'PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds' via IGDB.com

This year is set to be packed with upcoming battle royales following the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Various upcoming additions to the genre offer new mechanics and dynamic environmental elements to push into new territory and take an otherwise simplistic concept to new lengths. Whether you’re more interested in the classic approach the genre has coined or fascinating new situations, it seems that this year is full of opportunities for battle royale fans who want to test their overall skills.

Here are 5 battle royale games that you should keep an eye on.

Mavericks: Proving Grounds by Automaton | Release Date: TBD 2018

Defined through its ambition, Mavericks: Proving Grounds sets players in a match with 1,000 total players, as opposed to the genres’ usual 100-player count. Competition may be tracked through environmental clues that include leftover muddy footprints, and wildfire runs rampant in an arena that ranges from forest fires to snowy plains, as the battlefield is made treacherous by its ever-changing dynamic. The combat mechanics encourage players to adopt several play-styles, ranging from melee to sniper mastery. Like other battle royales, the last player or squad left standing in the open-world map will be crowned the victor.

Egress by Fazan | Release Date: TBD 2018

This upcoming battle royale turns the genre on its head by pairing souls-like combat with a setting that takes place in an alternate universe. In choosing not to stay grounded in realism, the environment consists of Lovecraftian mythology-inspired aesthetics, retro wave elements, and Victorian-era structures. The open-world multi-level city is riddled with obtuse houses, streets, and sewer tunnels that may be explored in depth. All heroes will contain unique abilities, weapons, and multiple chances to evolve. The combat is derived from a system based on melee attacks and dodges, which removes the proclivity to rely on guns, and promotes ability combinations. Players may choose to queue up with solo or team modes.

Fractured Lands by Unbroken Studios | Release Date: Summer 2018
Unbroken Studios

By forcing players to run-over their competition to become the last player standing, Fractured Lands merges a post-apocalyptic wasteland setting with dead vehicle combat. Vehicles stand as player lifelines and their greatest weapon, with multiple upgrades available to prevent environmental and combat damage. The world is plagued with radioactive storms that close in every minute to choke out competitors through quick rounds. Players who’d like to remain on the sidelines may do so with a gas mask. A myriad of guns may be found scattered throughout the desert, with the last player standing earning each round’s bloody victory.

Rapture Rejects by Galvanic Games, Explosm Games | Release Date: TBD 2018
Galvanic Games, Explosm Games

Set in the apocalyptic Cyanide & Happiness Comics universe, players inhabit a world where God has left the worst of humanity to fend for themselves, with little left to accomplish apart from killing adversaries. Rapture Rejects takes the genre in a new direction by implementing a top-down isometric perspective, which allows for gameplay to be more accessible, and promotes customization that’s easily distinguished amidst a crowd of players. Paired with cartoon-inspired animation and dark humor, players must scavenge a distinctly macabre world for weapons in the hopes of killing everyone on Earth, as remaining the last human standing grants you victory.

Darwin Project by Scavengers Studio | Release Date: March 9, 2018
Scavengers Studio

In preparation for an upcoming Ice Age, a new project that is a science experiment mixed with live entertainment is launched. This event, called Darwin Project, has 10 players surviving the freezing northern Canadian Rockies and fighting to the death through treacherous events. Uniquely, players have the ability to adopt the role of the Show Director, who stands as the bridge between player and spectator. The role is that of a host who controls the arena with the ability to implement closures, nuclear bombs, gravity storms, all with real-time voice commands. With a much smaller arena that may be manipulated at the hand of whoever is selected to perform as the Show Director, players must fight to the death under the gaze of death, environmental hazards, and the freezing cold winter.

Those interested in Darwin Project may play it on Steam for free now, though it still remains in Early Access, with patches released periodically.

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