I’m typically not someone who enjoys competitive multiplayer titles, especially when it comes to battle royale games. I was heartbroken then when I realized a few days before release that Spellbreak was actually a battle royale. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing out on something fun and wound up deciding to give it a shot. I’m really glad I did, as Spellbreak is a magically great time.
Though in many ways similar to games like Fortnite, Spellbreak switches things up by replacing guns with magic spells. Upon starting a match, you’ll select one of six classes, representing each of the game’s elements — fire, frost, shock, toxic, wind, and stone. Each element allows you to cast a light and a heavy spell using mana, a regenerating resource that also allows you to float for brief periods of time. The elemental gauntlet you pick here will be with you for the entire match, so pick wisely.
Once you’re in the game, it plays out largely as you’d expect. You start by skydiving in on a portion of the map, at which point you can start scrounging around for items. When it comes to defensive gear, you don’t have to worry about stats, only the rarity. For example, there’s only one type of boot, but the amount that your run speed is increased depends solely on the item’s tier.
For offensive items, you have a bit more leeway to customize your experience depending on how the game plays out. Runes provide extra abilities such as flight or invisibility and are great to use in a flash. Even more important though is your secondary gauntlet. Unlike your primary gauntlet, your secondary element can be swapped out any time you find a different one. This decision plays an important role in your strategy, as you can combine elements to create powerful attacks. One of my favorite combinations is to launch a tornado using the heavy wind spell, then chuck a fireball at it to create a swirling vortex of fiery death.
While Spellbreak uses this spell-combining mechanic to change things up, the rest of the experience is a pretty standard battle royale. Every so often, the playable area will start to shrink, forcing players to converge. If you’re playing in a squad and die, your teammates can revive you. Your chosen class gets experience based on how well you do in a match, which will unlock other bonuses for your mage, such as reduced spell-cast time or reduced mana cost. You’ll also occasionally earn coins that you can use in the in-game store to unlock costumes and other cosmetic items.
Though some could lament there isn’t more ingenuity, I don’t think Spellbreak needs it. The spell slinging is the main selling point for me, and the way in which it’s executed is pretty magical. The ability to dual-wield elements and easily combine them adds a lot of depth to the combat. Also, in a market where most battle royale games focus on gunplay, the fantastic setting does wonders in helping Spellbreak stand out from the crowd. I’m hoping it will continue to do so with future updates.
As someone who has grown tired of the ever increasing emphasis on competitive multiplayer aspects to games, I really wasn’t expecting to like Spellbreak. I wanted it to do well, since the concept really appealed to me, but I couldn’t have imagined that I would enjoy playing it. But after my time with the title, I’m happy I decided to give it a shot. I’ve had an absolute blast playing it. The ultimate success of the game will largely hinge on future content updates, but if you’re the least bit curious like I was, I’d definitely suggest giving it a shot. Maybe you’ll fall under its spell too!
A code for the Wizard Pack was provided by the publisher.