Battlerite has brought forth another champion into the arena, and she's an absolute beast. There's more than a touch of Samus to Destiny 'The Sky Ranger', with her massive arm cannon and ball transforming ways. You can see her in action in the trailer below.
I also spoke to Stunlock Studios about Battlerite's future as an e-sport, and what makes it "the fighting game of the MOBA world".
I've only played one game with her so far, and it helps that it was against two ranged heroes piloted by mediocre players, but she seems rather powerful right now - perhaps even too powerful. Her right click is a charged up shot that can do a whopping 40 damage if you've got the right battlerite equipped, which also silences an enemy. She's also got a counter that lets her jump up into the air and fire an AOE blast back at her attackers, and a defensive wall that slows down incoming projectiles. Her fifth ability, the one that you need to dip into your energy pool to fire, is the most interesting of the lot. It's a slow moving orb that you have to shoot in order to detonate, which then does massive damage in an area as well as snaring (reducing the movement speed) of anyone that gets hit.
She may well replace Ashka as my go-to ranged character, though one of the patch notes is tempting me back to the fire-flinging imp. It turns out a bug was preventing me from getting the bonus damage that I thought I was by combining several battlerites together, which should make my already strong build even more powerful. Happy days.
If Creative Director Martin Lövgren at Stunlock Studios is to be believed, these might be happy days for Battlerite in general. As he told me, the game "differs from anything on the market right now, and this could definitely be the beginning of the arena brawler era." When I asked him about what gave Battlerite a shot at launching that when their previous (extremely similar) game - Bloodline Champions - didn't, he said that one thing that the team wanted to do with Battlerite was "to improve upon the formula by re-imagining the foundations and making the game accessible to more players." The slightly slower pace of Battlerite speaks to that greater accessibility, though reaction speeds still play a pivotal role.
Lövgren also told me that they team is "looking to maintain a constant stream of new champions", so I'd say that now would be a good time to get into their volume becomes too overwhelming. Each champion that gets added introduces 6 (8 if you include EX moves) new abilties to learn, as well as how they synergies with the skills of other champions.
You can read through the rest of the patch notes for The Sky Ranger update here.