It’s time to blow off some steam in this bat­tle royale

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - SACRIFICE -

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.

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