Spellbreak is a magic/fantasy Battle Royale game which is more of a ‘Brawl Royale’ by design. Instead of guns, shooting and firefights, Spellbreak is about close-range magic battles with unbelievable combos and absolute mayhem, especially when you’re stuck between multiple teams going at it.
This is what makes Spellbreak, as a battle royale, stand out from others.
Even though this game is in beta it has much to offer. A humongous map, medieval-type scenery and loads of treasure chests for loot.
First things first, you select your class;
- Frostborn (Ice magic)
- Conduit (Electric Magic)
- Pyromancer (Fire Magic)
- Toxicologist (Toxic Magic)
- Stoneshaper (Rock Magic)
- Tempest (Wind Magic)
Picking a class will govern what your primary gauntlet (weapon/spell) will be. Once you enter the Fantasy Hallow Lands you then can loot for your secondary gauntlet to combo with in game which you can change at any time.
Let’s say you picked Pyromancer as your mage and in-game found the Tempest gauntlet. Now you can access a series of abilities and combos. For example, Pyromancer has a primary spell that throws out fireballs with a secondary spell that casts a firewall. Tempest has a secondary spell of a tornado which can be combined with the firewall to make a tornado fire that will deal more damage in that area.
Using spells requires Mana. It’s like stamina and as you loot for higher-level loot your mana will increase allowing you to cast more often without having to rest for a second or two.
Mana is what you need to take into consideration while playing as it affects you in many ways. In addition to using it when you cast spells, when you jump and hold the button you will hover higher in the air which will use mana. Some skill is required to balance out your hovering and spell casting but it won’t really affect your gameplay if you are not reckless.
Spells are upgradable by finding higher level gauntlets which improve your spellcasting abilities. If that’s not enough, you can also loot for Runes which are like a special ability. Runes vary and can aid you in battle or for scouting and can be looted from chests or dead players. An example of one type of rune is the “Wolfs Blood Rune” which is a pulse-like spell that can reveal enemy players nearby. The higher level the Rune is, the more distance it will cover. Runes have a longer cool down period than your normal spells so use them when needed or intended.
Spellbreak has a loot system, similar to other battle royale games. There are three types of chest — small, medium, large — which advises the level of loot you’re guaranteed. Loot is ranked and includes common, epic etc. The bigger the chest the higher the chance of high-level loot dropping.
In addition to the chests, you have Mana Vaults. Marked on your map, Mana Vaults guarantee you a legendary drop. It also guarantees lots of other players going for the same thing. Mana Vaults spawn in different locations every match and require you to activate them. Once activated you will defend that location if others are around until it activates so you can loot it. Turn your back to the patiently waiting enemy and they will kill you and reap the rewards.
Each match follows the classic ‘jump out of the sky and pick your landing spot on a humongous map’ routine like all other BRs. Once you land, you’ll have to gear up and get armour through equipping belts. The higher-level belt you have the more armour you get. Like finding belts to wear armour, you’ll need to find boots to be able to run faster. Spellbreak has no run button.
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the gear it becomes second nature.
The loot system is quite simple once you are familiar with your abilities. This is what separates Spellbreak from other games. In the chests, you will find spells. Once you find the one you want, you aim to improve it to the Legendary level and you’re done. There’s no need for weapon attachments and special ammo or trying to find the best O.P. gun. Spellbreak takes all that away and simplifies.
Don’t get too stuck on looting because it’s fun getting in the action right away. Just winning a fight is an achievement on its own and makes you feel like you’ve been crowned king and won the whole game. Spellbreak’s fighting system is impeccable. Brawls can last up to minutes if both players are agile and of similar skill level. There is no one-shot experience, there is no sniping or camping, you are out in the open casting spells and wreaking havoc upon your nemesis.
Once you kill your opponent, take a deep breath and enjoy your victory because you earned it. Then, go loot their corpse as you gain access to all the gear they have looted.
As the map shrinks and you enter into the new circle, Spellbreak has implemented a clever tactic. Every class has its own abilities and upgrades and as you enter the new circle you instantly get upgraded and your powers get certain traits/add-ons to help you as you progress. Move to the next circle even before you are forced to move and you upgrade again. There are a total of four upgrades per class.
In addition to their own unique abilities, each class has the option of carrying another ability in-game. Each spell combos with other spells differently. For example, wind and lighting will create a lighting tornado.
From personal experience, all classes are well balanced but it depends on how you play in order to determine which class works best for you.
Spellbreak has lots to offer and is not just another battle royale. It has enough differences from its predecessors to stand out from the rest and a battle royale with no guns or traditional weapons has advantages. Like the mystical effect of magic.
All in all this is a game to be added to your library that offers a different perspective on BR gameplay.
Spellbreak is being played on PS4, using digital copies provided by the developer.