Battle Royale recap: ‘Fortnite’ comet hits, ‘PUBG’ adds map select, ‘Battlerite’ enters fray
An extraterrestrial object makes a surprising impact in “Fortnite”, while “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” adds map select and temporarily suspends friend-to-friend trading, and MOBA innovator “Battlerite” shows it knows how to stay in vogue with an upcoming “Battlerite Royale” mode.
Fortnite launched its fourth season this week alongside an adjusted map layout.
A comet had been seen in the sky as Season 3 came to a close and, despite speculation that “Fortnite” studio Epic would send it into Tilted Towers, a vantage point commonly viewed as a flaw in the map’s design, the comet’s impact formed a crater nearby, now dubbed Dusty Divot.
In “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”, which has expanded its map roster from one to three over the last few months, a map selection screen has been added, allowing players to switch between the trio with greater ease.
That improvement had been telegraphed in advance but the suspension of item trading was more sudden.
In a May 3 post to the Steam Community, PUBG Corp staff explained that the buying and selling of in-game items on third-party sites had prompted a suspension for the time being.
For context, when players buy and sell through the Steam network itself, both PUBG Corp and Steam operator Valve Corp take a cut, while items traded between users generate no commission. Traders had been exploiting the friend-to-friend feature, said PUBG; trading through the Steam Market remains active.
Now, just as “PUBG” can be traced back to military simulation “Arma 2” and “Fortnite: Battle Royale” was adapted from co-operative multiplayer game “Fortnite”, so another title is entering the battle royale fray via a pivot of its own.
Free-to-play “Battlerite” was released in 2017 as part of a different genre, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game, whose “Dota 2” and “League of Legends” have provided multi-million dollar eSports tournaments.
But with the battle royale now in vogue, the compact, combat-oriented “Battlerite” is rolling out its own variation on the theme, “Battlerite Royale”.
Expanding its usual map size by a factor of 30, it’s throwing its own hero-based roster of 27 champions into the mix and promising fast-paced 10-minute matches, class-based character roles, and a change from the usual first- and third-person perspectives with a bird’s eye view.
The update is scheduled for a summer arrival on Steam and Tencent’s gaming platform WeGame. JB
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