Battlerite Impressions: This MOBA is a Game Changer

BattleriteIf a single word could define Battlerite it would be frenetic.

There are other words, of course. Good. Exciting. Challenging. Intense. These are all a few adjectives that come to mind thinking about Battlerite. But frenetic sums it up best. Naturally, this isn’t exactly surprising. After all, most MOBAs are intense experiences requiring players to adhere to fast gameplay and split second decision making to eek out the smallest of advantages against opponents.

Instead, where Battlerite stands out is that it boasts short match times to help alleviate the stress and ladder anxiety known to the genre. Impressively, it doesn’t dumb down the gameplay to achieve this. Instead Battlerite eschews the genre defining staples’ both Dota 2 and League of Legends spent years establishing like farming, towers, and lane phases in favor of taking you right to the heart of a team fight.

And the team fight, as it turns out, is an exciting place to be. Gameplay sticks to a simple formula: a 2v2 or 3v3 fight without any of the fuss that items, farming, or leveling would bring. Each round lets players choose a new battlerite: a modifier to their staple abilities. Other than that, it’s a simple player vs. player arena mode complete with a sudden death timer should the match stretch on for more than one would like.

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Without having to deal with the bread many arena games focus on, Battlerite is able instead to focus on the butter: skirmishes. They’ve taken their time and enhanced combat to intricate, never before seen levels through diverse champions with extensive abilities. If there’s any complaint to be had about the title, it’s that it will be hard to memorize the litany of skills associated with each champion. There’s a steep learning curve and it will be hard for many to stick with.

The champion roster itself is small, but each champion is huge. Your keyboard might break from the pressure, if your mind doesn’t first as it decides how to approach each match up. Battlerite’s fast-paced combat demands instantaneous reactions to enemy abilities and requires players to know the intricacies of the enemies they face to succeed.

Similar to its simple yet refined gameplay, the systems surrounding the game are uniquely functional. The game has servers letting players select their desired pings–something League of Legends or other multiplayer games could learn from. All champions are unlocked as well, payment is only required for vanity items. Daily quests help give players chances to unlock some of these special items through playtime instead of money. Nothing extraneous bogs the game down: once you purchase for $19.99 (early access, free to play coming) you have the same advantage as everyone else. Battlerite is primarily fueled by skill, not grinding, and that’s impressive.

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For all intents and purposes, Battlerite is elegant–and frenetic, like we said earlier. It’s a perfect combination of simplicity and complexity, a welcomed addition to the genre. In a world of where games either demand all of your time or give you too many shortcuts, Battlerite stands out as a title that knows its audience and itself. It takes them to the heart of combat and leaves them there for the exact, short amount of time it takes to get a full experience.

And the experience is pretty amazing. We’ll just have to see where it goes from here. But so far, it’s extremely promising.

Review code for Battlerite was provided by the developer. It is available on Steam.

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