You are able to set a deck of, Battlerites, which are cards that augment your current abilities. This is one of the things that sets Battlerite apart from other MOBAs that have released. This means that you can go up against the same champion as you, but they could have a different load out of Battlerites and have an entirely different play-style from you. Getting back to the game mode, it is about eliminating the enemy team before they eliminate you. There are health pickups across each map that you can use if your support champion isn’t doing their job. In the middle of each map, there is a spherical object that each team contests to destroy. If you destroy the object it grants your team a boost of energy, which allows you to get to your ultimate quicker.
Spending your energy on your ultimate isn’t the only thing it is used for. Each champion has moves that either cost no energy, to 1-2 bars depending on the ability. Alternatively, you can hold down the shift key and it will give you alternate versions of specific moves. For example, the newest champion, Thorn, has a straight skill-shot spike that he shoots forward. If you hold shift and cast this move, Thorn shoots three different volleys of three thorns in a straight line instead. Doing so also alters the stats and effects of the skill. You can really mix and match team builds and play-style in Battlerite, giving a sense of diversity. There are some champions in the game that feel completely over-powered over others. Now, I know that there are always these sorts of characters, but even since beta I have felt that you can almost always win with certain builds. This is something that I hope gets patched out over time. For example, I know that if someone picks Ezmo, a chaotic mage with INSANE damage output, consider the match won. There is another game mode I haven’t played much of that is more objective based called Battlegrounds. It sees the teams attacking/defending points and ultimately trying to take out the other team’s guardian. This is something seen in most other MOBA titles.
Though I would like to see more game modes added to Battlerite in the future. For what is in the game already, it is done really well. This is a MOBA that you can play for short periods of time and still get satisfaction out of it. The matches don’t last 30-45 minutes in Battlerite. As a previous League of Legends addict way back in season 3, this new game length is a breath of fresh air. You can jump in and play multiple matches in the time it would take you to play one match in any there traditional MOBA. Battlerite brings a lot to the table in the MOBA genre. The customization options are plenty to the diverse cast of champions at your disposal. The game looks really good and feels great when you connect with your abilities. Sure there are some issues in the way of game balancing and lack of game modes, but the modes in the game are what make it unique. I can see Battlerite sticking around for a long time in this scene. Plus, Stunlock Studios has HUGE plans for the game, with two new champions coming out in the next two months and even an Xbox home console release sometime next year! I’m telling you, get into this game now if you’re a MOBA fan, you won’t be disappointed.
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Review statement: A code for the champion pack was supplied by the developer for the sake of this review.