Review | Spellbreak
The PvP battle royale experience has been done in so many ways at this point in time that it’s beginning to get difficult to tell them from one another. Drop from the sky, loot boxes, find weapons, kill each other, try and be the last one standing. It’s a formula that’s proven to keep people coming again and again for years with no signs of stopping. That being said, Spellbreak is the freshest battle royale that I’ve experienced since the debut of Apex Legends last year. Proletariat Inc. has pushed BR into fresh RPG territory here with pleasing visuals, as well as fun, simplistic gameplay that’s easy to pick up, but hard to master.
Spellbreak puts you in the magic boots of one of several mages in a traditional battle royale scenario. This includes the classic ever-shrinking circle pf course. Before deploying, you select from different class-based gauntlets that suit your play style. Your character has mana that drains when you levitate or cast spells on your opponents. The player cap on Squad and Solo Modes is currently 42 players.
The gauntlets represent themselves in the form of the elements. These elements include frost, lightning, fire, toxic, stone, and wind. After landing, you’ll have the task to find a second gauntlet in which to take on other mages. Each gauntlet has two attacks they can execute, giving a bit of variety in the combat. What’s interesting is that you can combine gauntlet powers for flashy, devastating attacks on opponents. For example, you can create a tornado using a wind gauntlet, and throw a rock into it using a stone gauntlet if you have one equipped, creating a giant boulder tornado. Super effective to say the least. I found myself using the wind gauntlet the most as it provides the most aerial, speed-based form of attack. I like to move in quickly and get things done.
Spellbreak‘s visuals are definitely something to behold. Using cel-shading, the game delivers a rich, and welcoming atmosphere (think Breath of the Wild). It’s an overall aesthetically pleasing game with detailed architecture across the Hollowland with sleek character designs. I have to say that this is the first battle royale game I’ve played in which I actually care about unlocking cosmetics. The characters just look that cool. Speaking of cosmetics, there are microtransactions for in-game currency to unlock emotes, levitation trails, new outfits, etc. However, there’s no pay-to-win tactics. The only way to gain the upper hand is to grind and upgrade your normally chosen gauntlet class.
My critiques on Spellbreak are few and far between. The game still feels slightly unfinished. The way characters teleport into the game world from the classic hub full of players is a bit awkward and glitchy. At times, I wish there were more players to engage with. The 42 player cap on such a large map feels very limiting and leaves a lot of time in wide-open spaces without finding a single adversary. I noticed this more than the similar lull in gameplay that other battle royale experiences offer. In the future, I hope they can scale up on max players to around at least 70 or 80 players for more action and consistent pacing.
Spellbreak succeeds at being what it is. A magic based role-playing battle royale that’s just different enough to separate it from everything else. With cross-play and cross progression, not to mention being free-to-play, it’s definitely an easy one to get into. If you’ve been into the battle royale craze the last three years or any point leading up to now, please check this out. Otherwise, I would say wait for further updates, new modes, and more content.
Final Score: 8 out of 10