An Interesting Little Twist on the Battle Royale Genre
Right now, battle royale games are a dime a dozen. It takes a unique twist on the formula, or at least some extra effort in the presentation to separate oneself from the ocean of new titles latching on to the battle royale craze. Ride Out Heroes uses a little bit of both. The low fantasy aesthetic may remind players of Hi-Rez’s Realm Royale, but with a key difference.
Ride Out Heroes replaces the strict class-based system with an Overwatch-esque character select. Similarly, each character has their own asymmetrical advantages and utilities, coupled with vague, amusingly arbitrary backstories. Obviously, the narrative isn’t what we’re here for, though. We have here a very solid addition to the battle royale genre that successfully integrates aspects from other games not commonly found in others of its ilk.
The Game Really Wants You to Be The Sexy Demon Lady
The characters and their play styles sell Ride Out Heroes, and entice players to continue playing. All ten (currently ten) characters have their own unique aesthetic, and suit different strategies. Players are given three to start. One a stealth-based hit and run character, another a long range but low damage character, and the last a high damage but high skill character. There remain seven more to unlock using in-game or premium currency.
And to Ride Out Heroes’ benefit, the price tag attached to heroes should one want to buy the roster doesn’t feel like a requirement. The game offers the alternative to purchase the heroes using diamonds, a currency earned by playing the game. Pleasantly, the cost of heroes using diamonds at no point feels insurmountable. And for the time being, the three free characters keep the game fresh enough to justify the effort needed to obtain the rest of the roster. Although, I will say that the game seems to favor one of the starter heroes. Considering she’s on the game’s thumbnail. And you’re automatically assigned tutorial character. And your designated default hero. See the subheading for a concise explanation.
But When Does the Shooting Start
Once the battle royale aspect of the game begins, Ride Out Heroes ventures back towards a bit-too-familiar territory. It’s clear that most of the artistic effort went towards the characters and they’re designs. The island the royale takes place in lacks variety in its locales. Sections of the arena may have dirt or sand to illustrate a difference in environment. However, the structures and flora that dot the map to embellish the world really don’t differ from place to place. This isn’t exactly a troubling detail, but it is an issue.
The early stages of Ride Out Heroes’ plays out similarly to other games of its kind. Scavenge for weapons before you get blasted. Hop from vantage point to vantage point as the fog closes in. But the endgame is what sets Ride Out Heroes apart, as the advantages and specialty weapons belonging to each character bear extreme relevance when it comes to placing somewhere towards the bottom of the top 20 and actually winning the game. It’s easy to coast your way to a respectable placing, but you must capitalize on the strengths and adjust for the weaknesses of your character if you want to win. Ride Out Heroes walks a fine line between balance and asymmetry. And it walks it well.
Honestly, It’s Just Really Solid
There are not a lot of large issues with this game. Of course, as an online game, the quality of the online experience will differ from player to player. Some latency issues plagued the game on the outset for me, but those did resolve themselves after a phone restart. There are some localization issues. Your velociraptor mount is referred to as a T-Rex, the dance emote that has your character do “The Egyptian” is referred to as “Perplexing Dance”, etc. But considering there’s no ongoing narrative, it doesn’t cause much of a distraction. If it’s anything it’s mildly amusing. Ride Out Heroes provides a fun, fast-paced battle royale experience unique enough to warrant attention. It’s a solid addition to the genre in general, and an excellent pickup for mobile players.
But is it Hardcore?
What would be just another Fortnite clone is freshened up by a character based asymmetry in the vein of Overwatch. The colorful aesthetic and gameplay variety are sure to keep players interested long after install.