Everybody wants a slice of that Battle Royale pie right now that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds happens to have cornered the market on. Fortnite has shamelessly stolen all the best ideas of PUBG’s (also copied) pioneering work and found massive success, while even Paladins has hopped on the bandwagon with their own take on the formula.
Broken down, said formula is made up of several key elements: A world that is dense enough to drop a hundred players into, an even starting ground and an ever-encroaching field of death that shrinks the map as the kills rack up. Simple on paper, complex to actually implement in the real world. It’s only a matter of time until more Battle Royale games hit the scene as developers and publishers catch a whiff of the genre.
Said games are most likely already in production, while EA is presumably dreaming up new ways to f*** the entire idea up in spectacular fashion, much like they did with online multiplayer passes, loot boxes and microtransactions. Here are ten such games which we think would transition to the genre perfectly, if it made good use of the defining elements that are present in the design of a good ol’ Battle Royale.
Listen mother-lover: Standby for a lot of Titanfall. At its best, Titanfall and its superb sequel were magnificent Pacific Rim simulators of rock ‘em sock ‘em robot violence. Said action was usually constrained to a handful of titans on the screen at any given time, but that delicate dance of death and destruction was and still is unmatched.
I say break the limits of that engine. Throw in a stupid amount of titans, let the rockets fly and give every pilot a nuke under their seat. You could argue that focusing on the titans instead of the pilots goes against the battle royale formula, but here’s my counterpoint: Shut up robots are the best. Would the end result look like Michael Bay’s wet dream? Yes, and I’d pay handsomely for that.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The best video game of 2017, and hell let’s face it, probably the best game of 2018 as well. For a game which couldn’t be any more different than PUBG, the latest Legend of Zelda title sure does have a fair share of similarities. Both games have you start out with nothing, both games have you scavenging for better gear and both games would probably be better with random Russians typing Cyrillic curse words at you when you score a sneaky win.
In terms of scope, Breath of the Wild would have to be downscaled quite a bit to work its way into that genre. It’d be worth it however, as the tools on offer in Link’s latest quest would perfectly transition towards a glorious free-for-all.
I’m going to paint you a picture: The battle royale formula, but with a slight twist. A single target on the map who needs to be killed, one densely populated environment and 100 assassins vying for the first kill. Hitman is the murderous sandbox perfected, a glorious amalgamation of intricate clockwork parts that fit together into a sophisticated adventure where you hunt down your targets.
So visualise that, imagine a 100 players adopting disguises and setting each other up for an untimely demise as they work their way towards their target. It’d most likely be impossible to pull off and it’d break the game entirely. It’d also be the exquisite taste of chaos on a grand scale.
Dead Rising 4
What makes a battle royale game the digital definition of intensity? Is it the scavenging for parts while you keep an eye on the horizon? That desperate race for survival when an unlikely mob bands together to take you down? Well, yes and more than that. The reason why games like PUBG work so well is that it constantly pushes players towards the center via that handy blue field of death.
It’s a fantastic element, that adds the tension to keep on truckin’ towards the middle, that has been aped by other games shamelessly. Imagine that idea, with the undead element. Dead Rising 4 is one of the most underrated games out there, Christmas cartharsis that encouraged players to mix and match goods to wacky effect.
Picture that insanity, as players struggled to survive against a wave of undead encircling them and the net growing tighter by the second. It’d be insanely tense and goofy. Talk about standing out from the crowd, right?
100 puppies. A 1000 ways to die from cuteness. Only one lovable pooch can win this cute-off and crap I think I hear the SPCA knocking on my door again.
What kind of a game is Destiny 2 right now? One word: Boring. The current landscape of Destiny 2 is rather sparse when it comes to endgame action, while the Crucible has done very little to keep players around for the long run. A battle royale mode however, could massively change that. Think about it: Destiny 2 doesn’t just have the right maps for that kind of carnage, it has several of them.
Even better, Destiny 2 has the guns, the armour and the skills that would transition perfectly to the kind of setup where you start with nothing but the clothes on your back and the chatty Ghost in your ear. Imagine scavenging for regular green-coded weapons, slowly working your light level back up and smiling like a doofus when you stumble upon an exotic.
Guys, it’d be amazing. Bungie I hope you’re paying attention.
If ever there was a game that had all the perfect elements for a battle royale just lying around and gathering dust, it has to be The Division. Ubisoft’s sandbox of bullets and backstabbing has made some massive improvements over the last year, rebuilding the experience into frigid wasteland of intrigue and role-playing mechanics with a dark zone slap-bang in the middle that truly proves that you can’t trust anyone.
Hell, why not put that dark zone to better use? The Division’s use of New York City is already the very best incarnation of the Big Apple ever seen in a video game, but ratcheting up that experience with an ever-shrinking pool of players as they battle towards a grisly demise? I’d bet my reputation that implementing such an idea wouldn’t just bring thousands of players back to the fold, it’d keep them there.
Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Whereas The Division has the potential to create the perfect environment for liberally borrowing a few ideas from PUBG, Ghost Recon: Wildlands has a different strength that it can play to: Tactics. The current PVP addition to the 2017 squad shooter has proven to be a damn fine idea, one that leverages the teamwork of Wildlands to fantastic new heights.
Expanding upon that with a larger selection of targets that all have the same goal in mind? Digital Bolivia would never be the same again. With most battle royale games, tactics seldom come into play as instincts kick in and the quickest pinger-finger wins. Moving that focus back to teams and setting them loose on one another, would be a spectacle that would be well worth watching in Ubisoft’s gorgeously detailed jungles.
Look, there’s no higher call for intricate mechanisms and scavenging here. All I want, is to see a 100 overpaid ball-kickers red card each other into a fine pink mist as they all seek to score a goal and win a chicken dinner.
Metal Gear Survive
Sure, it ain’t no Metal Gear Solid but Metal Gear Survive still looks like it has plenty to offer as a spin-off as Konami squeezes every possible cent out of the franchise. Said squeezing would result in diamonds dripping out if Konami decided to see what would happen if 100 soldiers ran wild in the plains of Afghanistan, as the Metal Gear Solid V engine happens to be utterly dependable on delivering solid action thanks to its sublime design by he who shall not be named.
It’s utterly speculative of course, as the game isn’t even out yet, but it’s hard to deny that a few shifts of the DNA strands within Metal Gear Survive could produce a title with the same longevity as Grand Theft Auto Online and World of WarCraft. Make it so, Konami. And that’s the list? Know of any better games which you’d pay for if it involved you fighting back against 99 other maniacs?
Sound off below and let us know.
Last Updated: January 9, 2018