Ever since Fortnite and PUBG propelled the Battle Royale genre into the spotlight back in 2017, every developer in the industry has been trying to capitalise on the massive trend.
Many have tried, many have failed. It’s difficult to add your own twist on such a populated genre, especially when the Battle Royale mode is so basic and simple. How is it possible to add new elements whilst not changing the core fundamentals?
Sharkmob Games have thrown their hat into the ring and given fans a game we didn’t even know we needed, a Battle Royale with Vampires.
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Although an official release date for Bloodhunt has yet to be announced, a closed Alpha did take place from Friday, July 2nd to Sunday, July 4th.
Now, I must admit that I’ve never played a Vampire: The Masquerade title before, so I can’t make any comparison to the universe in which Bloodhunt is set. I have, however, played A LOT of Battle Royale games. I’m not proud of how many hours I have in Warzone and Fortnite.
The Bloodhunt Alpha allowed players to complete a short tutorial, customize their Archetype (character), and then queue up for a Solo game or as a team. The team mode consisted of 3 players, but for some reason, you couldn’t play with your friends during the Alpha.
Unlike many other Battle Royale titles, Bloodhunt lets you pick where you want to spawn in the dark, gritty streets of Prague. After you select your Archetype and wait for the countdown, you and 45 other players are free to loot, kill, and most importantly, do cool Vampire stuff.
Selecting the right Archetype is important, as each possesses various abilities. Each Archetype has a total of three different powers, players can pick between the Brute, Vandal, Saboteur, Prowler, Siren, or Muse. All of which are customizable with different clothes, hairstyles, eye color, body types, and more.
Most of the Archetypes will have some form of double jump, dash, or something to increase movement abilities. This is something I felt all characters should have by default considering they’re vampires, but you also wouldn’t want players double jumping constantly and making it impossible to hit them. Hence, there’s a cooldown on your abilities.
You’ll spend most of your time scaling buildings and bouncing along the rooftops of the incredibly atmospheric city of Prague, but the streets below do serve a purpose. Civilians can be found loitering on corners, and can be fed on to refill your health and gain special abilities.
There are four different types of civilians to feed upon, each with their own advantages. One type of civilian will grant the player a +10% Melee Damage increase, whilst another may reduce your powers cooldown by 10%. These abilities will last for the duration of the game, but don’t get caught feeding on a human or you’ll become visible to players in the surrounding area for a whole minute.
So, what makes Bloodhunt so different to other Battle Royale games? Well, the movement is incredibly fluid, climbing walls and bouncing along rooftops as a Vampire is refreshing and satisfying. Feeding off of NPCs to regen health and gain new abilities also adds different elements to an otherwise basic genre.
Players also have the ability to use their unique senses to scan the area, this will reveal loot, gunfire, or the whereabouts of civilians.
Unfortunately though, for a Vampire game, there’s a lot of shooting and that’s where it falls flat. There’s plenty of different weapon types, but they all felt pretty similar with just a different recoil pattern. The time to kill also feels rather long, which can either make for some fantastic team battles or tedious, drawn-out solo fights. Maybe I’m too used to downing opponents with a single sniper shot in Warzone, but I was hitting players with clean headshots in Bloodhunt, followed up by even more shots and still didn’t down them.
Bloodhunt is a lot of fun, and clearly has a lot of potential. It’s a shame the map has to be so dark and gritty, because it often made it difficult to see what was happening or where enemies were. But, this is a Vampire game after all so we can’t have the sun beaming down on us. I just wish there was a way to make the map a little brighter, whilst also keeping the fierce atmosphere.
With the possibility of further customization options, new weapons, archetypes, map changes, and more, Bloodhunt is one to keep your eye on. Especially considering it will be free-to-play. As of right now, it’s an interesting concept with some unique takes on the Battle Royale mode. But it’s still a Battle Royale shooter, players of the genre will fight right at home equipping armor and moving in with an approaching storm circle.
Will it drag you away from games like Apex Legends or PUBG? Probably not. Does it offer a different take on an overdone genre? Yes, it does, and it’s a lot of fun. Considering it’s free-to-play, I’d recommend everyone that loves a good Battle Royale to pick up Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt when it releases.
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