SPELLBREAK MAKES A SOLID START
Splash damage.          


REVIEW

By JAY TEE
14/09/20
Reviewed on Xbox One X.

The artwork is sublime, even if the in game graphics aren’t blowing the roof off.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM, FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWEET US @THATHITBOX, SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL,
OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@THATHITBOX.COM



Spellbreak is genuinely trying to bring something new to the table, despite some familiar genre tropes that are par for the course when it comes to defining Battle Royale experiences. That being said, it doesn’t deserve the apathetic reaction that often goes hand in hand whenever a new challenger enters the scene, and there’s a pervasive sense that this is very much the first step on a longer journey.

It’s equal parts slapstick and focused, with the former coming into play during up close and personal skirmishes, while the latter sees you balance your abilities and attempt to mix and match Rune’s with your chosen move set. After Hyper Scape’s “kangeroo’s on speed” approach to verticality, it’s nice to see that Spellbreak has chosen to embrace a more balanced approach to combat.

You’ll spend more time here repositioning for a cheeky flank, or making a temporary escape, than simply bouncing around till you kill the other player with motion sickness (I really don’t like Hyper Scape).  Combining elemental attacks, area of effect moves, and basic strikes (which require more precision aiming) feels consistently satisfying, and the ability to swap out your secondary abilities with loot pick ups is a nice touch.

Things get a bit creaky on the polish front, with a painfully overlong tutorial that desperately needs voiceover work (and audio cues that function as intended). Animation is functional but unremarkable, with little consideration for complex environmental design and a nasty habit of getting you stuck in situations where you really don’t want to be trapped on the scenery.

Movement speed is also a double edged sword. On the one hand, the slower pace / mid round upgrade path makes scavenging more necessary, and you’ll definitely want to kick the pace up a few notches. But the lack of a dedicated sprint button and languid starting speed is quite jarring at first. Thankfully, the flight rune partially makes up for this, but it does feel a little sluggish in the early game.

There’s work to be done, but Spellbreak is a more confident debut than we expected, and remains a strong candidate for future iteration.




WORTH IT?

BUT

YEAH!
Spellbreak is a pleasingly original spin on Battle Royale, and absolutely worth a look.     

The movement speed will take some getting used to, and there’s some polish needed in certain areas.

TARPS?

BETTER THAN:

WORSE THAN:

At the bottom of some of our articles, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.  

The COMMANDER DATA badge is for a game where death has a profound impact on your experience.

The LEAVES ON THE LINE badge is for a game where awkwardly placed geometry and/or bad level design causes you to get unintentionally stuck.

The WAR-ROCK! badge is for a game that absolutely deserves ongoing player support.


The SHINZON CREW badge is for a game with a tutorial that lasts too long.  

The ON ME! JONESY! badge is earned when getting into a multiplayer game takes hardly any time.



The POO MEDIC badge is for a game with class based multiplayer.


The CONGLOMERATE badge is for a game where characters frequently clip through surfaces.



Home