Before E3 2014, Id heard about Bethesda’s new free-to-play MMO through the grapevine, but hadn’t been intrigued enough to research on it. Then the opportunity to learn more about it came around last week at Bethesda’s booth, so I jumped on it. I was greeted with a presentation and then an opportunity to try the game, and after my experience with Battlecry I have a surprisingly positive view on it.
Battlecry re-writes the 20th century, creating a world where gunpowder is banned along with world wars. But in any world where humans exist, conflict is inevitable. The aim of this new world is to control conflict, and assign dedicated areas named WarZones where factions may battle over their differences. With no gunplay available, Battlecry is a melee fest.
In the demo we were given two factions, the Royal Marines and the Cossack Empire. Each faction has five classes; The Enforcer a powerful tank character, the Duelist who is agile and quick with stealth abilities, The Tech Archer for long range, The Gadgeteer who uses what’s known as a gauss gun, and finally the Brawler with a mechanical arm who focuses on close range combat.
With the lack of guns, many might be put off from the door when it comes to Battlecry. But I was surprised to find out that Battlecry was super fun to play. Movement is fast and fun, with the ability to roll in any direction and grapple on sky hooks. Also there’s launch pads, allowing you to close the distance on enemies, so archers can’t gain too much of an advantage.
Engaging enemies is fun, and its not just a case of clicking the mouse button. Each class has special attacks that can be used after a cool-down. These are mapped to the E and F keys. The C key activates your ultimate ability, which must be built up by getting kills and assists. The better you do in the match, the more iron you earn to further customize your characters gear at the end of the match.
At the end of every game the best players on the winning team will be honored, and all players from either team are able to salute these players. This is a feature that is intended to build a positive community, because respect and sportsmanship is something that tends to go missing in the competitive world of gaming.
On the surface Battlecry may look like a bland free-to-play MMO designed to generate micro-transactions, but it’s much more than that. This is not a buy to win MMO, and I believe any purchase will be cosmetic based (don’t quote me). But more importantly, the core game itself is fun and accessible. The best way I can describe Battlecry after playing it is by calling it a third-person version of Team Fortress.
From what I’ve seen the MMO aspect is minimal, making it one of those experiences you can just sit back and enjoy without having to think too much. With a beta scheduled for 2015 we still have lots to learn about Battlecry, but from what I’ve experienced so far its a fun experience that should not be ignored. With a free entry into the experience, there’s no reason to not give Battlecry a go when it launches.
Battlecry is currently scheduled for beta in 2015