Bethesda is known for a number of popular games, including Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Evil Within and the forthcoming Doom reboot. It’s done little in the free-to-play multiplayer market. With the help of BattleCry Studios, however, it’s set to make a sizable dent with BattleCry, which is set to debut later this year.
The game takes place from a third-person perspective and puts players on one of two teams – either the Royal Marines or the Cossack Empire – with the goal of battling against their adversaries and meeting the required number of kills (or other criteria on the map) first. It’s a classic multiplayer set-up, but it’s executed with a uniqueness that makes it stand out from other games on the market.
In BattleCry, there are no guns, fancy bazookas or assault rifles. Instead, players rely on short-range melee weapons or archery to kill their opponents, ruled by the Black Powder Treaty, put together by the two surviving sides following a world war that ravaged the Earth.
So far, three classes for the game have been announced, and they break down as follows:
The Enforcer is an all-around balanced character, one that carries a large broad sword that makes him little slower in combat, but more effective than characters with lighter weapons. In addition to chopping large and small foes alike down to size, the sword can also generate a shield that can temporarily protect the Enforcer (and any teammates he or she summons) for a few seconds. In addition, the Enforcer is able to buff nearby teammates in need of health.
Much quicker than the Enforcer, the Duelist relies on his or her speed to strike enemies, and while not as powerful, remains just as effective when it comes to hitting multiple enemies at once. The Duelist can also use stealth to his advantage, sneaking up on enemy squadrons (for instance, sniper-based archers) and killing them with minimal effort. Cloaking capabilities can also be activated temporarily, so they won’t be seen during the assault (except by rival Duelists, of course).
When it comes to long-range combat, there’s no better class available than the Tech Archer. Using a bow and a variety of arrows, the Tech Archer can fire up to four shots, making him or her lethal from a distance for groups that charge the battlefield. In addition, the Tech Archer can also carry throwing daggers, in case he or she needs to fend off enemies at close range. As you might guess, they aren’t as helpful as larger weapons.
BattleCry Studios will also include two additional classes closer to the game’s release later this year: the Gadgeteer, a support class that can use sophisticated gadgetry when it comes to helping (and in some cases, healing) teammates; and the Brawler, a large character that uses a metal arm to destroy enemies within striking distance.
Each of these characters will have their own set of personalities, as well as movement style (Enforcer is slower than Duelist, etc.), so no matter which you choose, you’ll find advantages – and in some cases, disadvantages – to take into consideration.
When it comes to getting around the maps in the game, there’s plenty of high and low ground, making it easy for players to move around and find a vantage point – although the center of the map is usually where most of the action happens, since there are no guns utilized. It’s here that your strategies will best come into play, whether you prefer taking out targets from a distance (while watching your allies) or carving groups of soldiers a new one with your chosen blades.
In addition, maneuverability is heightened with the addition of a grapple system. Using this, you’ll be able to grab onto certain points of the map and get around quickly, thanks to embedded magnets. This system, however, can take some time to master, and you can’t strike enemies while you’re transporting, making you an easy target.
There’s also an Adrenaline system that lets you unleash a power-up attack. With this, you can strike multiple enemies with a powerful move (two per character), giving you a fighting chance should you be on the brink of death. Of course there’s a downside – it takes quite a while to charge, so you’ll want to use it sparingly, and when it counts.
Those who take part in BattleCry’s immense 32-player battles will also take advantage of the included guild system and customization options. Using iron currency earned over the course of each battle, players can unlock new abilities for their characters through a skill tree. From there, moves begin to open up, and as you might guess, higher-class players become a force to be reckoned with. In addition, a number of helmets, skins and armor can be unlocked, along with various gender options – in case you feel like playing as a girl instead of a boy.
Although BattleCry doesn’t have a release date, it is expected to launch this year, with a beta before the summer. If you’re one of those players who prefers melee-style combat to run-and-gun action, this is one game to keep an eye on.