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Fantasy last-man-standing brawl Battlerite Royale drops into early access

No +3 Frying Pan of Cast Iron, sadly

Battle royale games are exciting, but assault rifles are dull - perhaps Battlerite Royale's fantasy fusion of top-down arcade shooter, MOBA, and battle royale will be the one to win me over? A spinoff from Stunlock Studios MOBA-ish arena fighter Battlerite, Battlerite Royale is out now as paid early access, although the final version will be free-to-play. Twenty characters (with their own abilities) dive into an open battlefield, and only one gets to walk out. Familiar in concept, but there's no sniping people from half a mile away in this magical murderworld.

While 'battle royale' often implies a hundred people trying to snipe each other across massive ranges, Battlerite Royale's top-down camera means combat here is fought at similarly personal ranges to Battlerite proper. The game's 'skill shot' combat systems means that almost every attack needs to be manually aimed with your opponent's movement predicted as very few ranged attacks hit instantly. Each character has their own full suite of skills and attacks, but items picked up in the field (such as deployable traps, potions & one-shot spell scrolls) can give you an edge.

The launch version of Battlerite Royale sounds about standard for a battle royale game - one map, a collection of characters to play as and an assortment of loot. Stunlock think that Battlerite Royale will need around six months in early access before it's ready for everyone to jump in. In that time they plan on adding multiple maps to play on, more playable characters, more items to scavenge up and more map events to spice things up.

Battlerite Royale is in early access on Steam and costs £18/€20/$20 to get in now. The game will be free-to-play at launch, but buying in now gives you access to all current and future characters. You can read more on its official page here.

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