While Outworld Battlegrounds is only one of many options when it comes to battle royale games, I found it to be rather interesting and unique in its own way. I never got into any dedicated battle royale games, although I thought the style of the genre looked interesting and unlike anything I’ve played thus far. This game is an overhead view 2D game, although your POV is limited to what your character sees. The game is relatively suspenseful sometimes with the silent ambiance and when you’re in a building listening for other players’ footsteps. The game just came out of early access, although it doesn’t really feel like it sometimes. I haven’t really been faced with many bugs or glitches myself, although there were some issues that prevented a friend from playing with me. The player base isn’t very large currently, although the AI fills out the empty player slots to balance it out a bit. I’ve found that the AI was rather easy and clumsy at times, making characters run into walls or not fire back (although these could have been players since bots have usernames and pretend to be players).
I found it strange that the game seemed to be trying to implement microtransactions and loot boxes for character skins, although I actually got a loot box after winning a game, and I got three random parts of three different costumes. You can buy costume gloves, pants, arms, helmets, etc., each separately with the points you gain from winning a game. Some costumes require you to have a different currency that can only be bought with real money from what I’ve seen. There is a lack of content on the store to really warrant buying their currency unless I really want a different skin that I won’t be able to earn eventually from just playing the game. Although even without looking at the store, I found the rest of the game to be relatively well done. There is one large map designed so that you spawn in certain sections of the map, which makes every game slightly different.
Needs a Tutorial
The game really needs some sort of tutorial or a better means of explaining the basic gameplay mechanics. The game doesn’t really explain why guns are different colors or if different weapons do different amounts of damage. I think different colored guns might exist so that you have to find the right kind of ammo and so that you’re able to find the right kind of shield to block that certain type of ammo. The game currently doesn’t allow for you to switch controls from what I’ve seen, so healing yourself is locked to the “T” key. In addition, there are certain keys that you have to experiment with to figure out what they do, like how on a sniper gun you’re able to right-click and actually see further away from your original POV range. I finally learned that you could hit “Tab” to be able to pick and choose what you pick up, although this was after I accidentally picked up the wrong item a few times since it was close to the item I actually wanted.
There were computers linked to a platform that I believed required one person to operate and another person to stand on the platform; however, even with another person, I couldn’t get the device to do anything. I might have initially thought it was a part of the environment, except for the fact that it lit up when I was near it, like how doors lit up when I interacted with them. I haven’t been able to figure out what the purpose of these devices are, and in addition, I still haven’t been able to figure out if guns do different levels of damage because it’s hard to test that while being shot at.
The main reason I decided to take a stronger stance on the game needing a tutorial or some actual hints was because after I walked away from a dead friend, I found the developer’s note on Steam saying, “This full version of the game includes energy shields and bazookas, and of course spectator mode while you wait for your comrades to come and revive you!”. My friend died after I accidentally shot him with my shotgun while I was attacking another player, and then I walked away not knowing I could revive him. I left him twice not knowing I could revive my teammates. We haven’t played since, although I don’t recall seeing any indications that revival was an option.
Bugs and Glitches
The only bug I encountered on my computer was when the shrinking area of safety was actually zoning in on someplace I couldn’t get to, and then it changed to be slightly beneath me, although this has only happened once. There was one major bug that prevented one of my friends from playing entirely by freezing when we tried to start the round. His computer was older, although it had 4GB of RAM, the recommended amount. I thought it was a memory issue, although another friend with 12GB of RAM wasn’t able to get passed the loading screen to the match without waiting for 45 seconds into the round. The match would start with his character standing still until he finally loaded in. The game doesn’t wait for people to load in properly, so by the time he loaded in, he could have been killed by another player, or the playable zone might have started to shrink already.
I was able to play the game without any loading issues, and I thought that the rounds were short and sweet. The longest round I did was a little over six minutes, and I found the game to be relatively easy despite not knowing all of the mechanics. I like the field of view being blocked out by walls and doors, and I think the map design is done nicely. You have a wide space to choose where to start, although it took me a while to realize I could open a fuller map so that I wouldn’t get caught by the shrinking zone as often. I liked how my health didn’t go down too fast when I was outside of the zone, although it’s more dangerous when you’re already low health. Med packs are really easy to come by, although they are hard to use in the heat of the moment since they require you to stand still for a minute. This mechanic helps to balance how many of them there are since you’re pretty open while healing. I found combat to be enjoyable and satisfying against other players. The game doesn’t currently have an in-game chat, which I think makes sense in a game where rounds are six minutes max.
Developer: HitGrab Game Labs
Publisher: HitGrab Game Labs
Release Date: 1st August 2019
Do you agree with our review of Outworld Battlegrounds? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.