Clearly, no franchise is above jumping on the Battle Royale bandwagon these days. Techland, the developers of Dying Light, have announced a Battle Royale spinoff, called Dying Light: Bad Blood.
The obvious thing when developing a modern Battle Royale is to place a new skin over the Fortnite or PUBG gameplay model (as many, many failed attempts at the Battle Royale genre have tried). However, Bad Blood tries some innovative ways to mix up the formula and adapt Dying Light’s gameplay to a competitive multiplayer structure.
For instance, instead of huge maps of 100 players, there are just 12, along with a hoard of AI-controlled zombies. Players must scavenge for resources and blood samples and evade the undead and other players with Dying Light’s first-person parkour abilities. Once the player has acquired enough blood samples from the zombies, they can get a seat on the escape chopper. However, there is only one seat, so the challenge is to kill enough zombies before your opponents do.
According to the developer, Bad Blood’s design was inspired by the original game’s asymmetric multiplayer mode, “Be the Zombie”. Making fighting AI opponents the focus of a Battle Royale game is an interesting twist on the formula. In addition, the smaller matches, with less players, could make it perfect for anyone looking for a more bite-sized experience.
Techland isn’t the only developer throwing their hats in the Battle Royale ring, of course. In addition to Bad Blood, the upcoming sequels to both Battlefield and Call of Duty will prominently feature Battle Royale modes. Whilst it is good to see some variety in the Battle Royale offerings, there is definitely the risk of over-saturation. If everyone is already playing Fortnite or PUBG, what reason would they have to turn to a new game that does the same – or at least very similar – things?
Fortunately, Dying Light: Bad Blood appears to be attempting to fill an unfilled gap in the Battle Royale market. By offering shorter, more action-packed experiences, it might avoid the fates of all the other games that have failed in jumping aboard this trend. Dying Light: Bad Blood will release on Steam Early Access in September, but will transition into a free-to-play model upon the full release. Further information regarding participating in global playtests can be found on the game’s website.