Take the class-based wizard shooter action of Paladins, riff on the battle royale modes whizzing all over games these days, and bish bash bosh you’ve got Realm Royale. Hi-Rez’s Paladins spin-off, which previously bore the remarkably cheeky name Paladins Battlegrounds, has now properly launched onto Steam Early Access, letting all play for free. Are you a bad enough wizard to murder like 99 other wizards? Throwing magical class abilities into the battle royale mix might make for interesting team-building in squads, so I’m curious about this one myself.So! Pick your wizard: Warrior, Engineer, Assassin, Mage, or Hunter. Then load into an airship, fly over the map, and rain down to loot and murder. It’s battle royale, yeah? Each class goes a-looting for weapons (such wizardly staples as staves, swords, and, er, shotguns), armour, health potions, and all that, so they have some common ground. Each class has their own unique abilities too, fitting into a limited number of skill slots. Some leap forwards, hurl fireballs, summon turrets, scan for enemies, turn intangible… a fair spread of wizarding.
It does have a little crafting through Forges, which are scattered around the map. These eat the shards salvaged from unwanted weapons, spitting out random mega-quality weapons, items, potions, and abilities. The Forge is automated but takes a minute to craft something, so all that hammering might attract naughty wizards who wish to murder you and steal your magic spells.
It only supports duos and squads, though you can drop in solo without a randomly-assigned teamie if you want.
Realm Royale is free-to-play now on Steam Early Access. Hi-Rez Studios plan to use this time to tweak, polish, add cosmetics, and so on. It’ll be F2P when it properly launches too.
Paladins itself only officially launched this May, after almost two years in public beta testing.
I might not return to Realm Royale because the arcade-y spell-slinging and pace didn’t hook me, though perhaps it’s different with a full squad. I do like that when you get downed, you scurry around as a chicken, hoping to survive for 30 seconds to respawn in human form. Even though it ended in my murder, I enjoyed making wizards chase a chicken.