The last time we saw Mavericks: Proving Grounds, developers Automaton said they were going to have 400 murderers running around in the forest hunting each other and tracking footprints with a deep bloodthirst. Now they are promising battles of 1000 players, fighting across 100 square miles of “deformable” terrain. These are big claims, yet to be proven, but at the PC Gaming Show during E3, they offered a brief “in-engine” trailer of what their large-scale firefights might look like.
Ah yes, the old “game engine” footage, good at demonstrating a feeling or an idea more than a finished reality. That first-person segment where the bullets land ages away from where the gun appears to be aiming is especially deserving of a harsh squint. But you're here for the big numbers, not my journalistic caution. Here’s what the massive battles are all about, according to a statement released by the developers.
Available shortly after launch, these 1000-player battles will feature five-player squads dropped into a continually shrinking section of the game’s 16x16km (100 square miles) map to compete to the last team standing. 200 to 400-player solo and squad games will be available as standard from Mavericks’ early access release later in the year.
The garganto-shooter also promises wildlife, destructible environments and “terrain deformation”. That latter feature probably refers to big explosions or events that can change the map’s layout in convenient or inconvenient ways. “You can go so far as blowing up a bridge,” one of the developers told me in a previous interview.
A closed beta launches in August (you can sign up for that here) and they point out that while the battle royale modes come first (this winter, they say) there will also be a “persistent open world” that will come next year. Although it’s not yet clear how that MMO thingy works.
I’m skeptical anything can function with 1000 players, with or without the futuristic SpatialOS technology Automaton have been banging on about. Humans can’t even split a restaurant bill correctly when there’s more than six people eating, how are they supposed to fight across kilometres of terrain without getting into an argu-- oh, right.
Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.