Ring of Elysium mixing up the Battle Royale formula
Ring of Elysium (PC), 9/10
The deluge of new Battle Royale games last year was, in a fun way, almost a Battle Royale in itself - a self-referential torrent of new games that fought to ride consumer's breathless enthusiasm for the new status-quo of shooter games.
Some fell early in the game - Radical Heights immediately springs to mind - while other titles that initially floundered around a bit eventually found their feet.
Of course, the top spots are still occupied by the likes of Fortnite, PUBG and the newer Call of Duty: Blackout, but new challengers are certainly beginning to snap at the heels of the aforementioned behemoths.
Upon its debut, Ring of Elysium was met with rather tepid fanfare from gamers and critics alike. In the past few months, developers Tencent have done an admirable job in polishing the game and adding plenty of content, bringing it up to an incredibly complete standard despite its now-ubiquitous "Early Access" caveat.
Ring of Elysium mixes up the Battle Royale formula by plonking a "smaller" group of just 60 players in a snow-themed map.
Where things get really wild is the traversal options available to the players.
Ski lifts, snowboards, hang gliders and mountain-climbing gear go a long way towards affording the player many creative ways to avoid or destroy enemy players using the environment to their advantage.
Possibly the biggest deviation from the now well-trodden Battle Royale recipe is how the endgame is dealt with.
In Ring of Elysium, the objective is for the players to reach an evacuation zone marked on the map.
In this zone a helicopter with just four seats awaits to safely evacuate the victorious players from the encroaching blizzard.
This novel concept breaths vigour and madness into the closing moments of every game, as players scramble to reach the ladder.
Noise, chaos, panic and flying lead all contribute towards manic and visceral battles that will sink their claws into you and make you yearn yet more rounds of this blisteringly-paced Battle Royale.
Ring of Elysium is deep for a Battle Royale. With a staggering wealth of features and a highly polished gameplay experience, its easy to recommend this game as a viable alternative to PUBG et. al.