While some battle royale games send players scouring levels for such thrilling treats as backpacks and off-brand energy drinks, Robocraft Royale will have us scavenging for mechs, hovertanks, fightbikes, planes, spiderbots, warwhales, and other big smashy vehicles. Robocraft Royale will enter early access as a paid standalone game later this month, developers Freejam have announced, following a short stretch of public alpha testing. Freejam initially described this spin-off from their bot-building battler Robocraft as an "experiment", and evidently the results pleased them.
Plain ol' Robocraft lets players build their own bots bit-by-bit, but Robocraft Royale focuses more on action than activities so it instead drops in pre-built bots made by Robocraft players. Freejam are picking their favourites from the vast pool of creations and yup, they certainly aren't skipping over the weirder ones.
The game rains 100 players over a big ol' map, in that battle royale way, in vulnerable little buggies to find bots they like then blow the dickens out of everyone else. This being built on Robocraft, it has locational damage so players can try to blow specific blocks off other vehicles to cripple them. Players can bail out in their buggy to find new vehicles, but doing that under fire will probably end badly.
I am enjoying seeing battle royale get weirder as it continues its transition from a game genre to a game mode.
Dominic Tarason played a bit when the game began public testing in February and came away hoping Freejam would continue the experiment. "I think they're on the right track here; a chunky, vehicular combat game full of surprises and improvisation, and I can't wait to see what they do with it next," he said. Your wish is granted, young man.
Robocraft Royale will hit Steam Early Access on March 26, priced at $20. Freejam expect the early access phase to last about three months. They plan to use this time to add team play as well as traditional battle royale aspects like crate drops and pick-ups. They'll make tools for players to submit robots via Robotcraft too.
The next free alpha test begins on March 8, so do sign up on its site if you're interested.
Also, a round of applause to RPS commenter "DeepSleeper" for coining the riffed nickname 'Plunkbot'. Well done, you.