It took just a few years for Battle Royale games to evolve from a niche concept to one of the most popular genres around. As a result, more than a few developers have been putting their own little spin on the formula in an attempt to come up with the next big thing. Respawn Entertainment definitely managed to pull it off with Apex Legends and there are plenty of other devs trying to do the same as we speak. Most of them will likely not succeed but some may end up being quite good. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most promising new and upcoming Battle Royale games that you should keep an eye on in 2019.
Battlefield 5: Firestorm
DICE confirmed back at E3 2018 that Battlefield 5 will receive a Battle Royale mode but wasn’t willing to give out any major details at the time. Since then, we’ve learned that the mode will be known as Firestorm and that we can expect it to release sometime this spring. The mode will support 16 teams of up to 4 players each and “the largest Battlefield map ever” according to the developers themselves. In classic Battlefield fashion, Firestorm will feature destructive environments, plenty of vehicles, and secondary objectives to keep players busy when they’re not looting, shooting each other or running away from the encroaching ring of fire. All in all, sounds pretty solid.
It’s been more than six years since PlanetSide 2 launched and it’s pretty safe to say that fans of the series are itching for a new installment. Well, the good news is that a new title known as PlanetSide Arena is currently in development. The bad news is that the game keeps getting delayed and is currently scheduled for a summer 2019 release. That said, it will likely be well worth the wait. PlanetSide Arena brings to the table massive 250 v 250 battles, several different classes to choose from, a Battle Royale mode, vehicles, jetpacks, and more. It’s basically the logical progression to PlanetSide 2 and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
This one has been in development for some time and is currently available on Steam Early Access so you can already give it a try. Darwin Project tries to stand out from the crowd by adding some survival elements to the classic Battle Royale formula and does a pretty good job at it. The game takes place on a smaller scale compared to most of its competitors, with 5 teams of 2 players trying to survive not just each other but also the environment. Players can use various crazy experimental gadgets or traps to give them an edge and track enemy teams using environmental clues left behind by other players. The game also tries to involve stream viewers into the action, which is a pretty neat idea.
One would assume that Epic Games wouldn’t have an interest in promoting potential Fortnite competitors on its own store. Well, the company seems to be making an exception for Spellbreak, an upcoming Battle Royale exclusive to the Epic Games Store and currently in Closed Alpha. Admittedly, the two titles aren’t all that similar as Spellbreak focuses on magic rather than guns and there are no base building mechanics. What the game does have, however, is an in-depth magic system that sets it apart from most other Battle Royale titles. Spellbreak also lets players equip items to increase their stats and gain various passive and active abilities, not unlike a MOBA. The game is pretty rough around the edges at this stage of development but does have some good ideas and might be worth looking into.
Mavericks: Proving Grounds
Mavericks is a highly ambitious MMO shooter that features, among other things, a Battle Royale mode that promises to support up to a whopping 1,000 players. Other notable features include destructible environments, wildlife, a social hub where players can trade or pick up quests, and more. Couple that with the great graphics powered by the CryEngine and you’ve got a game that sounds like a dream come true for Battle Royale fans who are looking for something different. Well, on paper at least. A this stage, the game is still missing a lot of key features and there are plenty of technical issues to sort out, so we’ll just have to wait until the official launch to see if Mavericks ends up being as impressive as it sounds.
Super Animal Royale
Super Animal Royale is exactly what it sounds like – a Battle Royale game where you play as one of several adorable animals. The game mixes things up by using a top-down perspective and a fog of war system that adds an extra layer of strategy. Super Animal Royale is not your typical BR game but all the basic concepts are there – gather loot, fight enemy players, and be the last man standing. Or in this case, the last animal.
Ring of Elysium
Ring of Elysium is an Early Access Battle Royale game that can be fairly divisive due to how the developers decided to modify some of the core elements of the genre. On one hand, the game looks great and is really easy to get into. On the other hand, a lot of the concepts that made Battle Royale so successful have been streamlined here. Players choose where they want to spawn on the map instead of dropping from the sky and picking a location on the fly. You can also select a basic loadout before the start of each match so you never have to start off with little more than your bare fists. Changes like these make Ring of Elysium a less frustrating experience, however, veteran Battle Royale players may start missing the randomness associated with the genre sooner or later.
Proxima Royale is a science fiction shooter that offers three distinct game modes, including Battle Royale. The game is currently in Closed Beta and looks pretty decent thanks to the use of Unreal Engine 4, though most of the animations could definitely still use some work. Proxima Royale’s BR mode takes place on a very large map that seems to be composed mostly of wilderness, with a few outposts scattered here and there. There’s not a lot that helps Proxima Royale distinguish itself from its competitors but the game does allow you to play as a robot and run around on a distant exoplanet found in the Proxima Centauri system. Might be worth looking into if you’re a fan of science fiction.
Speaking of science fiction Battle Royale games, you may want to keep an eye out on Stormdivers. The game is developed by Housemarque, who are best known for their arcade twin-stick shooters like Matterfall and Nex Machina. Stormdivers is a big departure from their usual niche but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. The game lets players equip various futuristic abilities, offers jetpacks and hoverbikes for increased mobility, and seems to include a large assortment of neat weapons and armors. In addition, the action takes place inside the eye of a “nano storm” so you’ll need to be constantly on the lookout for tornados and lightning strikes. The whole concept sounds pretty solid but long-time fans of the studio haven’t been too impressed by Housemarque’s latest project so far. Let’s hope the studio can pull it off in the end.
Battle Royale games usually let you play as some sort of humanoid character but Notmycar is having none of that. Instead, this is a game where everybody gets to play as a car. This isn’t the first vehicular Battle Royale game we’ve seen but it does seem to be one of the most promising ones to date. This is thanks in no small part to the large amount of vehicles and customization options to choose from. The game seems fast-paced, chaotic, and an overall good time if you’re a fan of hectic racing games with a bit of humor thrown into the mix.
A medieval Battle Royale where you get to play as a Viking? Sign us up! While most games in this genre focus on letting you destroy your opponents from afar, Valhall gets up close and personal in true Viking fashion. The game looks as bloody and brutal as you might expect and supports up to 50 players on its Ragnarok-themed battlefield. Another interesting thing to note here is that the map is split into four even parts, each of which represents a different season complete with dynamic weather and lighting effects. The game is currently in Early Access and trying to gather more funds via a kickstarter campaign. Let’s hope it ends up being as good as it looks because Valhall seems like a very unique Battle Royale game.
Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse
Ashes of Creation is a very ambitious upcoming MMO that will feature a Battle Royale component known as Apocalypse. The game will feature a high fantasy setting with melee and ranged combat, magic abilities, castle sieges, destructible environments, and more. There’s a lot going on here and developer Intrepid Studios seems adamant about not releasing the full version of the game until everything works as intended, which is always a good sign. Unfortunately, this also means that Apocalypse keeps getting delayed, but with any luck it will still release sometime by the end of 2019.
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I’m a classic jack-of-all-trades author who loves to write about most topics, though gaming has always been my strong suit. That said, I definitely won’t turn down the chance to cover some juicy news involving superhero movies, Stephen King novels or space travel. Or robots. Or space-traveling superhero robots disguised as Stephen King.