Battlerite [official site] is called a “Team Arena Brawler” by its developers, which is a new one on me when it comes to the long list of attempts to name this genre about different kinds of wizards beating each other up. What they mean is: it’s a MOBA in which some of the MOBA bits have been cut away, leaving behind just the teamfights and the skill shots. It’s in early access, already frightfully popular, and it’s getting a free weekend which begins this Thursday.
They’ve released a trailer to mark the occasion:
I don’t play MOBAs, having only dabbled in Dota for a handful of hours before deciding I didn’t enjoy it enough to commit the time needed to get anywhere with it. I did once enjoy Demigod, Gas Powered’s take on many of the genres features, but it was simplified enough that it probably deserved a new genre name of its own. Still, if I was to play one today, I think Battlerite is what I’d try. I like the sound of its directness. Here’s what Mr. Matt Cox had to say about Battlerite when we asked him to play it a couple of months ago:
Unlike with Dota’s hour long slogs, Battlerite’s brevity makes facing up against a much better team far less demoralising. In 10 minutes you’ll be in another game, and this time you’re going to remember to use that ability you keep forgetting about. There’s no XP or items to worry about either, meaning you’re just as powerful as your opponents from start to finish. The level playing field means there’s always the possibility that a great play can turn the tide, imbuing every match with a tension that’s sometimes lacking from the game’s inspirations.
Which sounds good to me. If you’re interested in trying the game, the free weekend runs from Thursday til Sunday and the game is reduced in price by 25% for the duration.