Scavengers, the new battle royale is out on early access for all to try out. My first impressions so far are that the game is going in the correct direction and it runs quite smoothly considering it is still in early access. Currently, I play the game on low graphics and even then the game looks pretty good. There is not a lot flashy about it but I am not someone who is bothered too much by good or bad graphics in competitive games, as long as it runs and is playable, I am happy. Having multiple survivors that you can choose from is a nice touch in the sense that you are not restricted to one playstyle, not different from other games in the battle royale genre. Where it does become different is that each survivor has a different level, you would need to play them to gain access to more of their strengths other than their base abilities. I will say it does bring a different element to battle royales, with the added PvE as well as the potential to die from frostbite. It moves the game away from the tradition of looting guns and equipment before taking fights. Yes, there is naturally the looting that you are used to in other battle royales but the way you go about it is different.
The most obvious point of discussion is what the PvE of Scavengers adds. Killing the AI wildlife dotted throughout the map grants players unique drops in the form of data cores. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea regarding battle royales, since you usually want to be focusing on getting the best positions to take fights and potentially only taking fights you know you can win. This forces teams to take fights that they may not be prepared for since teams might show up while you are fighting the AI. Then you could just say why not avoid those and take fights towards the end, steal cores from players you killed, make it to the dropship and survive. Well, you will be at a severe disadvantage with that method since Scavengers utilizes a level-up system that allows you to craft better armour per level as well as signature guns and equipment that can help drastically turn fights. I enjoy this aspect of the game, not that it necessarily is my favourite version of a battle royale, yet the differences bring a new feel to a cut and paste genre.
Next up is the added storm zones that ever so often pass by throughout the map. I am still undecided whether I like these as part of the game. They are different in the sense that they bring a temperature aspect to the game as well as impaired player visibility. Players can avoid them by finding shelter across the map and waiting for the storm to pass. In the later game when it grows darker and colder, these storm zones can punish players quite harshly since they add to the already freezing climate. Forcing players to hide in buildings in the late game could put a big wrench in their plans with the oncoming storm ring, which has similar aspects to rings in other battle royales, only this time you freeze faster than normal. It does add another element that players must consider when making preparations for the endgame.
The next part which I already mentioned is the freezing climate. Constantly throughout the game players are threatened with slowly dying to frostbite. In the early game, this does not play a part aside for the storm zones that pass over every so often as well as the storm ring itself, but neither of these has a massive impact. It is only once you get to nighttime in the game where freezing becomes a big issue. Spending time away from a heat source can spell game over. Yes, you do have the thermal packs that help for a burst of heat but you need to be constantly on the lookout for places to keep yourself warm. I like the way they have gone about it since you do not just straight up die when you become freezing cold, but you gradually lose health over time. Even the storm ring does not kill you outright and drops your temperature more rapidly. This is again something that some players might not enjoy since it is not a battle royale element but it brings something different to the game that is not a random hindrance like the storm zones are.
The last element is the food you need to have, especially later on in the game. The more you need to run the more food you are going to need. Running a lot depletes your max stamina and thus means you can only run for shorter bursts. Having food in your inventory allows you to increase your max stamina which allows for you to travel long distances a lot better. This is something along with the freezing temperatures which make Scavengers a lot more realistic in that you are fighting the cold and your stamina. While going hungry would be more realistic it is quite difficult to fit that into a game that already has the fact that you are fighting the cold.
Ultimately my biggest gripes with the game right now have to do with things that are most likely in the game because it is on early access, such as the fact that you can not leave the game as a group as well as the shields that you can place down look grainy but that might also be because I play the game on low graphics.
There are other things that the game has different but I felt like these are the most important to discuss. I do recommend that if you are interested in battle royales that you give Scavengers a try even if it might not necessarily be the kind of battle royale you want to play. It might be the battle royale you need to play.