Spellbreak, the Battle Royale with RPG elements developed by Proletariat Inc., has finally reached its Closed Beta 2. Released just a few days ago, in fact, it is now possible to buy and play the game on PlayStation 4 or on PC via the Epic Games Store.
We've had the chance to try this very latest version of the title, and we're here to give one our opinion.
A new title in the great Battle Royale landscape
The genre of Battle Royale in video games has exploded in recent years, also and above all thanks to theadvent of fortnite, with its many characters and skins, of which we have a practical guide. In fact, followed by many titles that have tried to replicate its success, the market has become saturated.
First with the release of PUBG, and with the release and the great commercial success of Fortnite then, there are not a few projects that have failed in the enterprise of gain a slice of the market in a genre that grew in popularity and success day by day.
One of the many titles released with the intention of jumping on the moving train was Spellbreak, by Proleteriat Inc., already authors of other online titles such as Streamline or World Zombination. In particular, the company focused on developing titles that took advantage of the Twitch streaming platform.
However, almost all of their titles have not received the desired success, perhaps also due to a style and identity that is not very recognizable compared to other titles.
In fact, it is no mystery that the style is one of the most acclaimed components on Fortnite, especially by the younger audience, for its simplicity but originality. Spellbreak will have succeeded in not making the same mistakes as the previous qualifications of the study?
Battle Royale… but also RPG
Although the title is still only a Closed Beta, it is already perfectly recognizable a particular style in gameplay and game mechanics. Although the graphic and aesthetic style is very simple and recalls Fortnite on several occasions, in fact, we see a certain precise idea that we wanted to pursue with the title.
The structure of the game, typically Battle Royale, in fact, is accompanied by some unusual components, but very welcome. Just great changes in terms of gameplay, they manage to make the title a breath of fresh air.
It is also easy to notice a consistency in the choices and decisions made in the title. And the fusion between RPG and Battle Royale, thanks to a good attention in respecting both souls of the title, is well done.
In the title you can choose a starting class, which will give your character a glove in his left hand. As you progress through the game, you can make it more powerful by developing the two skills you can cast with this. The first is a direct attack, which differs according to the type of glove.
There will be no weapons other than gloves, which will therefore play the role of the only firearms in the game. This is one of the ideas behind the title: a Battle Royale that is not based solely on weapons.
The attacks will have several properties, which will change the way you play: the ice glove will create an icy road that will allow anyone who crosses it (in a short period of time) to move faster.
Likewise, the air glove will push you up, while the fire glove will burn the area around the shot, while also harming the owner.
Talents, skills and levels
The second shot will be one powerful magic, which will be in line with the glove element, such as a tornado for the air glove. By exploring the map during the game, you will be able to collect another one, which will have different powers, but which can be used in the same way as the other, or in combination.
The gloves will have different rarities, such as Fortnite weapons, and will have more prolonged or powerful effects based on this. But the RPG component does not end there: at the beginning of the game you can choose some talents, which you will unlock by continuing to play the title.
The more your mastery progresses with the various classes, the more your choices will be regarding these talents, which will, in short, be skills that will activate passively.
Also in this title will be the famous storm, which will gradually narrow the map. But each turn will make each player more lethal: every time you reach the correct area you will level up, unlocking specific skills to the various classes.
In fact, you can create real builds during the games, changing them according to the objects you will find.
We consider these numerous novelties in the genre to be particularly effective and well combined in the game, making it very original. By varying the way you play each game, this game succeeds reward both skill and flexibility, thus creating great gameplay for the title.
The mobility of wizards
Since the players' characters will be wizards, their mobility will also be particular. To accompany the gloves that will enhance the movement ability, all the players they will be able to fly.
A "stamina" bar purple in color, also shared with the amount of shots we can throw without resting, will mark how long we can fly. With a jump we will launch into the air and descend as soon as we finish the bar, which can however be enlarged with specific objects.
This quick way of moving around the map will make the fights more dynamic, but likewise faster exploration. As much as we in fact found it very funny and cool this way more vertical to see the map, however, we believe it makes it too easy to find and take items.
We also noticed that the game has many more chests and items scattered around the map than its competitors, and of higher rarity. We therefore believe that this pays off a little too easy to create effective builds in a short time.
Even a smaller number of players on the map makes games unbalanced, which tend to follow a pattern. An initial phase is to build the build, while the final stage is a quick confrontation between the partiesonce the storm is closer.
We therefore advise the developers to pay more attention to the balance of the games, which for now, despite the excellent gameplay, lack variety.
An ineffective presentation
One of the serious shortcomings of the title is instead the presentation of what the game is, its peculiarities and its mechanics. Once you start the game, you are forced to a tutorial that is very ineffective in explaining the basics, and which consists of a simple list of possible actions.
We have not noticed a capacity to interest the player, and you are thrown perhaps a little too fast in online games. As for the menus, these are, as easily predictable from a closed beta, not very explanatory. However, they are quite functional once you understand how to use them.
The initial screen is perhaps a bit bare, also due to the settings menu and the button to exit the game hidden inside a drop-down menu at the top right.
We therefore believe it is important for the title present the mechanics and good ideas of the title well to the players, as well as making the menus more simple but explanatory.
We tested the title on two different computers: one with components just above the minimum requirements reported for the title, and one with components far above those required. Furthermore, in the first case we used an average ADSL internet line, while in the second a 1GB / s fiber
On the first computer, we had serious difficulties playing the title. As much as the tutorial and training mode ran smoothly at 60 FPS, the online matches were practically unplayable. The title stops with every shot thrown by an opponent, preventing a normal course of the game.
In the second case we have instead reported excellent performance and frame stability, which nevertheless they never exceeded 60 FPS, despite being unlocked. We also noticed RAM usage that never exceeded 2,5GB, which is very heavy on the first computer but negligible on the second.
We therefore advise against the title for people with medium-low-end and perhaps even medium-range computers. However, there is not a great deal of payoff from playing Spellbreak on an extremely high-end computer, as it doesn't really benefit from it.
Of note is also a not very affordable price for the title, which costs a whopping 50 euros in its least expensive edition. The promise of the developers is to return a good part of that money in game currency once the game is released.
However, in this way the purchase is a total bet, which at this moment (Closed Beta only) does not seem the wisest idea, especially with equally good alternatives such as Apex Legends, which are instead free.
Also of note is the great competition of Fortnite, which, being Epic Games Store exclusive spellbreak, must suffer precisely from the success of the Epic title.
The title features a great gameplay, despite a structure still not well established. The fusion of RPG and Battle Royale goes well together, but the game fails in present it well to new players. However, excellent mobility and new and inspired ideas make the title somewhat promising.
The problems that are still seen in this new version of the beta do not make us incline to recommend the purchase of the game, especially a such a high price. However, there is no doubt that the work of Proletariat Studio is for now well done and well liked by its community.
If the developers are able to fill the flaws of the game, and manage to keep the good substance of the game intact, at its release, the title could be one of the best alternatives of its kind.