Six upcoming battle royale games to keep an eye on
The battle royale genre continues to soldier on and represent the first-person shooter’s most popular variation. While there was a time when seemingly every prominent development studio had a battle royale in development, new battle royale games have slowed as the genre and player base solidified around leaders in the space such as Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite. As these “big” games release steady streams of content, it has become increasingly difficult to break into the battle royale genre. Even publishers as big as Ubisoft have come up short, releasing highly polished games like Hyper Scape which quickly die as players return to their “main games.” This has lead many prominent franchises such as Halo and Battlefield to double down on their core game modes and avoid pumping time, money and effort into a battle royale mode in their upcoming releases.
That’s not to say that there aren’t upcoming battle royale games that you should have your eye on, however. Here is a list of upcoming battle royale games with drastically different flairs and flavors that might scratch your itch for a new battle royale game in the near future.
When Bloodhunt first leaked, a lot of people rolled their eyes. A battle royale set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe sounded like it could be a low effort cash in by the publisher that was just combining an established property with a hot genre. Since Bloodhunt has been formally unveiled however, the tune and hype around the game has changed.
As the story goes, a war has broke out among the vampires of Prague which is being played out in 45-player third-person battle royale matches. While you will find your normal assortment of shotguns, sniper rifles and katanas in Bloodhunt, supernatural abilities will also play a role in Bloodhunt which is said to have very fast-paced, brutal and vertical gameplay. It goes without saying that a lot of people are going to enjoy playing as a vampire in the game’s dark setting and atmosphere, period. As of now, Bloodhunt has only been announced for PC and is slated to release in 2021 as playtesting has already begun.
2. PUBG: New State
PUBG: New State is the next official entry in the PUBG franchise with the catch being, its currently mobile exclusive. PUBG: New State takes place in the year 2051, with slightly more futuristic weapons and gadgets such as drones and deployable cover being dropped into the fray. New State maintains the same core PUBG experience that you know if you’ve played PUBG or PUBG Mobile, but with some added creative liberties that the 2051 setting enable. As you can imagine, New State will bring new maps, weapons and more with it when it launches later this year.
Having play tested PUBG: New State myself, I can confirm that New State feels like a highly polished game and a logical evolution of the PUBG gameplay formula. While I am a bit disappointed that New State is currently a mobile exclusive game, rumor has it that PUBG Studio, Krafton and Tencent are working on various “sequels” to the core Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds which we will see in the coming years.
3. Retail Royale
If you’re looking for some quick, quirky fun, Retail Royale will likely be right up your alley. The concept of Retail Royale is simple; You and several other unfortunate people are fighting to the death in some type of store front or office space. You can only use the items that you would naturally find in a space like this as weapons. You’ll be hitting each other with rakes, axes, hammers, chairs and more until there is only one of you left standing. If this sounds like a quick romp of fun to you, then Retail Royale should go on your Steam wishlist. No release date is currently available for Retail Royale but it is undergoing closed stress testing at the time of this article’s publication.
4. Farlight 84
While mobile battle royale games are a dime a dozen, Farlight 84 just might have what it takes to rise to the top. Looking something like a lovechild of Fortnite and Overwatch, Farlight 84 blends gunplay, vehicles and abilities in a way that looks to yield more over the top battle than your standard battle royale. If you take a look at Farlight 84 gameplay, it’s easy to see that this isn’t just another battle royale game or a quick cash in, but a highly polished and unique offering. Further bolstering my confidence in Farlight 84 is the studio behind the game. Farlight 84 is developed by Lilith Games, the same people that make AFK Arena, Rise of Conquest and more insanely popular mobile games. Lilith has proven that they are more than capable of producing high quality videogames and bringing them to the masses. Knowing this, its not unreasonable to say that Farlight 84 could be their next big game.
While it seems that Farlight 84 is focused on mobile platforms, Lilith has announced that they plan to bring the game to PC as well, which is great for those of us who don’t exactly enjoy mobile gaming. While no release date or even vague release window has been referenced by the development team, regional testing of Farlight 84 has begun. In the mean time, check out a trailer for Farlight 84 and keep an eye on it! It’s a safe bet that you will be hearing more about it in the future.
GRIT is an upcoming battle royale that can best be described as old school PUBG set in the old west. You’ll be wearing chaps and cowboy hats while firing off revolvers, repeater rifles and riding horses. To say that GRIT looks like the original version of PUBG would be an understatement but if you check out a trailer, you’ll likely agree. It’s got that wonky, yet funny look to it that’s easy to recognize but even more important than the look are the game’s mechanics. One of the most well known PUBG content creators known as WackyJacky has been consulting on the game’s development since its inception. Having played GRIT for myself, it’s shocking how much GRIT’s gameplay feels like PUBG in an old western sandbox. While its unlikely to become the next big esport, if the development team can launch the game in a solid state and attract players, I have a feeling that those who drop in will find themselves having a lot of fun with GRIT. There aren’t a lot of games that can evoke that sweaty palm feeling that PUBG does, but GRIT manages to replicate it in a totally new setting.
6. Last Man Sitting
I couldn’t omit Last Man Sitting in good conscience, so here we are. Last Man Sitting is a tongue-in-cheek battle royale in which all of the game’s players are tie wearing folks who are bound to office chairs and armed with a shotgun. The goal of the game is to literally be the last man sitting in your chair but there is a quirky catch. The game’s physics are going to make that very difficult and extremely funny. Every time you fire your gun, the recoil will move your office chair accordingly. Every time that you are shot, your office chair will move accordingly. As you imagine, there is a ton of stuff in the environment for you to bump, crash and flip into. Just watch the trailer and tell me that it doesn’t look hilarious. I don’t care how much Last Man Sitting costs, there’s no way that I’m not playing it for some fun when it comes out.
While still not official, a prominent and credible PUBG leaker known as PlayerIGN has been hinting at and teasing a battle royale mode for Riot’s hit tactical shooter, Valorant. We have quite literally no information on how Riot will be approaching Valorant’s battle royale mode but the prospect of its release is interesting knowing that Riot has been able to insert themselves into virtually any genre that they wish and attract loads of players every time. Word has it that playtesting for the Valorant battle royale has already begun in China but there’s no guarantee of when we may see or hear about it. Here’s to hoping that it can become the first truly successful tactical battle royale mode after Counter-Strike’s “Danger Zone” mode flopped so hard.
I know that I said that Battlefield 2042 would be forgoing a battle royale mode and that is true but the development team at DICE has stated that 2042’s “Hazard Zone” mode will move the battle royale concept forward in a way that only Battlefield can. What could that mean? We honestly don’t have a clue. The only thing that we can say is that Battlefield 2042 won’t have a traditional battle royale mode but it may include something similar via Hazard Zone. Time will tell how closely related to battle royale it actually is but we may get lucky and get a look at it as early as EA Play later this month.
Whether you’re a hardened gamer who only plays competitive games or someone who just likes to have some quick fun, there is a new battle royale on the way for you. Which one of these games are you most excited about? Which one has the most potential to be successful? Don’t fret because we may have answers and be able to get our hands on some of these games sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to tune into my Twitch channel where I will be streaming many of these games when they release.