By Vincent Haoson (Ojogo)
If there’s one thing that defines gaming this year, it’s the sudden rise of popularity of the Battle Royale genre. With Bluehole’s (and of course PlayerUnknown’s) Battle Royale shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds taking the gaming world by storm, game companies have started banking in on the genre’s popularity. While not all games bring in the same experience to what PUBG brings, there are some that really stand out, like Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale, a game that’s been designed to be the more brightly colored sister to PUBG.
Meanwhile, there are devs who take the genre and take a different thematic path than what Bluehole and Epic Games have created. That’s where D.W.S.’s Until None Remain comes in.
Until None Remain: Battle Royale is a battle royale game in a sci-fi setting. D.W.S. aims to bring in around 16-20 players per arena, depending on the chosen map. So far, the game has two map types, indoor and outdoor, that seem to be set in an outer space outpost. Players can then pick-up items for their primary and secondary weapon loadouts along with grenades and health recovery items. Along with the weapon and item pick-ups, maps are also littered with health pick-ups and attack boosters to further add into the tension build-up in matches.
Matches in UNR also have a built-in timer just like in any other Battle Royale title, however D.W.S. tweaks the system by adding a round based timer. Instead of a smooth shrinking of the play area just like in any other battle royale game out there, you get temporary tension breaks whenever the game announces a new round.
Similar to other BR titles, once you die in matches in UNR you are immediately kicked out from the match, and you’ll be instantly transported back to the lobby.
Reinventing the wheel
Since there are more well-established titles out there, it’s kind of expected that D.W.S. would change things up with Until None Remains. Aside from the sci-fi theme for the map and the character design, weapons in-game are mostly fictional and sci-fi themed, instead of the usual real-life weapons we get to play with in other BR games.
Other changes to the genre is the addition of another step once you get weapons to your backpack. Unlike in other BR games where the weapons are immediately equipped (in Fortnite), or would only need one more click to get them equipped (in PUBG), UNR requires you to spend a bit more time before your character can use the weapon. This deliberately slows down the battles and forces you to make sure to be more aware with the environment than ever.
Also, maps in UNR are smaller compared to Fortnite’s and PUBG’s. With an already low target count for players in the arena, this makes matches in UNR shorter compared to it’s contemporaries. So, if you’d like a shorter time framed BR game, then UNR has you covered.
One of the more important additions D.W.S. added in Until None Remain is the addition of bots into the game. The game immediately put them into matches if you don’t have enough players in a match.
However, even with the changes D.W.S. implemented, UNR feels just like home for those who are already into the Battle Royale genre. The differences added into the game are somewhat refreshing, especially with the gameplay of the genre starting to get a stale a little.
The sci-fi feel and look fits right well into the genre, with the setting and the map layout rife for fire fights and back stabs from players getting into it. Plus the addition of power-ups, and even the addition of AI controlled turrets, add to the already tension filled game when you’re fighting against other people.
The game has a lot of potential as another optional game of choice for BR enthusiasts. Matches are faster, but a bit more deliberated affair for those participating, and the shorter timeframe between rounds keeps things brief.
Conclusion: Great (4/5)
Solid gameplay that makes battle royale players feel at home. However, the lack of players kills the experience.
With that said and done, I must say that Until None Remain has a lot of potential as a BR game. Matches have a faster turnover time than both Fortnite and PUBG; however, there’s one thing that the game lacks, and this is pretty important for a BR title: people to play with. You see, unlike in the more famous BR titles out there, you have no problem queuing up since you are immediately whisked into the game with other people, but in UNR, matches start even if you don’t have any opponent’s queuing in. And there aren’t any players queuing in. In fact, all my matches in UNR had me battling against AI controlled opponents. This is sad, since matches feel empty, and the AIs aren’t even that smart to begin with. So the lack of players is felt all throughout my game experience.
It won’t matter if you have a more refined battle royale game, if you don’t have people playing the game. Even though the game was already on sale while I was reviewing the game, I haven’t been able to play against a single player character in UNR. I’ve already tried adjusting the timeframe when I logged into the game to play, since maybe I thought the western based players aren’t up yet (because I live in the east), but my matches are still solo battles against bots.
It’s just sad though since Until None Remains is a solid shooter on its own right, but the lack of attention from the player base will definitely kill it. It’s also sad as the game also has a VR version, which would be really cool to play with if you’re a VR game fan. Hopefully this game picks up since this is a decent BR title and a good sci-fi alternative.