Are you interested in playing yet another Battle Royale game? Probably not, but Outworld Battlegrounds might just change your mind. It’s a late entry to the fad, but one that polishes the basics and adds a few twists. For starters, it’s played top-down with retro pixel art. Developers describe the game as the only title that does Battle Royale right in a top-down game, they’re running a Kickstarter to push through the final stage of development.

Outworld Battlegrounds is really fast-paced. You won’t get away with hiding here. Rounds can finish in less than five minutes. It’s quick and casual, avoiding the expansive loneliness of First Person Shooter royales. To make it this way, they’ve thrown out some of the tropes that have built up around the genre. There’s also a strong sci-fi theme. Outworld Battlegrounds brings back memories of both top-down shooters and wasting entire weekend playing Halo 2.

There’s an early access demo currently free on Steam, it works on both PC and Mac. This gives you a taste of what you’ll be supporting.

What’s Different About This Battle Royale?

Outworld Battlegrounds

At the beginning of each game, you drop into a distant planet with nothing more a knife. A glowing sci-fi knife, but still a knife. From there you root around and try and find some actual weaponry. The overworld can be a bit confusing at first but you’ll quickly memorize it. Where it exceeds compared to other Battle Royale pretenders, is managing to merge fast-paced action with the constant paranoia of the genre. In Outworld Battlegrounds, survival gameplay doesn’t have to be slow, it feels genuinely different.

Your line of sight is visible even in the top-down style. This limits your interaction with the world to what your character can see, forcing you to be mobile. This maintains the panic and tension of Battle Royale’s 3D blockbusters, keeping you constantly on the edge of your seat. Always waiting for another player to sneak up and gut you with a plasma rifle.

The current map is relatively small. This makes you permanently worried about your survival. There’s no wandering around the wilderness for the first ten minutes without seeing another soul. Instead, you’re always on your feet and always moving.

The look and feel of the game invokes a retro experience of pixel art, blood, and violence. This is even present in Outworld Battlegrounds’ narrator. ‘Welcome to The Bloodbath’ is the announcement that the game is launching, every line becomes an opportunity to ham it up. He’s not wrong about the bloodbath either. Players bodies stay on the map in a messy tangle of organs on the floor.

The Outworld Battlegrounds Kickstarter

Outworld Battlegrounds

We’d recommend stopping what you’re doing and playing the demo. Matchmaking is quick as the current build is a smaller portion of the map. The Outworld Battlegrounds demo should show you pretty quickly why it’s more than just another battle royale game.

The Kickstarter has received surprisingly little attention. It’s quite far off its fundraising goal but is making steady progress. The game is aiming to release this year, so you will be getting a fairly quick return on your investment. They’re aiming to fundraise the last segment of the game as a way of throwing in more features, to make it a more complete package.

If the Kickstarter isn’t successful, Outworld Battlegrounds might be finished in a smaller package. The Kickstarter aims to add more weapons, make a squad mode to play with friends, and other features. The finished game will be a much bigger package, so it’s definitely worth a look.

Jordan Ashley

Jordan Ashley

Jordan Ashley lives in the middle of the UK with two dogs who routinely beat him on Mario Kart. He's a big fan of playing Wind Waker over and over again while ignoring all other tasks. He also likes Craft Beer and screaming at Splatoon.
Jordan Ashley