It’s time to blow off some steam in this battle royale
Sometimes you just want to board the party bus, chew some bubblegum, and kick arse in an ever-shrinking player-versuseveryone arena. With the genre now burgeoning, you’re spoilt for choice. And each new title adds its own wrinkle to the tried-and-true formula. As another all-out, 100-player battle royale game, then, what sets Crazy Justice out from the crowd? It’s not just its steampunk stylings (a Tesla coil generates a shield at the heart of the map, defining your playing area). Influencing character and weapon design, the meeting of the historic with the futuristic is a large part of the title’s identity. Your character can run around in a flowing trench coat and smart hat while blasting a plasma rifle. Some weapons are steam-powered, but your high-powered, futuristic weapons overheat after a number of closely clustered shots, meaning you’ll have to play smarter than simply spraying and praying.
Balazs Welker, lead programmer and CEO for developer Black Riddles Studio, happily tells us about his favourite weapon in the game: “The most amazing and interesting weapon is the taser, which slows down the enemy for a few seconds… We worked a lot to balance this weapon, because it’s a huge advantage if you find one, so it’s definitely in the ‘legendary’ category.”
Some building elements are present, again with a steampunk flavour, and you can even encounter robots on the field. But even though it’s possible to hunker down and fortify a point during a match, Welker elaborates, “We think a battle royale game is mainly for the combat, not for the building.”
The developer wants to offer something familiar as well as something new with the game’s two core modes. The first of these is a typical battle royale that pits you as an army of one against many others. You’ll scour the map for weapons and items but you don’t, in theory, have a better chance of winning than anyone else at the start of a match. That’s where the second play style comes in, presenting another spin on your average ‘last stand’ mode. While there are 50 different weapons to experiment with scattered around the map in both modes, this second introduces a new, strategic dynamic to the genre, in the shape of the character you choose to play.
Rather than a randomised avatar or a paid-for skin, Crazy Justice offers a selection of fighters to choose from. Each unique character has a special skill, but the game allows you to personalise things further. Once you’ve picked your character, you can customise their skill deck using an assortment of cards. These are all completely free and already included in the base game. New skills are unlocked as well as upgraded via experience points, and the game does not offer any microtransactions. Welker explains, “Most of them are active skills, like super jump, invisibility, building skills [and so on]. This mode will be more than interesting, because there isn’t any similar [skill-based battle royale] game.” The game’s even going to have a story mode centred around one of these fighters, and the developer may add more, similar, content post-launch.
This isn’t the only way Black Riddles seeks to do something different with the title. Welker explains that the development team is presently experimenting with some under-utilised functionality of PS4. For example, we are told testing with the PS Aim controller, usually reserved for VR games, has already begun, and that in the future the dev would like to look into using the platform’s builtin gyroscope for other motion control aiming options.
Crazy Justice is a title that could reshape the future of the battle royale genre. We’ll see what other tricks it has stashed under its cap when it releases sometime during the second half of this year.