BAT­TLE ROYALE

Ile Sainte-Marie

PC GAMER (UK) - - Feature -

Andy: And now for the grand fi­nale. Ile Sainte-Marie is one of the small­est is­lands in Tanoa. The per­fect arena for a fight to the death. There’s a large rocky out­crop in the mid­dle sur­rounded by thick jun­gle, which should give the team plenty of hid­ing spots. I give them a minute be­fore the round starts to choose a start­ing po­si­tion, then the chaos be­gins. The last man stand­ing wins, and there are no rules. I’ll also be ran­domly spawn­ing civil­ians and an­i­mals, just so I have some­thing to do.

Tom: The is­land is heav­ily forested, and fo­liage has be­trayed me once al­ready in this chal­lenge. If I wan­der into the trees, spot­ting other play­ers will be a mat­ter of luck, so I come up with a dif­fer­ent plan. I run un­til I’m out of sight of the oth­ers, then I wade into the sea and start to cir­cle the is­land. I keep my head just above the wa­ter so I can see.

Chris: Tom and I had the same plan, it seems. I know this be­cause I can see him pok­ing out of the sea, just down the shore­line from me. We look at each other awk­wardly as Andy gives the ‘go’ com­mand, but I’ve got time to bring up my sights and drop him with a sin­gle shot. It turns out there was a cru­cial dif­fer­ence in our po­si­tions: his gun was un­der the wa­ter, but mine wasn’t.

Tom: Idea good; ex­e­cu­tion bad. I’m rub­bish at sol­dier­ing.

Phil: I, like Iron Maiden be­fore me, run to the hills. This may be a mis­take. For some rea­son, I’m run­ning out of stamina re­ally quickly, even when walk­ing at a nor­mal pace. I think I may be over-en­cum­bered. That’ll teach me for steal­ing some of

“Andy ma kes a floc k of birds erupt from the bushes near me ”

Chris’s rock­ets out of his back­pack.

Chris: I stalk away from the shore to­wards the un­der­growth and soon spot Phil com­ing down the slope to­wards me, fac­ing away. I man­age to land a hit, at which point he scur­ries be­hind a tree. We trade shots for a while and then… an old man in a blue T-shirt runs past my gun­sights. He runs around me in a cir­cle, then stops in front of me. “Andy?” I say, stupidly. Of course it’s Andy. I hear the sound of an RPG and Andy ex­plodes.

Phil: Wait, that was Andy? In my panic, I fired on the first thing I saw mov­ing, not stop­ping to won­der why it was dressed in a plain shirt and denim. I switch back to my ri­fle, but I’m ex­posed – I left the safety of the tree to get a clean rocket shot. I fire

off a few bul­lets, but I’m an easy tar­get, and quickly taken down.

Sa­muel: With just me and Chris left, I sup­pose I’d bet­ter leave the out­crop of rocks I’ve been perched on while the oth­ers sorted each other out. I head to­wards Chris, who hasn’t spot­ted me yet – past the civil­ian’s dead body, which is un­nerv­ing.

Chris: I loop around the hill­top. Sheep and chick­ens are spawn­ing all around me and Andy makes a flock of birds erupt from the bushes at my po­si­tion. It’s not sub­tle. I spot Sam in the dis­tance, and fire. I miss and hide be­hind a tree. Time to take some notes out of Phil’s play­book.

Sa­muel: I fire at Chris and miss. He turns to­ward me, there’s an ex­plo­sion and Chris is dead! What hap­pened?

Chris: I ready my RPG and lean around the tree just a few inches. There is a sheep look­ing at me. I place Sam in my sights and pull the trig­ger be­fore he can re­spond.

...but here’s the thing. RPGs, right? They’ve got a big scope, and it sticks out sub­stan­tially from the ac­tual rocket-pro­pelled-grenade part of the ap­pa­ra­tus. The big tube that blows things up. What I am say­ing is that while I am point­ing the scope out from be­hind the tree, I am in fact point­ing my RPG at solid bark. I fire. I blow up.

Sa­muel: In ret­ro­spect, I could have won this round with­out fir­ing a bul­let. Amaz­ing scenes. I feel like luck has played a part in at least two of my vic­to­ries, es­pe­cially as some­one who hasn’t even fin­ished the tu­to­rial. But the im­por­tant thing is, I won.

Zeus man­i­fested as a badly dressed mor­tal.

The jun­gle made for a tense fi­nal show­down.

Chris sinks into his wa­tery hid­ing spot. Re­lease the doves of war.

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