I’m coming with another late article but I didn’t want to miss the chance to talk about Battlerite. After more than a year spent in Early Access with a pretty slow development, Battlerite has finally released as free to play. I did fall in love with this game’s combat, but the slowdown of updates which lead to a decrease in playerbase made me take a long break. However, the game is now revitalized, reaching over 40,000 players online simultaneously in its launch weekend.
Battlerite is an arena brawler with a skill based combat system that requires no progression to improve your champions. The primary focus is to have players fighting on an equal ground with no advantages gained through any other means than personal skill. To further this cause, all the abilities used by the champions have to be manually targeted demanding a serious effort from the players. This translates into a combat system that can be visually awkward or mind-blowing entertaining based on those engaged in the arena. The battlerites system allows each player to customize their champions the way they want, opening up build possibilities and all kind of wild combos. The arena nature of the game doesn’t take away its capacity for tactical gameplay leaving plenty of room for mind games worthy of a competitive title.
Battlerite went into Early Access in September 2016 and since then has slowly but surely improved. One of the most welcomed additions is the small campaign-like tutorial which eases the entry experience for newcomers. The veterans have been enjoying the redesigned menus and a new rewards system which includes daily/weekly quests and the customary achievements. The cosmetic progression feels a lot smoother now even if the randomized chests (lootboxes) aren’t the most ideal way of getting new vanity items.
A problem the developers haven’t been able to fully address is the shortage of champions. There are only 22 of them available at the moment with the last one coming out on the game’s release day. I’m sure a lot of work goes into bringing to life a new character, but the champion’s releases haven’t been steady at all. On a positive note, the initial batch of champions have been rebalanced and visually updated while receiving all kind of new cool skins.
Battlerite still has a long way to go. There is a need for more champions and newer combat mechanics to add more variety and flavor to the battles. Hopefully the success achieved by the free to play release is a good incentive for the developers to push content at a faster rate otherwise the game risks having the same fate as it did after the Early Access release. As someone who’s engaged with multiple online games at a time, I’ll keep playing Battlerite whenever I have the chance and enjoy its competitive gameplay driven by an almost impeccable combat system.
(This article is based on a press copy of the game provided by the developer.)