From Robocraft to Paladins to Dying Light, everyone wants to make a battle royale. Could it work with a strategy twist? Total War devs Creative Assembly reckon so. Barely a month after their last genre mash-up - the MOBA-infused Total War: Arena - went into open beta, the UK studio have today announced Total War: Battle Royale.
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Returning to the high middle ages, the setting is traditional enough, as is the battle royale premise: 100 players start the game with a basic unit, which they will then drop somewhere on an island (period-authentic trebuchets will replace parachutes and cargo planes). You’ll then compete to stay alive as a deadly miasma closes in, while scouring ancient ruins and tribal villages for loot.
Rather than guns or armour, this loot takes the form of new units to add to your burgeoning force, up to Total War’s usual cap of 20. In a neat twist, CA hope to keep looting relevant throughout the game by adding unit upgrades to the pool. Even after you’ve filled your army, the chance to replace levied swordsmen with plate-armoured knights gives you plenty of reason to keep hunting.
So unit quality will surpass quantity as your prime concern, which suggests players will be running 20-stacks well before many have been eliminated. And though 100 armies of 20 units sprawling across a single map is a thrillingly chaotic idea, we do wonder whether CA have considered the impact on our graphics cards. But perhaps, after Total War: Warhammer’s sprawling Mortal Empires campaign and its GPU-melting Laboratory mode, we shouldn’t be surprised at their technical ambition.
As a spin-off from the main series, Total War: Battle Royale will experiment with new features, community content, and monetisation methods. They’ve only just made the announcement, so it’s understandable, but it sounds like they don’t quite have all the details nailed down:
“Crafting, survival elements, moddable hats, historically accurate corpse-hump anims... It’s what Total War’s been crying out for”, frothed Al Bickham, development communications manager. “It’s beyond epic. And loot crates, oodles of loot crates. All the loot crates. People love loot crates right? No? No, okay I’ve just been told we’re not doing loot crates. Definitely not doing loot crates. But hats for sure. And corpse humping. In your face, Marc Antony!”
Total War: Battle Royale is due for release at a later date.