One day, one of my best friends came up to me to show me a new game that he played a few days before. It was called Realm Royale and was a battle royale game in the alpha version. Battle royale is probably the most played game mode across the gaming industry, and new games still get released with this mode.
Many people call Realm the next Fortnite or something else, but after playing the game for quite some time, I want to release my own review about it. So, in this Realm Royale review, I take a closer look at the visuals, gameplay, performance, progression system, modes, and more.
But before we begin, here’s a small disclaimer for this review: Realm Royale is my first full battle royale game (and not like Battlefield 5 Firestorm). I own Fortnite too, but I only played a few matches and switched back to other games.
How is the gameplay of Realm Royale?
The overall rules of battle royale didn’t change in Realm, so it follows the same rules of battle royale. Jump from a ship on the gigantic map, find weapons/gear, and battle other people you came across until the last man stands. However, Hi-Rez Studios added some new features, to make the game more exciting:
- Forges (craft & upgrade weapons, gear, potions and more)
Many battle royale games that I have seen over the years didn’t try to implement entirely new mechanics to their game, like a rune system. Seeing these mechanics in a new game is a decent refreshment from the standard, which could also be the reason why so many people think that this game is pretty good.
When I played my first matches, I wasn’t the best, which is normal when I jump into a new game. The controls for movement and gun control are very simple and easy to learn (like 99% of Pc games). Unlike in Battlefield, our character runs all the time, and there is no recoil and bullet drop (besides the ax, plasma launcher, and sniper).
This fact makes the Realm very beginner-friendly, especially to those ones that didn’t play or battle royale or shooter actively. Unfortunately, as this game is still in work, there are still many bugs in the game, so you can expect to get stuck sometimes. (More if this later)
If you start the game for the first time, you could eighter play solo, duo, or in squad mode, so having communication with your teammates would be helpful. When the match begins, you can open the map to find a good spot to loot (I prioritize Crossing, Gun Town, and Northport as there are always many chests), and when you hit the ground, find a weapon as soon as possible.
If you don’t have any weapon, you have a small knife that you could use, but any weapon is better if you really need it.
Speaking of weapons, we can find them in a chest in different rarities or craft them at the forge. If you open a chest, there is no guarantee to get a weapon, but there is a good chance to get one in the following rarities: common, rare, epic, and legendary.
Common or rare weapons don’t do much damage, so it’s best to switch to epic and legendaries as soon as possible. And if you manage to get a legendary weapon, these can also have additional effects, like extra fire damage, slowness effects or lighting (mini wallhack).
The chance to get an epic or legendary is not that high, but I have seen many people with legendary snipers at the beginning. There are 22 weapons currently in the game, which is a good amount, but after playing Realm for over 100 hours, I wish there will be new weapons in the future. However, most of the weapons differ from each other in terms of rpm, damage, magazine size, and so on.
All weapons can be found in chests, but only a few of them can be created in the forge, like the crossbow, shredder, sniper, arbalest, throwing axe, etc. Forging a weapon costs you shards, which you can get by eliminating opponents, or destroying items. This mechanic is well done; however, it takes some time to get full shards (300 max) in the beginning.
At the forge, you can also craft armor/healing potions, runes, abilities, and resuscitation, or upgrade your gear into a higher rarity. Did I forget to say that there are 100 players in a lobby? Hmmm yes.
When you craft something at the forge, it will also produce a lot of smoke that comes out of the chimney, that other players can see from a big distance. If you use one of the last forges, you should be aware of other players that can sneak up to you (and eliminate you). To prevent this, I recommend staying in the forge and not running around outside.
Playing against 99 other players would be cool, right? As I played this game for so long, I also got pretty decent in it. Realm Royale is one of my most played games for the last few months, as it is a heck load of fun to play. Rounds can take a while (about 20 min was my longest game), but I had some clutch moments during my playtime.
The map has a good design with different biomes(looks pretty similar to Fortnite’s map) and a decent size. When my party is done with looting and crafting at one place, we take your mounts and ride to the next place near or in the zone, or use the catapult of one is not too far away. Catapults can be helpful to make some distance quickly, which is useful to escape from the zone.
Speaking of the zone, it deals consistent damage to you, and the smaller it gets, the more damage it does.
Note: If you get downed, it is not over. As a chicken, you can do a dash attack and a double jump to save your ass. Get onto a roof or a position where other people have to take a long route to reach you. After 15 seconds, you get back into your regular form, but with half of your health.
When the game comes to an end, players like to play more defensive, so having a long-range and short-range weapon is recommended. Most of the time, the zone ends at a forge around the map (not hard to guess when the zone gets smaller), and the team who dominates the forge has a clear advantage above others.
On Trinity Hills, you could get a massive advantage, as there are only 4 ways people could come from. Two of these are bridges without any options to hide, so choosing this way is literally kamikaze without having movement abilities ready (or other people distracting the people inside the forge). Such cases make this game also a bit strategic.
But is Realm Royale like Fortnite? Nah, I don’t think so. Both games follow the same game principle (eliminate all others and stay last), but they differ in their game mechanics. Realm focuses on positioning, choosing the best possible loadout and abilities, not like Fortnite, which focuses on outplaying your enemies.
