The gaming space is full of battle royale games. Warzone, Apex Legends, Realm Royale, PUBG, Fortnite and the list goes on. So what is another battle royale game tossed into the sea of existing games? I’ll tell ya. Magic. Yes, Spellbreak is another battle royale game but instead of firing bullets from a gun, you cast spells from a gauntlet. It is a nice breath of fresh air and is a game I am enjoying at the moment. Let’s break down Spellbreak.
With every battle royale, you always have the basics: lots of players, a closing ring, loot to get and a rush of adrenaline when you are in combat. All of those things exist with Spellbreak as well. Although, in my experience, Spellbreak brings a little more to the table in terms of mechanics and fun factor. The main difference is that you cast spells to eliminate enemies with different types of gauntlets you can wield. You have your fire, wind, toxic, stone, frost and lightning gauntlets you can pick up throughout the game. However, before you drop in you get to choose which gauntlet will be your default class. Each gauntlet class has its own abilities and you get additional abilities as the ring closes. For example, the stone gauntlet lets you regenerate armor every time you use one of your spells. Pretty handy move right there. There are pros and cons to every class and the fun part if trying out each class and seeing which one fits your playstyle.
On top of your classes, you get to select certain perks that unlock as you level up certain classes. Some include faster casting speeds, while some are the ability to revive yourself one time after you die. It can be interesting changing out perks with certain classes to find cool builds and test them out.
Once you are in a match a couple of things are noticeable right off the bat. For one, the map is gorgeous looking. The art style and creative direction for the game is spot on. It feels as though you are just playing an open-world magic game. While playing with my friend one time he said the map reminds him of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Another thing I noticed is that the map is a decent size. Each round only holds about forty people (I rarely have a full lobby, so it is hard to tell sometimes) and sometimes it feels as though I can go a long time without seeing anyone. But the other half of the time the game feels like there is a good amount of balance in being able to loot and fight.
Speaking of combat, this is what will make Spellbreak special. And I say “will make” because there are some things that need attention. But for the most part, the combat is solid. Each spell doesn’t feel too under- or overpowered (with some exceptions. I’ll get to that). So each class feels like a viable option to use. I will say that the frost class is definitely the more popular class at the moment given that one of its abilities does a lot of damage. I am not saying it is super busted, but in my own experience, I have gone up against way more enemies using the frost class. That said, the flow of combat is really fun. In squads, it can be a little chaotic but once you settle in and get used to it, it really becomes enjoyable. There will be spells going off all over the place, and you are trying to take down an enemy player coming after you. And once you take them down, it is a glorious feeling. And actually, in solos, I found that combat to be a little more intense because most of the time I ran into one other single person at a time. So the combat was more intimate. Each spell missed is a costly mistake. Winning a fight in solos is just as or even a better feeling than in squads.
Spellbreak is currently in closed beta for PC and PS4. To get access to the beta you have to purchase a founders pack and the lowest price for one is fifty dollars. This, to me, is a little steep so I can understand why no one would want to risk the money for a game like this. Although, I will come to the game’s defense a little bit here and say that the team behind the game, Proletariat, seems to have some cool stuff in store for the future. They are working on a story mode, a guild system, competitive matchmaking and more. There is actually a good amount of lore that they are building as well, which is impressive for a game like this. It seems like it could be a very unique battle royale game, and I hope it does. While there are some things about the game that are very “beta-ey” like some UI elements, framerate issues, and whatnot. I think Spellbreak has the potential to carve its own path in the genre.