Early Access: BattleSouls

takes a look at a new 3rd person battle arena game

BattleSouls (3) It’s a busy time at the moment. Even ignoring the exams (if I ignore them they can’t get me) in terms of games it’s a busy time. Personally I’m still working through Dark Souls III, messing with new decks in Hearthstone thanks to  the new expansion Whispers of the Old Gods and am getting prepared for the open beta of Overwatch. With a tonne of big games like Battleborne, Quantum Break and many others around will this game eking out onto early access make much of a splash?

The short answer is probably not. But BattleSouls is going to give it a go anyway! It’s a free to play 3rd person battle arena game with a simple premise. Control a point which lowers the shield on the enemies core, destroy said core. Rinse and repeat three times for victory. The odd extra objective like control points that give extra armour or reduced cool down when captured pops up but that’s about it.

How the game hopes to differentiate itself is that you select three heroes (from a roster of 5) that you can swap out to throughout the game to stay flexible. These heroes are:

  • A druid looking healer lady.
  • A cloaked figure that can teleport onto friends or foe and then claw at them.
  • A French military lady with a big cannon.
  • Typical mage bloke with an ice and a fire spell
  • Tanky warrior with a shield that can block.

There is a certain depth to the combat, the ability to counter enemy plays. Combos such as teleporting onto an enemy with the cloaked one then switching out to the warrior so you’re immune for a couple seconds. The problem is that it’s quite difficult to practice strategies seeing as in the review period that I played in for the most part I was limited to bot matches. Bots seem to be incapable of playing anything but the mage. The bot match devolves into both teams (minus me) grouped up and running at the central capture point with it going back and forth with nobody doing anything. There are too many of them bunched up to kill effectively and the only real strategy seems to be ignore the middle, capture any bonus objective and wait for your team to have the inhibitor then blast the core.

The biggest issue I have is that this game is just. Dull. From the characters to the levels to the combat it’s all so clinical. There’s a clear aesthetic and cartoonish style they are aiming for but it feels so factory setting, cookie cutter, almost pulled from an asset pack ‘Quirky Cartoon Warriors Set’.

The game is free to play, whilst writing this the only think you can buy (for real money) is portraits. At the moment there is now ‘gold’ and ‘gems’  or even levels. The store page offers greyed out boxes with ‘Pets’, ‘XP Boosts’, ‘Kill effects’ and ’emotes’. So it seems that the classic free to play cosmetics and boosts only model will apply here. But all of this is coming later.

All in all it’s not bad. It’s early access so there room to add more heroes, more objectives and well just generally more interesting stuff. At the moment it’s very very bare bones and has a long way to go.  It is however free so it could be worth giving it a shot.

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