Battlerite, the not-a-MOBA top down champion brawler, has been hazed in the battlefield of early access for long enough. The full version is out today in free-to-play form, though the release has been delayed until 3pm. I checked the game out last year, and it pushed all the right buttons.
To celebrate, Stunlock Studios are also launching a new bramble-based hero. You can see him in action in the trailer below.
Aesthetically, he reminds me a lot of Reaper from Overwatch. They've got the same "13 year old's version of cool" vibe going on, with the added twist that Thorn is more concerned about the environment. I can't help but notice that his Ult looks a lot like Ashka's, which I remember from when I took a look at the game last year. I'll give him a whirl later and get back to you on that, along with a full review later in the week.
Until then, here's what I had to say about the early access version:
"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."
Dota works as a point of comparison because it draws on many of the same skills: each round is like the best team fight you've had in a MOBA, only you get to have it again and again without any build-up time. There are also elements of Street-fighter in its 2v2 or 3v3 battles, with EX attacks that provide each champion with more tools to keep their opponents on their toes. The addition of Thorn brings the chamption count up to 21, which means I'll have 5 new ones to get to grips with since I last played. I can't wait - this is very much my battlejam.
Battlerite will soon be available on Steam for free.