As PAX Australia opened its doors to us once more, we decided it was time we checked out Bethesda’s upcoming title Battlecry. It’s a free-to-play, 3rd-Person Online Team Action Combat (TPOTAC?) game based on the dawn of the 20th century where the most powerful empires left standing come together to ban gun powder under The Black Powder Treaty.
We had the chance to play a few games of Land Grab mode where 16 warriors team up in 8v8 matches and fight to control land locations. It’s a frantic mode as control zones move after they have been captured for a certain time, which means you don’t have time to sit around and camp. The constant movement is helped with grapple and boost points which allow you to traverse the map at great speeds, placing yourself straight back into the action.
Combat is of the hack and slash variety, which can lead to some pretty cluttered battles as everyone mashes attack until only one is left standing. While this could be a detriment to the game, there are added special abilities that work on cool-downs and are unique to each class. Each class feels unique and with the three that were available in the preview, you were able to mix and match your team combo on the fly.
The classes we had available were the Enforcer, a tanky character who wields a massive sword which can transform into a shield to inflict and absorb damage; the Tech Archer, one of two range classes who unleashes a maelstrom of arrows from afar; and the Duelist, an assassin type that uses blinding speed and stealth abilities to pick off unsuspecting enemies in isolation. Personally I found the Enforcer to be the best of the three classes as they were able to demolish the competition once they got up close and personal.
The closest thing I could compare Battlecry to would be the lovechild of Team Fortress 2 with its highly stylised graphical content and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare which prides itself on great hack and slash mechanics. It’s a really enjoyable experience and I had a great time running around killing everyone in my path (and getting MVP twice).
You can expect the Global beta for Battlecry to release in early 2015. More information on Battlecry can be found on the official site.