Hands-On with BattleCry at E3 2014
Battlecry Studios, a new studio under the wings of Bethseda, is creating a brand new AAA F2P game called, well, Battlecry. Battlecry Studios manifesto is all about bringing AAA titles to the world of F2P, and while I'm skeptical that this will actually happen, their first showing is impressive to say the least. Battlecry is a 32 player team combat game in the likes of Chivalry. Think Chivalry with the graphics of Dishonored and some of the mechanics of Bioshock: Infinite.
To be a bit more descriptive, it's a team based game that has a heavy focus on melee. Essentially, in this world that they're crafting, gunpowder has been outlawed, so there is a heavy focus on melee combat. They're building up a strong fiction around this idea which goes into how the nations have developed warzones and how the world has come to the point that people fight it out in this deathmatch arenas.
The basic idea is that there is three factions, one yet to be announced, with five classes each (the classes are the same for each faction). You'll pay for character customizations only, so there won't be any pay-to-win factor in the game. Community focus is important, as such when a game ends, you can go around and salute players and assign awards, all in an attempt to foster a happy community. There will be guilds in as well.
I got a chance to get a little bit of hands-on time with the game and my impressions were rather good. It played a lot like Chivalry but with different mechanics behind it. Instead of slow swings, combat was very fast paced. I played as a Duelist, which is supposed to be a stealth class, which is entirely possible (there is a stealth mechanic) but I more or less used it to lunge at enemies and unload fast strikes with whatever sort of weapon they had equipped.
What's interesting is the grapple system, which works somewhat like BioShock Infinite in the sense that you press a button and are thrown around the world to a new spot. I'm assuming there is some invulnerability component since you're moving at super fast speeds, so it's a great way to chop battles up and provide the ability to use terrain against your enemies.
The game is mostly melee, but there is a ranged archer class. Which is has a bow and can use it, like Chivalry, and is effective but hard to use. Each class has three unique abilities, along with an andreline system that allows you to enter into a god-like state depending on how much you've acquired through combat.
Overall, I am rather positive about the game. I think it should do well and the fact that Bethseda / Zenimax are aiming to create AAA F2P games is really noble. A lot of AAA games have launched and should be free-to-play out of the gate, but Battlecry Studios is at least working on AAA titles with the full intent to be F2P.
Now, is this an AAA title? I don't know. Time will tell if it's enough to be considered AAA and I can't make a judgment call yet, but it was fun and should appeal to players with its fast combat, awesome art style, and unique maps. As a bonus, it can be played with a controller or keyboard, which is awesome. Look for Battlecry's beta sometime in 2015.