Oh, wee babby Battlerite Royale. You've gone and grown up, I see, emerging from early access with a big 1.0 update and a planned switch to free-to-play. I see you've got three new champions larking about on an overhauled map, decked out in cosmetic gubbins from the new premium battle passes. I know it was hard, growing up next to all those bigger battle royales with their guns and equally silly names. You were rather sweet though, back when I first saw you, with your top-down take on last-wizard standing. Has time been kind?
Truth is, I don't know yet. I've only had time for one game so far, and I got pasted before I could properly try out any of the new stuff. Top-down royale battling still has its appeal though, with combat that continues to click just as it did in the original MOBA-esque brawler. It looks like this, but with less dramatic camera swooping.
If you bought the game while it was in early access, then you'll already have access to all the champions. If not, you can unlock them with in-game currency found in chests, with extra currency from a paid-for premium battle pass dealio that hands out rewards as your account gains XP, or you can still just buy them outright. It costs £15.50/$20/€17 for a full pack, and the price of individual champions varies.
You can get some of the currency needed to buy them from completing achievements, with one game being enough to get me a third of the way towards a cheap champion. I can't speak to how quickly that cheevo money dries up, though even at the rate I was going the more expensive champions seem many, many hours away.
The three new champions are all faces we've seen in origi-Battlerite. Oldur is a time-bending owl, Tanya is a nippy hunter with a boomerang, and Pearl is a witch from the ocean who summons a giant fish that eats people. In keeping with developers Stunlock Studios' philosophy, they've all had their abilities tweaked to better suit a battle royale context, toning down their survivability in favour of aggression.
The map changes are focused "on making more looting routes viable and adding value to unused areas". You can now slip about on icy terrain in the Frozen Plateu, explore a new island in the south-west, and hop between more asymmetrical house layouts in Anvilfall and Oakenheim.
There are a bunch of balance tweaks and quality of life changes I won't go into, too. You can read about them in the patch notes, or the bottom half of this dev log for an idea of the thinking behind each change. (It's a shame they didn't think more about how confusing it might be to talk about their games with near identical names in the same article, and that I was not spared twenty minutes of headaches.)