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A Look Back at 2018’s Best (And Worst) Battle Royale Games

It’s been one crazy year.

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If you are a fan of battle royale games, then you’ve probably been overdosing on games this year.

Thanks to Fortnite and PUBG, dozens of developers have stepped up to create their very own battle royale games. We’ve had some decent attempts and some not so decent attempts.

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In this list, we’ve taken a look back at 2018 and have listed what we think to be the best battle royale releases and the absolute worst.

The Best Battle Royale Releases in 2018

Skipping over Fortnite and PUBG, here is a look at the best battle royale releases in 2018.

We’ve included these games because they have managed to capture an audience despite the overwhelming popularity from PUBG and Fortnite, or they have done something unique to the genre, breathing new life into it.

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#1 – Call Of Duty Blackout

Credit: Black Ops 4 Black Out/ Dr Disrespect

Blackout has easily been one of the best battle royale releases so far. Many people are even going so far as to say that Blackout will knock Fortnite off of the top spot.

I doubt that’ll be true – Fortnite’s hype train is something that just can’t be derailed right now.

However, it’s still clear that Blackout has done a lot for the genre, and most importantly, for Call of Duty.

Blackout does something that many other battle royale games struggle to do – it keeps it casual. Blackout is easy to pick up and the gun mechanics are familiar. I you’ve never played a shooter game before, COD is always a great place to start and that translates well to Blackout, too.

Just because Blackout is more casual than both PUBG and Fortnite, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any kind of skill level. Surviving till the end in Blackout is just as exhilarating as it is in PUBG and Fortnite.

The gameplay is just more accessible and the user interface is superb for console players. What’s more is that Treyarch has integrated vehicles into Blackout perfectly, which was a surprise to many considering vehicles aren’t usually something we get to see in Call of Duty.

#2 – Realm Royale

Realm Royale may be losing players fast, but it showcased the potential the battle royale genre has. Realm Royale introduced a class based system that let players choose how they want to play before they even drop into the game.

The best loot in Realm Royale was awarded to players who actively engaged in fights. Killing players would reward you with tokens that could be spent in forges on better gear.

The flow of gameplay in Realm Royale was also something I thoroughly enjoyed. You often had enough time to loot up without much opposition from opponents.

And if you ever wanted more action, all you needed to do was summon your horse and march into the nearest settlement.

I feel like the skill curve in Realm Royale was something that many players didn’t truly get to appreciate. There’s something about Realm Royale’s twitch shooter style that made it feel like a challenge to master.

Realm Royale’s shooting mechanics felt like an odd mix of Overwatch and Quake and I loved it.

#3 Dying Light: Bad Blood

Credit: Dying Light

Dying Light: Bad Blood didn’t feel too much like a true battle royale game to me, and that’s why I loved it so much.

Techland showed us what can be done with the battle royale genre if it’s taken in wacky new directions. In Bad Blood, only 12 players are put into each game, but 12 players is more than enough given the overall game objective.

You must collect blood samples in Bad Blood. These samples are often guarded by swarms of zombies or tough zombies that take time and patience to take down. The person with the most blood samples can escape when the helicopter appears.

The flow of gameplay in Bad Blood is something that will always captivate me. You spend the first few minutes often by yourself, collecting loot, and fighting zombies.

After a few minutes, you may come across your first player or two. In this case you either choose to fight by using Dying Light’s excellent melee mechanics, or use parkour to slip away.

Then, after about 5-10 minutes in, the helicopter comes and it’s all out chaos for the remaining players.

Each game is super short and it’s this that makes Dying Light: Bad Blood very replayable.

The Worst Battle Royale Games in 2018

There have been just as many flops in the battle royale world as there have been success stories. In this section, I share what I believe to be the worst battle royale games to launch in 2018.

Radical Heights

A retro style battle royale developed by none other than CliffyB’s Boss Key Productions, Radical Heights first saw initial success thanks to a strong marketing push on Twitch.

I personally liked the concept for Radical Heights, but it didn’t catch on. Perhaps it was just bad timing – Fortnite was absolutely dominating at this point, even more so than it is now.

Or maybe it was the disjointed graphics and overall unfinished appearance. Many people looked at Radical Heights and smelled the words ‘cash grab’ in the air almost immediately.

It was clear that Radical Heights was something that got pushed out incredibly quickly and I feel like it was more of a desperate play to for CliffyB and Boss Key to get back in the game after Lawbreakers.

Unfortunately, Radical Height’s flames died out pretty quickly and with it it burned the entire Boss Key development team to dust.

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds

Another clear cash grab, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds was a game that sneakily got away with its unfinished nature by proclaiming itself as a ‘battle royale’ parody. This is something that we also saw work with games like Goat Simulator.

The original release for Totally Accurate Battlegrounds was terribly buggy and almost unplayable. Since then, TABS has come a long way, but it’s certainly not my cup of tea.

It feels like all of the mechanics that have been put in place were thrown together without much care or practice.

It’s a ‘funny’ experience, sure, but you can’t compete with all of these other battle royale games that are being developed by teams that are serious about making good games.

H1Z1

In a weird way, H1Z1 started it all. H1Z1 first launched as a survival game with a built-in battle royale mode. The battle royale mode quickly grew in popularity, which forced the development for the survival mode and battle royale mode to split.

For a while, H1Z1 was popular as a battle royale title, but it was only because it was the only offering.

As soon as Brendan Greene, who had been overseeing creative control for H1Z1, left to create PUBG, H1Z1 quickly lost a huge player base.

Since then, H1Z1 has been clinging on for dear life – it got dropped as a free to play title and then hastily pushed to the PS4.

Some people enjoy it, but for me, H1Z1 lacks the game mechanics that PUBG and Fortnite have perfected and it certainly lacks any good content making it worth playing for more than a few hours.

Summary

That brings our look at the best and worst battle royale games to an end. Would you consider adding any games to this list? If so, what would you add?

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