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Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is silly Plunkbat, and free

Take the open-world loot-o-murderhiking of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, add wacky physics, then sprinkle over a few actually quite good ideas, and you might have something like Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, a game I’ve been enjoying more than I’d expected. It’s janky, wait times for a round are huge, and it won’t replace Plunkbat in my heart, but it’s free its first few days so hey, you may as well grab it before it costs $5.

It’s also one of the few games containing my three favourite FPS features: mixed-weapon dual wielding; seeing your own legs and body when you look down; and physics so goofy that you can boost yourself by jumping then firing at the ground.

It’s bold to so clearly riff on Battlegrounds, considering developersPUBG Corp. are currently suing Epic Games for supposedly infringing its copyright, but here we are. You must know the basics by now: loads of players are trying to murder each other to stand triumphant at the end, starting by dropping out the skies then looting and shooting across the island as the circle of safe space shrinks. Collect guns, collect attachments for guns, fire guns, murder death kill.

Or that’s the idea. In reality, wait times for a round start are so long that you’ll have to wait ages. It doesn’t have the squillion players of Fortnite or Plunkbat that let them start rounds in seconds, see. But it does have a singleplayer shooting range map to try out guns, shoot scarecrows, and generally lark about.

Landfall Games, who you might know for Clustertruck, started this as an April Fool’s joke and yup, it shows. Silly physics make your character flail their arms as they spin around, cars are weird, powerful guns have such kick that they’ll knock you back a few feet, press G and you’ll hold guns sideways while beatboxing (‘gangsta’, yeah? yeah…), and the physics-driven technoguts driving it all cause for all sorts of other silliness.

At the same time, it does have some interesting ideas. The usual wall of electricity/gas/storm that tightens around players to shrink the island’s safe zone is here a monumentally large wall which contracts through vast posts slamming down then growing outwards to connect. It’s cool and intimidating as heck to see. And the final circle is an interesting one, raising a patchy floor of hexagonal blocks from the ground and pouring in deadly lava. Also great: dual-wielding any two one-handed guns. And I like the outfits (which don’t need crates or keys or anything to unlock either).

I had more fun poking at this than I had expected. Wacky physics is a tired joke but that’s not the entirety of this – it really does want to be a fun battle royale game. And it does seem pretty fun, if only I didn’t spend so long waiting in lobbies waiting the number of players go up and down as people join, get bored waiting, then leave.

Hit Steam to download Totally Accurate Battlegrounds. LandFall are giving it away free for the first 100 hours after launch, so you’ve another few days before it goes up to $5. It’s only a small side project, made between working on Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, a physics-driven foolfest riffing on sandbox fight sims like Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator, but for free it’s worth a go even just to lark about on the shooting range.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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