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Realm Royale PS4 beta

Realm Royale PS4 Beta preview

I haven’t really been able to get into Battle Royale games if I’m honest. I tried Fortnite and I sucked at it, and I sucked hard. But it wasn’t just the case I was bad at the game, it just didn’t seem any fun and I wasn’t sure if I should be hiding, killing or collecting resources to build. Not one to be kept down though I thought let’s give Battle Royale games another go, and when I found Hi-Rez Studios, the makers of my current favourite game Paladins, were developing their own Battle Royale game, Realm Royale, I thought let’s give it a go.

Welcome to the Realm

Based in the same gaming universe as Paladins, Realm Royale tries to freshen up the genre somewhat by removing popular features from other games and introducing its very own. But, as it is still in beta, it does currently seem very basic. It lacks things such as match stats, ranked leaderboards (your rank is still shown, just not where you place), limited items in the store and the biggest of all, not being able to link it to your Hi-Rez account. But hopefully, that’ll all be improved on in time by adding new features to the ones I’m about to go into now.

Realm Royale different classes having just landed on the ground.
Someone knows how to really make an entrance

A class-based Battle Royale?

First up, a major difference to many other Battle Royale titles is the fact that this particular one uses a class-based system, with four different classes available to play as.

Each of the classes have their own unique talent system, which can be modified by going to that specific class’ loadout, which I believe has only been available since the last update. Here you can access your champion’s talent system, equipping them with the talents that best suit your gameplay style. There are ten talent slots in total, and you start off with a basic selection. But, as you play the game you’ll earn XP to level up your champion and in turn unlock new talents to swap out with existing ones.

Each of the classes also has their own abilities, such as a giant leap for the Warrior and the Mage who has the ability to fly away quickly. These are not unique to each champion though as they can be swapped out with abilities of other classes by looting them in game, whether it by finding a chest, killing your enemy, killing a loot goblin (a really great way to get awesome loot) or by forging them yourself in game.

Realm Royale artwork showing a champion standing in front of a forge making a weapon
Keep an eye out for other players when forging or you’ll soon end up dead

Like a phoenix from the ashes

There is no Phoenix, but a bird does rise from the ashes if you are to die, more specifically, a chicken. Because, unlike many other Battle Royale games, dying doesn’t always mean the end of the game for you. Once your health drains from your body, you’ll be transformed into a chicken, much like the way Pip’s ultimate ability works in Paladins. You then have the opportunity to run away and escape like the chicken you are to live to fight another day.

This is a great feature and isn’t always as easy as it seems to wipe out an enemy. Especially with talents unlockable that give your chicken extra health or improve movement speed. If you are caught though, then that is the end game for you and you can either spectate the remainder of the game or return to the lobby. Survive and live to tell the tale and you’ve another chance at claiming a Crown Royale, the title bestowed on those who finish in 1st place. But be careful, because unlike cats, chickens only get three lives, and once out, your number is up.

Realm Royale player chasing another player in chicken form
Embrace your inner chicken and get the hell out of there to live to fight another battle

A diverse enviroment

Realm Royale could offer its players multiple maps, but why when you can just merge multiple maps into one? As you launch yourself from your airship, you’ll hurtle toward the ground, but not before you notice the map below you just waiting to be explored. Areas encased in ice, flourishing forests, mountainous terrain and sandy deserts all merge into one large map, which you’re forced to explore by the converging fog coming in, forcing all survivors into heading toward the same areas.

Fortunately, you don’t just have to run everywhere as mounts are available in the forms of a trusty steed and other creatures, if you’re willing to splash the cash on cosmetic items, or you can unlock them with crowns (the in-game currency) you’ve earned during the game. But be careful, as you’re more likely to be seen or heard on your mount, and if someone hits you, you’ll be instantly dismounted. But they do come in handy to help you get about quicker.

Realm Royale artwork showing two champions riding wolf mounts
Mount up and traverse the map in no time

Someone get the bug spray

Whilst I have enjoyed this game immensely in the short time I’ve been playing, there have been a few bugs and other issues that I’ve picked up on. But, this is to be expected, after all the game is only in beta at the moment on PS4. A lot of the things are small, one of which I’m not sure if it is a bug or not, but I’ve noticed other player’s getting stuck, making them easy pickings for other players. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened to me but I have taken advantage of this when I’ve seen someone suffering, they’d only quit the game anyway.

Another small one is after the game finishes, I keep hearing a sound which can only be described as the horrible noise your computer makes when it’s about to crash and blue screen. And even though I know that won’t happen I still crap myself every time.

The bugs aren’t all small though, and one that isn’t is that the game crashes. Not a lot, but it always seems to happen when it really matters. For example, I was on the verge of my very first Crown Royale, 1-on-1 with another player, they took me down but I got out of there like the chicken I am. But the revive time froze, the other player then disappeared and I was presented with a black screen for a few minutes before returning to the lobby. I’m glad to say I got my Crown Royale eventually but to have it taken away from me in that fashion, it was just cruel.

No sweeter taste than that of your first Crown Royale

Overall thoughts?

As basic as the game is in its current form, it has actually won me over to the point I am now beginning to enjoy a Battle Royale title. Something I never thought I’d say. There is so much potential for the game and some of the current features are already really good, but it could still use a little polish and some work in a few areas like providing match stats and ranked leaderboards etc.

As a free-to-play title though, it is definitely one to keep your eye on when it eventually comes out of beta and the bugs are cleaned up. Or, get in on the action now and head to the website to claim your beta code now, because unlike previous Hi-Rez titles Paladins and Smite, you don’t need a Founder’s Pack to play, although there is one available.

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