It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a battle royale game. But it’s a market that quickly became saturated, and essentially dominated by only two games (up until recently when Black Ops 4 came out with their Blackout mode).
One game that came out on PC a while ago, and tried to join in on the fun, with their own take on the genre, was Realm Royale, created by Hi-Rez Studios (also known for SMITE and Paladins).
Sure, it looked fun, and the hero-based take on it looked good, but what else made it different? What could help it stand apart?
There are plenty of unique elements, but to the casual observer, it shares an art-style with Fortnite and from a distance, looks like a copy.
Thankfully, I knew better after watching plenty of streams and gameplay videos, and signed-up for the Realm Royale technical Alpha.
Here are my thoughts so far!
Let’s get it out the way shall we? Yes, Realm Royale has similar stylings to Fortnite. Good, ok?
Does it matter? Not particularly. It’s bright and colourful and has a superior skybox (look at the planets and the clouds and the pretty colours!).
Beyond that, I feel like the design falls more in-line with SMITE and their other work. I think it’s fair to say that Hi-Rez have their own fantasy style, and that’s on display here.
The camera angle is very similar to Fortnite, sure, but that’s more about the gameplay than it is the presentation. 3rd person, over the shoulder when aiming down sights. Standard fare really.
Realm Royale has taken the necessary elements required for presentation, and delivered with similarites and a little fantasy twist. I like it! Did I mention that skybox?
Is it just the same as other games on the market?
Yes and no. As I’ve already mentioned, it has some visual similarities.
It’s battle royale, so it of course has the same basic concept. 100 people drop to an island, and the last one standing wins. Continually being forced to move into an increasingly small safe zone.
I’d say that’s it though.
Realm Royale has taken a different turn at the crossroads after hitting the core concept. Much like PUBG aims for realism and Fortnite has the building mechanics, the difference here is made by a few factors:
- No parachute phase of dropping;
- Being able to survive when you’re initially downed.
I’m sure that there are more, but my quick take here is that Realm Royale is it’s own game, and frankly, it’s decent.
I’ll be sinking a few hours into it over the next few days, and giving it a good run, but after one game in which I managed to get downed three times, and live to fight another day, get two kills and finish in the top ten, I had a pretty positive experience.
The “hot take”
With only say 20 minutes of play, I’m not in a position to provide anything beyond a cursory “initial thoughts”, whilst bearing in mind that this is in Alpha on console, so it might be that it all needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.
However, I know that I can say quite easily how much of a pleasant surprise my first round was. Frame rate was smooth, no lag or connection issues.
I had one bug relating to the controller constantly vibrating. Being an Alpha, I reported it on the Realm Royale discord server, with a channel for exactly this, and got a response really quickly. Looks like a known bug. Hey, that’s what these tests are for!
I love the no-parachute element, and the “superhero landing”, the mount is a great idea, and was really nice to use. Heroes with specific abilities is cool, and better still, you can change them from drops-in game. So you’re never really stuck with it.
Controls felt great, being downed but able to escape and eventually revive from being a chicken (other options can be unlocked) is really useful and a nice alternative to the “you’re downed but nothing can really help you now pal” scenario.
The weapons I’ve used so far, are fine. Having used a sword, bow, shotgun and some kind of electric-shotgun thing? All felt different to use and I like the variety.
Bearing in mind that this is in Alpha, it feels more complete than PUBG did for a very long time, in fact, I dare say it feels more complete than PUBG even now as a full release……
I see the Fortnite likeness, but it’s truly skin-deep and I feel like I’ve got a lot of fun ahead me with Realm Royale. I love battle royale, and I love trying different variations on it.
One of the key things to me, is learning the map, and better still, seeing how it’s been crafted and exploring. I should have some favourite landing zones soon enough, and I guess that I’ll soon have favourite weapons and abilities. Honestly, I can’t wait!
I’m not sure if it’s a little late to the battle royale show, but you know what? I’m happy to give it some time and have some fun with it, and I expect others are, too.
Where I can, I think I’m going to try and be active in the Alpha testing and perhaps stream a bit on Mixer for anyone interested!
No doubt I’ll have more to say on it as we go, so I’ll keep the site up-to-date with all things Realm Royale on Xbox.
Hopefully Hi-Rez get some fixes in and keep this test up for a while. So far, so good.