Battlerite is the second released MOBA from Stunlock Studios, creators of Bloodline Champions. While heavily inspired by Bloodline Champions, Battlerite is a new entry that emphasizes the team-fighting aspect of a MOBA while removing the need to farm NPCs for buffs or experience. This makes the game a blast for those who would rather run head-on into combat than sneak around a map but may lack a bit of intricacy for those wanting more. This is our Battlerite review for PC.
Battlerite’s basic gameplay is similar to other MOBAs, where the player controls a hero in an isometric view. Each hero has 6 basic abilities, an ultimate ability, and may also have EX abilities. Where Battlerite stands out from its competitors is it has WASD controls as well as focuses on team fights rather than map control. All your attacks are skill shots and require aiming with your mouse, including melee attacks. This makes combat a bit more frantic but can lead to issues with movement on a default keybinding setup, such as strafing upwards in a direction and trying to use your Q or E abilities. You can get around this with some practice but is the only notable disadvantage to using WASD to move rather than a mouse. On the other hand, skill shots are easier to fire off with your mouse being used solely to aim your attacks.
There are currently 3 different game modes: 2v2, 3v3, and battlegrounds. Both 2v2 and 3v3 have ranked and unranked modes, and each is best of 7 with rounds being the last team standing. Battlegrounds, on the other hand, plays a bit more like a traditional MOBA with objectives to complete to attack the opposing team’s guardian. These games can last up to 20 minutes, with the tiebreaker being determined by whoever won more objectives.
Battlerite released with 22 heroes, which are split into 8 melees, 7 ranged and 7 support. While some classes have some overlap (e.g. ranged characters having a heal), each character performs their role uniquely from the others. Three characters in each category are suggested for newer players, but no hero is too complicated to play after a quick practice session to learn their skills.
Matches in Battlerite are very fluid, with lots of ducking and diving and running around during fights. Random team queues generally felt fair, with each team usually having the same number of support characters. Rounds in 2v2 and 3v3 can last up to 2 minutes, but many are decided quicker than that by someone getting a quick kill. There are health and buff pickups around the arena for grabs, as well as an orb that recharges in the middle which can be broken for a partial ultimate charge. This gives teams some objectives to fight over and encourages holding the middle rather than hiding in a corner and trying to turtle up until time runs out. If the time limit comes close, a wall of death begins coming in from the outside and pushes each team into the middle which causes total chaos as you can no longer easily hide from attacks. While the formula for matches is simple, gameplay is surprisingly addictive, and hours can quickly pass without noticing.
Battlerite has a customization system in place as well, allowing you to change both your combat and cosmetic options per hero. Combat loadouts allow you to select 5 “Battlerites”, which are buffs for your hero’s skills. Each is marked with a quick tip of what it is aimed to help, such as offense, utility, mobility, or survival. Battlerites can be stacked on the same skill or split between preferred skills, though there is a default loadout that exists for each hero. Loadouts are selected before the start of a match, but cannot be changed between rounds and are also shown to everyone else in the game. Cosmetics, such as costumes and weapon skins, can be obtained from chests in game which can either be earned or purchased. The cosmetic system is similar to that of Overwatch, with cosmetics having different rarity levels and duplicates from chests being broken down into in-game currency to purchase more chests. Experience point boosters also exist, allowing you to increase your account XP, hero XP and currency gain for the length of the booster.
For those looking for a PvP-intensive MOBA, Battlerite delivers some of the best small-scale battles you can find. Rounds are quick, but gameplay is addictive and fluid enough that you can continually play without realizing it. Though it may not have much depth, Battlerite has lots of action packed into an easy to learn package.
Note: Our PC copy of Battlerite was provided by PR
COMPARE TO: League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, or Bloodline Champions, if you remember that one.