Although Ring of Elysium can quite easily be marked off as the latest in a long line of battle royale copycat games, Chinese developer Tencent Games may a struck gold. Ring of Elysium has a rather unique formula that deviates enough from the standard provision to make it worth a look, if only as a stop gap before Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout launches later this month. Nestled firmly in the realism based BR category, Ring of Elysium rings more of PUBG than candy cane, saccharine smothered Fortnite, but with more variety and features. Here are 6 ways Ring of Elysium takes an original approach to battle royale gaming and is worth a go.
To Drop or Not To Drop
We’d be hard to pressed to find a battle royale title that doesn’t employ the now classic drop mechanic, be it from a plane, helicopter, or balloon propelled bus. Instead Ring of Elysium sees players choose a specific square or tile from the game’s map and spawn there. Each tile is limited to one player and each know where others have decided to spawn. This significantly dampens the oft chaotic early game scramble for loot found in other titles, which can lead to premature deaths decided more by luck than actual skill. With time to compose your thoughts, loot up, and then decide on a course of action, Ring of Elysium is innately more tactical from the outset.
Free To Play
Before you go for the jugular and castigate us, we know Fortnite is free to play. But PUBG isn’t and this is the point. Ring of Elysium is in the business of rivaling PUBG and by having the massive advantage of not draining players for cash before they’ve even played, Tencent has an upper hand. Add to that a game, which for all intents and purposes runs relatively well bar a few lag issues here and there, and Ring of Elysium puts itself in good stead for a prolonged seat in the BR limelight, or at least until Blackout drops.
A Mode of Transport For Everyone
Players can choose one of three load outs or starter packs that come with weapons (handgun or shotgun), ammo, first-aid pack, and a unique ability. The first endows the player with the ability to deploy a glider and fly across the map at the press of a button, ideal for swooping in on unsuspecting enemies. Secondly, we have a snowboard allowing players to bomb it down steep mountain sides and smaller inclines. Finally, the third option is climbing gear, which is self-explanatory. The three items endow Ring of Elysium with a fluidity and game pace that differs greatly from PUBG for example, where sections of a match can feel drawn out with very little action. All three modes of transport encourage rapid travel, more daring assaults, and a more compressed, fast paced action. Furthermore, each has its pros and cons; the glider is the fastest, but the most exposed, the snowboard is slower yet offers more protection and maneuverability, while the climbing gear allows players to reach restricted vantage points and use zip lines, yet can leave them open to errant gunfire as they slowly escalade a face.
As per usual, Ring of Elysium uses the closing circle mechanic but with a welcome twist. Rather than an all encompassing storm narrowing down to a small safe zone or PUBG’s blue zone, Ring of Elysium uses a visibility restricting and health sapping snowstorm to corral players to certain areas of the map. Gone are circles, and instead parts of the map are closed off one after the other, until one final safe zone remains. In this zone, a rescue helicopter with only four available seats await. Players must reach and successfully climb a dangling ladder below the chopper to secure a spot for themselves. Players can of course battle it out until one is left standing though the remaining zone does usher in the snow storm fairly rapidly, inflicting damage to stragglers, and even if a player is comfortably seated in the heli they can still be shot down.
By some bizarre machinations of the gaming gods, new battle royale games continue to attract new players eager to sample the latest flavor of the month. Ring of Elysium has benefited from very much the same initial interest with interest from big name streamers, but surprisingly seems to be maintaining a high player count. Finding a match is easy and straightforward with very little waiting time. At the time of writing, 25,000 concurrent players are in-game. Keep in mind the game has only released in China and North America. With Europe on the way, these figures are set to climb higher yet. The official Ring of Elysium Twitter account also confirmed last week that the game has 1 million registered users.
Gimme The Loot
Apart from the expected selection of countless weapons of different varieties and motor powered vehicles to traverse the map, Ring of Elysium employs a mechanic which is so damn obvious we are dumbfounded it hasn’t found its way into other BR games yet. When you loot an attachment is automatically attaches to your weapon and when you drop a weapon all the attachment are automatically removed and put into your inventory. No more faffing around when trying to secure a new weapon and having to swap a scope/grip/etc. all while trying not to be picked off by a sniper in the distance.