Spellbreak is a new free-to-play title and is unlike any other battle royale game on the market right now. On the surface, one would be forgiven for thinking they’d be in for an easier time in the magical world of Spellbreak. It follows the battle royale formula whereby you pick a class, drop into a large map and then loot for upgradeable items to give you the best advantage possible in upcoming battles. However, the similarities pretty much end there.
In Spellbreak, the player chooses a Class to play as before every match start. The class they choose will give them access to different skills, augmenting the player’s character for different builds and unique playstyles. Each class is centered around an element, and will empower that element’s corresponding Gauntlet.
There are six classes in Spellbreak:
At match start they are equipped with a Common Gauntlet correlating with the element of their chosen class. Players start at level 1, meaning they have access to their first skill immediately. Three additional skills will be unlocked in chronological order as the match progresses.
Once you’ve picked where to drop on the map, you’ll roam the lands looking for loot to upgrade and new powers to acquire. Typically, you’ll want to land near castles and ruins to find treasure chests to find such loot. Importantly, you’ll want to find a belt (allowing you to get armour) as well as a second gauntlet to compliment the class you went in with. Dual wielding gauntlets is especially effective when you pair two compatible elements I.e. fire and toxic. To make the most of their combined power.
Whilst it seems pretty simple, this really is such an important feature of the gameplay. My squad and I would often pick our gauntlets based on which ones complimented each other. That way, we could combine attacks when we got into battle with another team. Additionally, you can find runes which grant you a timer-based special ability ranging from flight to invisibility and many more. Personally, flight has helped me out of a sticky situation more times than I can count.
What you notice when playing Spellbreak is that it’s similar to the other popular battle royale games out there. There’s a ‘storm’ closing in, lootable gear, health and armour items. It’s fast and fluid akin to Apex Legends but it still manages to set itself apart and be unique. Speaking of the game being fast and fluid, I must say it runs remarkably well on base PlayStation 4 hardware. There’s no noticeable frame rate drops or anything of the like and the gameplay experience, even with all sorts of spells etc. On screen is noticeable smooth.
Positively, Spellbreak features not just cross-play between platforms but cross-progression too. Spellbreak has cross-progression across all of its supported platforms starting from its first day on the market; PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Players who create a Spellbreak account will be able to access their game on any of its supported platforms and maintain their progression, stats, and customizations. Cross-platform play is becoming more and more popular but it’s still rare to see a game come out day one with cross-progression so I commend the Spellbreak team for that.
As a free-to-play game, there’s an undeniable quality and polish to Spellbreak. So, then, the big question is over what the monetisation is like. One of the biggest problems free-to-play games face is venturing into pay-to-play territory with their monetisation systems. Thankfully, I can say that Spellbreak has very friendly monetisation. Spellbreak sells cosmetic items but not items that affect how well players perform on the battlefield. Again, this is commendable for the Spellbreak team as a lot of free-to-play games are not this friendly.
Overall, Spellbreak is unbridled fun as you and other mages do battle with various elemental powers. It keeps the core of what makes the battle royale genre successful whilst adding in its own unique gameplay, charm, and character.
*Review copy kindly provided by the publisher for this review.