Matches have a good paste, gunfights and movements are well-done and feel right, so there are no problems here. Sure, some rounds can go by very fast, too(had a moment in which my friends and I killed 32 people of 100).
Overall, Realm performs very well in this category. However, the game is not perfect…
Talents and runes:
Before I talk about the problems that this game currently has (18th March in 2020), I want to discuss the weapons and loadout system, as this an essential part of the game.
Let’s start with the character loadout first. Before you can join a lobby, you have to choose on out of four classes: Assassin, Warrior, Mage, or Hunter. Each of these classes has unlock-able talents, which grant you some buffs in damage, movement speed, increased health, reduced headshot damage, and more.
In the beginning, you only can use regular talents, but by playing some matches, you can unlock new talents. Leveling your classes to rank 30 enables you to unlock all talents, and by leveling them even higher, you get special titles.
Each class has some special talents and general talents that the other classes can also unlock. This allows you to change the talent lineup, so it supports your playstyle. For example, if you like to play with the sniper, there is a talent that increases your movement speed while aiming or allows you to aim faster.
Besides talents, there are also runes that you can find in chest or craft at the forge. Currently, there are 16 different runes in the game, but you can only have 5 at the same time. Also, if you have 5 runes, you can’t switch them out for a better rune.
My top runes in Realm Royale are:
- Passive Repair
- Weapon Damage
- Movement Cooldown
With a full set of decent runes (don’t have to be these 5), you have a good advantage above players that don’t have good runes.
Depending on what class you play, some runes drastically improve your potential effectiveness, like faster reload or increased headshot damage if you play with a sniper rifle.
Unfortunately, runes could also become useless; for example: if you play with the throwing axe as your main weapon, having a reload rune becomes useless since axes don’t have infinite ammo. So rather choose another rune, for example, offensive ability cooldown.
What keeps people playing Realm Royale?
To keep people playing a game, developers sometimes go very creative. In Realm, there are a few things that should keep players active, like character levels, battle passes, and daily challenges.
Whenever a game ends, the class that you played as gets some Exp (winning gives you a decent bonus). By playing matches, classes level up and unlock new talents, which can be used to create a loadout that supports your play style.
Getting a character to level 30 takes some time, and since there are 4 classes available, you have a lot to do. Playing also gives you points for the battle pass, which gets released from time to time. The pass contains about 50 levels, and the higher the level you get, the longer it takes to level up again.
Daily challenges bow give you crowns instead of battle pass exp. These challenges could be “collect a legendary item,” or “craft 5 armor potions”. They are not really hard to do and can be done in 1-2 matches.
Bugs and problems of Realm:
As I already mentioned, Realm Royale isn’t perfect. Sure, it is still in the beta version, but there are many bugs in the game and problems that need more attention. First, let’s see what bugs I came across multiple times over 134 hours.
A pretty common bug, which doesn’t influence the gameplay directly (but is annoying), is a sound bug. Whenever we open a chest to collect shards, there is a small sound effect. However, this bug happens extremely often, so I have to restart the game sometimes.
Another bug (or I consider it as a bug) is getting stuck at various objects across the map. Realm’s map isn’t small eithter, and 99% of the time, everything works as it should, but I got stuck so many times on corners, windows, or stairs, which also killed me multiple times.
The third bug doesn’t happen that often to me, but one of my best friends had this multiple times now. It is a bug that happens randomly throughout the game when you pick up a new weapon. Your pick up the weapon, but you can’t shoot with it for a few minutes and sometimes don’t even run anymore.
If there are no enemies around, it is fine, but imagine if this happens during a fight. Well, you’re …
The fourth bug is that you randomly disconnect from the game (for whatever reason). This is probably the most annoying problem that Realm currently has.
Other common bugs:
- Broken audio for footsteps
- Chests and items inside walls
- Achievements don’t work
- Standing pose bug
- Character floating
- Random chicken explosions in the distance
These were the bugs that I came across over the months, and I’m sure most of them get fixed over time. However, there is a massive problem that Realm Royale has in general: It takes forever to get updated (balance patches, new battle passes, or events).
This is a huge problem and should not be underestimated. There are only a few people that work on the game, so they can’t fix everything at once (completely fine!). But Hi-Rez is not a small development studio, they have over 200 employees!
I understand that they want to develop new games and support their most successful ones a good as possible, but it feels like they don’t want to support the game anymore. This is very sad to see, as this game is great, and had over 100.000 active players after it launched on Steam. Today, only about 1700 people played it over the last 30 days (according to steam charts).
The Battle Pass is one of the biggest reasons to play this game at all currently, but the developers didn’t even announce it yet or giving us some kind of information about it (when to expect it). I’m sure I’m speaking for many people out there, but until Battle Pass 6 comes out, we don’t play the game actively anymore.
Is Realm Royale worth to play:
If you want to jump into the battle Royale scene and don’t want to spend money on games, Realm Royale is one of the best options you can choose from. It doesn’t cost any money, it’s easy to get into, and it is a heck load of fun to play.
After such a long time in the game, I highly recommend giving it a shot, so you can see by yourself if you can work with it (and don’t expect it to be like Fortnite).
|?? Pros of Realm Royale:||?? Cons of Realm Royale:|
|Very fun to play||Not enough content|
|F2P||Still too many bugs in the game|
|Unique mechanics||Not enough support from the developers|
|100 player lobbies|