You've probably played a lot of battle royale games in recent years, but none quite like Naraka: Bladepoint. 60 players gather on the mysterious Morus Island, though only one may remain; you'll need to explore every inch of the exotic locale to learn its secrets and engage in frantic close-quarters combat with other combatants to survive. As developer 24 Entertainment tells us, Naraka: Bladepoint is about finding the balance between beauty and bloodshed.
"Our ultimate goal with Naraka: Bladepoint is to offer players an action-packed game experience – but one that comes with a huge range of flexibilities and options for the player. This includes high-speed movement around the map, a combination of melee and ranged weapons, and strategic skills to engage in imaginative combat."
Up close and personal
Battle royale games typically engage players at range, pushing them to utilize cover and weapons with long lines-of-sight to come out on top. Naraka: Bladepoint turns the battle royale on its head by pushing players into close-quarters, with an arsenal predominantly made up of melee weapons. It's an interesting setup, one that has led 24 Entertainment to believe that it has " almost completely reworked the standard BR model."
This materializes in a number of ways, particularly in its combat possibilities, which include "high-speed battlefield travel, extreme dodging, combo kills, and flexibly-implemented counter plays". The result is an experience that makes the art of wielding a blade look frighteningly similar to that of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, albeit with the added threat of 59 other players darting around the environments – with grappling hook in hand – around you at all times.
"Players are able to take combat to all the places that are within their sights," the studio tells us. "Equally, mid-air battles are a really important aspect of the game. Whether an attack takes place in the air or a player simply jumps to avoid an incoming attack, these movements are all integral to creating a more vivid and flexible combat system."
While 24 Entertainment advises that "players carry at least one ranged and one melee weapon to deal with any complex battle situations that arise" as you explore Naraka: Bladepoint, the developer acknowledges that "melee seems to be the preferred fighting style" in its early playtests, something we expect to shine through in the upcoming open beta. "The excitement you feel when you switch to melee weapons and charge towards your enemies with your teammates is one unique characteristic of Naraka: Bladepoint. This aggressive combat is also another facet of our 'Unchained Multiplayer Combat'."
Naraka: Bladepoint beta
Set for release later this year, Naraka: Bladepoint looks like a breath of fresh air. The grappling hook opens up massive possibilities, letting you assault players from a distance, ambush unaware enemies from great heights, or avoid attacks entirely by zipping off to distant horizons. The balance between ranged combat with a bow and more delicate melee dances with ancient blades is set to keep encounters fresh and imaginative too, with Naraka: Bladepoint prioritising play styles such as warriors, assassins, swordsmen, brawlers, and monks.
With a gorgeous world to explore, challenging combat to master, and 59 other players to topple, there's going to be plenty to see and do in Naraka: Bladepoint. In fact, you'll be able to try it for yourself in the upcoming beta, which the team promises is noticeably larger than the previous playtest. "The game has grown significantly in comparison to our first Beta test."
"Most importantly, the addition of Souljade and Talent systems takes the battles to new and exciting places, bringing more flexibility and complexity. We strongly recommend our players try different combinations of Talent and Souljade to take their experiences to new heights (quite literally in some instances). In addition, there is a better balance between melee and ranged weapons for this beta. We're incredibly excited to see how much participants enjoy the combat and gameplay on offer in Naraka: Bladepoint!"