What Is the Best Free Battle Royal Game?
The booming popularity of the new "battle royale" video game genre has prompted the creation of multiple diverse titles, each unique and offering different game mechanics to separate themselves from their immense and growing competition. Fortunately for gamers, this means you have a variety of options to choose from when deciding you want to dip your toes into the battle royale genre. We will explore some of the most popular games, their replayability, and what separates them, so you can decide which ones deserve the time and grind to become better at. Let's go!
Released hardly a year ago, Apex Legends is a relatively new battle royale game that introduced many unique mechanics, which were later adopted by other games. It takes place in a futuristic Titanfall-type universe, and features a very detailed map to explore.
One of the most unique aspects of Apex Legends is the 3-person queuing system. While most other battle royale games include a solo or duo option, Apex only incorporates a singular "3-man squad" mode. In this mode, there are 20 teams per game (60 players), and there is a "jump-master", who controls where the entire squad will drop.
Apex also includes a neat class system, where you get to choose from 1 of 12 legends before entering the arena. Each legend has a standard, unique, and passive ability. These abilities do a wide range of things such as summon a drone, airstrike, or even the ability to see enemies through walls. This classing system introduces a whole new level of depth to Apex that allows players to strategize, and decide what legends would make the best team composition.
Finally, Apex was also the initial battle royale game to introduce the reviving of dead teammates. If your teammate is knocked, you have 90 seconds to collect their banner, then you can take it to any nearby respawn beacon that hasn't been used and bring them back to life.
Apex Legends is unsurprisingly a lot of fun to play. With lots of customization options for your legends, and the ability to display different badges and statistics on each one, the game is very rewarding to become better at. If you enjoy a first-person battle royale experience, Apex Legends is a great choice and should not be ignored.
If you've heard of battle royale, you've most likely heard of Fortnite. Being one of the highest-grossing free-to-play games of all time, it received a tremendous amount of attention from social media and gamers at its peak during 2018. It is generally referred to as the most popular battle royale game, and Fortnite is impossible to ignore for good reason.
Fortnite is most famous for its intuitive building system, which allows players to interact with the world in ways not possible in other titles. You are given a harvesting tool every game and can destroy nearly anything in the world. Including buildings, furniture, trees, etc. You can then use resources gathered from mining these objects, to build your very own structures. Players have adopted the use of building into more high-pressure combat scenarios, and for building cover. Building has evolved into an almost essential skill in the game and can completely change a battle.
The simplicity and cartoon art-style of Fortnite has coped well with younger-audiences and created a very family-friendly game. Fortnite also uses a season-based system which means it is frequently updated with new content, and the game is constantly adding or removing features all the time to keep the experience fresh and unique. Fortnite is a reliable and successful battle royale game that users wanting a more generic adventure will enjoy.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Being the newest battle royale game, and the one I have the least experience with, it is the most difficult to assess. Also, we cannot yet determine how the community will react to it over-time. However, initial reviews have made tremendous remarks about the game.
Call of Duty is infamous for being a very iterable and less revolutionary franchise, however, Warzone should not be looked at with these impressions in mind.
Featuring a large, beautiful map and unique death mechanics, Warzone was hardly what I expected and brings some fun new twists into the saturated genre.
In Warzone, there is a currency. You can earn cash from killing other players and completing objectives, which can be used at Buy Stations scattered across the map.
At these Buy Stations, you can purchase killstreaks, call in custom load-outs, or most notably, call in dead teammates.
The elimination mechanics in Warzone are the most unique aspect of the game. When you are eliminated, you can say goodbye to the sorrowing feeling of watching your teammates finish the game. But instead, take your turn in a Gulag.
Gulags put you in a 1v1 scenario against another fallen opponent. Win, and you will be dispensed back into the map. Lose, and you will have to wait for your team to resummon you from a buy station.
Warzone combines several other features such as contracts to create an exceptional and refreshing battle royale experience. We will learn more as the game extends from its release, however, it seems like a great pick.
To compare these three listed battle royale games is like apples and oranges as they are each very unique and identifiable titles, however, we can analyze the weaknesses between the games and decide which one is worth most of your time.
Overall, we found Apex Legends to be a very well-rounded battle royale game with a little bit of everything for everyone.
- Weapon and ammunition spawns are very inconsistent. You can have games where you find great loot and games where you don't find anything.
- Ammunition takes up inventory slots, which is a surprisingly noticeable issue. You will frequently find yourself rationing ammo, and when you pick up a new gun, likely, you won't have any for that type.
- Legend balancing issues. With 12 unique legends, it makes sense they would be difficult to balance. However, you will notice some legends feel nearly useless while others are heavily superior. This is a shame as there are very interesting and neat legends with fun abilities that almost always find themselves perishing first.
Fortnite, being the all-time juggernaut battle royale game, is going to be the most polished. However, there are a few major flaws that that or may not impact you.
- The building system is a MAJOR part of combat; If you aren't good at building, there is a very little chance you will find success late game against the more competitive players.
- The simplicity of the game can make it feel dried out; however, this is what appeals to younger audiences.
- Items are frequently removed from the game for "balancing"; if you have a favorite item or loadout, there is a chance it will be gone next update.
- The constant updates and changes can be refreshing, but it also means you need to dedicate your time to learning what guns are best in the current meta. This can drive away more casual players.
As a new game, Warzone shows lots of potential and it was surprisingly enjoyable to play. Nonetheless, there were a couple of issues we noticed off the bat.
- Fairly buggy at launch. These bugs will likely be fixed in little time, but it should still be noted.
- Has faced LOTS of network downtime. Paired with a large file size, most new users right now have decided it is not worth it.
- Weaponry is fairly standard and nothing stands out as totally innovative.
- Killstreaks late-game have become fairly overpowered.
If you have the time, I highly encourage you to play each of these games and decide which one is the most fun (they are all free-to-play!). Of course, reviewing games it is heavily opinionated and you may not see some of the issues I did. However, if you have a slow network speed and don't want to suffer the pain of downloading Warzone (83 –100 GB), or you just simply don't have the time, then maybe it would be beneficial to listen to my opinion.
Overall, the game we enjoyed the most, and the game that felt refreshing and fun-to-play every match was Apex Legends. Being the median between the three titles in terms of release date, we felt it was also the median in features and mechanics offered. Apex Legends keeps battle royale simple, fun, and unique. The ability to create team compositions and try out different legends keeps the game enjoyable round after round, the customization options are endless, the game is rewarding for skilled players, and the combat system just feels right. It is updated almost as much as Fortnite and keeps content fresh without over-diluting it. We hope to see you and your trio on the fields of battle very soon!
With Apex being our first choice for the genre at this time, we are excited to see how Warzone plays out and if the hopefully short-term issues are fixed.
Well, that's it! Feel free to vote in the poll below and give us your opinion, we are anxious to see which game you enjoyed the most!
Which Battle Royale Game Is Your Favorite?
© 2020 Jeremy Carefoot