Gamers can't move without stumbling over various battle royale games, and after the poor performance of LawBreakers, the studio behind the project is thankfully moving onto bigger and more colorful things with this unique premise.
Radical Heights is an upcoming free-to-play game which looks to be bringing a splash of neon to the battle royale genre. Boss Key had already announced that it was ditching LawBreakers to focus on a new game, which will be Radical Heights when it launches on Steam on April 10. Set in a Southern Californian dome in the year 2023, it is a futuristic take on the decade where cash is king. Steam describes the game as follows:
"Welcome to RADICAL HEIGHTS, a free X-TREME Early Access BATTLE ROYALE shooter. Partake in high-stakes gunplay as you loot for weapons, gadgets, cosmetics, and CASH! Survive to the end or risk it all in this irreverent action game show where everyone wants to be rich and famous!"
Instead of just a carbon copy of Fortnite or PUBG, Radical Heights offers something different by adding BMXs for players to get around on. Elsewhere, there is a new looting incentive that will see money exchanged for in-game goods and weaponry. It all sounds pretty inventive, but not everyone is so sure. With the trailer for Radical Heights receiving a decidedly mixed reaction online, it seems that confidence in Boss Key isn't particularly high after LawBreakers. Also, it is hard not to notice the overemphasis on the BMX trait, which seems like an odd focus to have.
Given that the '80s are something of a hot topic at the moment thanks to Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, it will be a case of wait and see whether Radical Heights can cash in on the trend or whether it will be just another disappointment from Boss Key Productions. Remembering the nostalgic popularity of Infinite Warfare’s Zombies in Spaceland, the studio could be onto something big here. Sure, jumping out of a plane and treading across barren wastelands is all well and good, but having seen that done time and again, the genre needs to evolve somehow.
Noticing the not-so-subtle reference to Top Gun, Radical Heights promises to be chocked-full of pop culture references, but will it be enough to keep players interested? The whole '80s idea could easily work, but only if it is implemented throughout the game instead of just a couple of jokes. Admittedly, the ability to carry cash over into future games will prove to be a massive incentive, but there is no denying that the battle royale market is a little crowded right now. Although the Steam site doesn't say how many players can pull out their walkmans and listen to "The Power of Love", there isn't long to wait to find out more.