Bladepoint: Reinventing the Battle Royale wheel

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(Photo: Naraka)

AMMAN — As video games gain popularity and technological advancements add to their complexity, they inspire game developers to innovate within popular genres. Dark Souls, for example, took the dungeon crawling formula and turned the dial up to a hundred. Halo: Combat Evolved showed players that first-person shooters work on consoles. This isn’t to say that changing the formula of a given genre is an easy feat, but let’s shed light on the latest contender that thinks it is up to the challenge — Naraka: Bladepoint, the newest contestant on the Battle Royale block.اضافة اعلان

Most gamers are already playing, or have at least heard of, all the popular BR games out there, and although they are all different, each one follows the same cut and dried formula that makes the genre what it is. You drop, you loot, you shoot and — the thing is — it works. Naraka: Bladepoint took that same formula and added a much-needed twist, standing out against the competition. 

So, what makes it stand out?

Bladepoint is classified as a third person action-RPG, which is unusual for a BR game. While it does boast a fair amount of typical BR tropes — whether it’s the frantic search for good weapons and loot at the start of the game, or the infamous “ring of death” closing in and forcing players to rotate to a smaller area in the map — Bladepoint does not give off a BR feel. It has characters with their own respective abilities, different weapon types, and a very movement-oriented playstyle.

Let’s talk weapons

(Photo: Naraka)
The game isn’t your typical shooter. It instead focuses on melee combat, while ranged options are utilized to get a sneaky, well-timed snipe, or to pick away at your foes’ armor readying them up for a kill. The melee weapons you have at your disposal consist of the spear, longsword, katana, dagger, greatsword, and the out-of-place bloodripper, which is essentially a chainsaw. Each of these have their own advantages and weaknesses, with the spear being a reliable fast-striking weapon that allows you to maintain some range in your fights but can feel too one-dimensional. The greatsword, being a behemoth of a blade, can dish out immense damage at the predictable cost of striking speed. In the end, it all comes down to preference and playstyle, and drawbacks or not, each weapon has a deadly feel to it in the right hands.

When it comes to ranged options, Bladepoint does not disappoint with variety, or flat-out strangeness. Players can choose from bows, pistols, repeating crossbows, cannons, swarms, muskets, and even a flamethrower. If sniping people from a distance is your go-to, then using a bow will feel natural to you. If running in with the pure intent of crushing your opponent is what you’re after, then the flamethrower or swarm is the gun for you.

Durability is what marks all these weapons. This mechanic adds another layer of complexity to the game, making players consider a more strategic approach to how they fight instead of hacking and slashing their way to victory. Weapon durability begins to go down with every connecting strike of your melee weapons, or every fired shot from your ranged ones. The lower the durability, the lower the damage you deal will be. This, of course, can be easily mended with a weaponry chest — an item that you can commonly find scattered across the map.

What about combat?

(Photo: Naraka)

You can easily find the combat in Bladepoint frustrating. It definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you’re someone who is a fan of spraying your gun of choice against your enemies. But, if you’re into slashing your foes with swords, using your grappling hook to strategically move around, then this game is right up your alley.  

Melee combat consists of two types of attacks: Normal swings, which are unleashed quickly and used in synergy with grappling hook shots for some extremely over-the-top action sequences, and charged attacks, which can be unleashed after a delay, deal massive damage but can be parried. This leads to a very rock-paper-scissor type of formula of dodging, striking, and charge attacking. On the other hand, the ranged combat is straightforward, with the real challenge being how well you land your shots.

There are also seven characters to choose from, each boasting their own abilities that can be used in the heat of the battle, ranging from invisibility to transforming into a towering, demon-like creature that can crush the opposition. This combined with the required precision, the ability to cancel animations to mix-up your opponent, and the movement options available, leads to intense scenarios that are scarcely found in other games.

Why does it look so good?

(Photo: Naraka)

Naraka: Bladepoint puts you in an Asian-inspired setting, one that is yet to be superseded by any BR to date. The graphics are one of the features that help it stand out. The map is huge, with a ton of variety that allows you to battle it out in many different settings. Whether you choose to fight in the ruins of a city, seemingly endless fields of green, or even in eerie forests, one is for sure: It’ll look good. Add the endless traversal options provided with your grappling hook and you’ll be struggling to fight the urge to start taking screenshots as you play.

Is it worth the hype?

Bladepoint is still in its beta stages, facing some server issues with stability, hits not registering properly, and a bit of a clunky feel to the game. So, it is understandable that not everyone found their place in it.
But, the response to the game has been overwhelmingly positive, with many popular streamers like Shroud, Summ1t, and Lirik stating how much they’re enjoying it. With endless combat scenarios, a decently sized roster of weapons, and the variety of characters to choose from, Naraka: Bladpoint is a solid Battle Royale that pushes the boundaries of what the genre is capable of offering. 

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