Spellbreak Review – Fire and ice, oh my!

In a world of Battle Royales that are doing little to evolve, Spellbreak from Proletariat is the very game looking to break the mold, but struggles in some ways, while succeeding in others. Now, let’s find out if this game can go the mile.


Pros:
+Features a fully unique system that includes cross-progression, purchasing, and matchmaking
+Performs extremely well on Nintendo Switch without little sacrifices
+Graphically stands side-by-side with some of today’s biggest titles on the Switch

Cons:
-Minor connection issues on the Switch


Let’s be real. When it comes to battle royale titles, there are very few titles out there that attempt to do whatever they can to stand out from the rest. We’re often stuck with titles that try to mimic what makes Fortnite, Call of Duty Warzone, and even Apex Legends as unique as they are.

For the past year, I’ve had the awesome chance to see Spellbreak evolve into something unique, becoming a title that stands out among its competitors, taking the ideas of magic, Battle Royale, and fantasy settings all into one. While it’s clear that its Battle Royale roots are there, there’s something just under the surface that makes it stand out from those within the same exact genre.

Spellbreak is distinctly different, but the same as the others, which is charming and unique

Over the dozens of hours I’ve played Spellbreak, it’s clear that some of todays most influential titles are clearly there. The killer storm, the lootable gear, and even the items needed to heal your caster back to full health and armor. You’ll even find hot zone type areas where you can get high-end gear instead of loot crates falling from the skies.

You won’t find it to be tedious as one might suspect. It’s fast. It’s fluid, and everything you need to actually have fun is handed to you fromt he very start after a very brief tutorial. After that tutorial, you get a chance to go into Solo, Duos, our Squads. Each mode offering a different challenge from the other.

It’s not as simple as one might think when it comes to actually understanding Spellbreak and how deep its systems actually go. Spells can be combined, triggering new effects such as poisonous firewalls, exploding ice, and even unleashing air walls to prevent damage from enemies.

You can be an amazing wizard and no sorting cap is even needed

When starting out, you’ll be introduced to six types of magic – Lightning, Fire, Rock, Wind, Ice, and of course Poison – each coming with their own unique perks, playstyles, and combinations that can be unleashed. Each spell comes with both its own light and heavy attacks, allowing you to unleash devastating lightning storms in an AoE fashion or even send boulders flying and knocking enemies back.

One of the more unique parts of playing Spellbreak isn’t just the magic, but the fact you can customize each of the caster types, allowing you to customize it to your play style when and however you want. Want to be super aggressive, ensuring you deal the most damage when you have above 80% health? You can do that.

Do you want to make your character highly efficient in moving and playing the short game as a rock mage? You can do that too. It’s almost completely up to you to choose how you play your mage you like. This also comes into what platform you wish to use and how you want the game to look and feel, to some extent, which isn’t completely obvious at first.

Spellbreakers is completely cross-platform including purchases, progression, and gameplay

One of the things you often have to take into consideration for a game like this is how long you can play it, how well you can play it, and if you are getting the most out of the money you spend. While the game is free-to-play, there are real money options that you can invest in, such as skins, emotes, etc.

Now, one thing that has really impressed us with this game isn’t just the fact that it runs great on every platform it’s on, but the fact our purchases, our unlocks, our progression, and even our in-game friendslist follows us wherever we go. It’s a game that actually feels smooth, it plays well, and performance isn’t in question regardless of where you play it.

The graphics themselves don’t seem to take a hit regardless of the platform you are on. The performance remains a key ocus of how the game plays, the major hit the Switch version takes will evidentally be things such as draw distance as well as some of your reflective lighting, anti-aliasing, and minor details.

While this sounds like a lot, it’s truly not, as the PlayStation 4 version isn’t far from what you’d expect from the Nintendo Switch version. The other key element is that it does feel/seem as if Dynamic Resolution scaling is enabled on the Switch version to ensure the game maintains smooth performance.

Regardless of the platform you play on, the experience is much the same, which is impressive and quite welcoming, to those wanting to have a seamless transition from one to the other.

One of the only drawbacks is that content has yet to still be delivered

One of the downsides is that the game itself is still in development. Balancing, content, and even new additions are still in the works, which includes some form of story-driven background. The drawback to this is that, while the game is out, it does feel as if it is in an open-beta state to some extent.

While it’s only a minor complaint, it’s still there, and to some, it is a drawback despite the insane amounts of unlocks for each and every class there is. As you can tell in the screenshots above. It’s just a damn shame that it’ll be a while before some of the content is delivered.

The Conclusion

At the end of the day, Spellbreak is everything you would hope from an imaginative Battle Royale that seeks to change how the franchise feels. It’s a game that’s unique, fluid, and of the highest quality from a team as small as the one at Proletariat.

Spellbreak
Platforms:
 PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Proletariat
Publisher: Proletariat
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: Free-to-Play with paid options

While there are minor rooms for improvement, the team has already gone above and beyond, giving players like myself who are veterans tot he game and newcomers a leveled playing ground from beginning to the very end.


Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.



About the Writer(s):

dustin_murphy_about_the_writer

Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook today.

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