Epic Games weren’t the only company to pivot their design to capture an emerging market, Hi-Rez Studios has also seen the success of the battle royale genre and have adapted their Overwatch-inspired shooter into a game that looks strikingly similar to Fortnite. But is this just another company looking to get in on that sweet battle royale action or is it actually a good game that offers a unique experience?
Realm Royale used to be known by the title Paladins: Battlegrounds, a free-to-play character shooter where players could take the role of various classes each with varying abilities, but with one key twist: it’s a battle royale game. Because of the striking similarities between Hi-Rez Studios’ game and other high-profile games, it can be easy to write it off as a mere clone, but upon closer viewing, the merits of Realm Royale are apparent.
What makes Realm Royale different is that instead of simply collecting weapons and armor, players can collect abilities and powers, essentially crafting their own character class every match. Where Fortnite has building mechanics, Realm Royale has classes, magic, swords, and a horse!
Before every match players pick what class they wish to play as: a warrior, engineer, assassin, mage, or hunter. Each class has a different style of play, different weaponry, and most importantly, unique abilities to use in combat. However, these skills aren’t available as soon as the match begins. This creates an intense situation where it becomes even more important to spend time looting for not only weapons and armor, but abilities. Every chest you come across has a chance to contain one of your class’ skills.
These skills, when used in conjunction with the weapons, movement, and terrain cover, add an entirely new element to the tried and true formula – it’s as if the MOBA style of character evolution has been fused with the last-man standing mode. What we’re left with is an intense battle that is supplemented by incredibly powerful abilities that make every engagement feel like a superhero encounter.
Another element that sets Realm Royale apart from the others is the in-game forge. These forges can be found around the map and are used to upgrade weapons and improve gear into legendary equipment that cannot simply be found. The forge uses a form of currency called shards, which players will need to collect by disenchanting any gear they don’t want. This means that even useless weapons and armor have a purpose – a nice change from simply leaving an item on the ground. Finding the perfect balance between hunting for resources, disenchanting unwanted items, and securing a forge throws another variable into the equation.
It’s extremely important when approaching a forge or when inside a forge to pay close attention to your surroundings, especially what you can hear – which is why a headset like the Elite Pro PC Edition is vital. With the Elite Pro PC Edition, every sound you hear is enhanced and amplified thanks to Superhuman Hearing. Footsteps sound clearer, enemy abilities will be distinct, and the sound of horse hooves on the ground will become tell-tale signs of an enemy’s approach.
Speaking of horse hooves, Realm Royale offers players a horse to quickly traverse the battlefield. Games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite give players vehicles scattered across the map, but the trouble is actually finding them and keeping them in reasonable proximity for quick use. In Realm Royale, the trusty stead can be summon at any time and used to move around field to great effect, either to flank and reposition or get out of the fog and into safety.
One last thing to mention: losing all your health in Realm Royale puts you in a special “chicken” form – essentially a knocked state where if you manage to survive for 30 seconds, you’ll be revived! Frantically running around as a fowl trying not to get shot up is pretty entertaining to say the least. It also adds a nice layer of strategy as you scramble for places to hide and windows to dive into.
So while at a glance Realm Royale looks similar to what we’ve all come to love about battle royale games, it includes enough new and unique ideas to set it apart, and in some ways, makes it more enjoyable than its predecessors. Let us know in the comments if you’ve had a chance to play Realm Royale!