Shadow Arena - Pearl Abyss MMORPG Battle Royale preview

Shadow Arena - Pearl Abyss MMORPG Battle Royale preview

Over the last few years, the Battle Royale phenomenon has gained greater notoriety game after game, to the point of becoming an integral and now essential part of the market. He established himself in Minecraft with the Hunger Games, saw unfortunate outlets like The Culling, and became popular thanks to Epic Games' Fortnite. In this journey that lasted over 10 years, many other titles have dealt with the aforementioned genre, mixing hybrid themes of each type with this specific formula. Taking up the trend of Hero Shooters, Respawn Entertainment has given us Apex Legends, Playerunknows's Battleground and H1Z1 have put survival themes in the cauldron, and Nintendo has instead amazed everyone with one of its iconic touches of class: Tetris 99. However, no one has thought of the creating a MMORPG Battle Royale, an often intuitive genre hybridized with rolistic and complex mechanics, farming and many skills. Many would say impossible, but Pearl Abyss he exclaims feasible, and proposes to everyone Shadow Sand. This is the battle royale version of the deepest Black Desert, which has presented itself in these days in its Closed Beta. We had the opportunity to try it thoroughly: will it have turned out to be a difficult successful conjunction or an impossible project? Here are our impressions of Shadow Arena!

Shadow Arena - Pearl Abyss MMORPG Battle Royale preview

Directly from Black Desert

In case you are lucky enough to have already navigated the Black Desert universe, the approach with Shadow Arena will be quite familiar, given that we are talking about the same game setting. However, this stand alone mode actually shines with its own light, and it distances itself greatly from the title it comes from. As already mentioned, we are talking about a battle royale, which has little to do with an MMORPG for game mechanics and which will therefore share only some gameplay features with the latter. Lots of skills, hundreds of enemies to kill to level up, endless upgrades and armor. The game statistics are so many, but fortunately convenient menus will allow you to make the best choices with just the press of a button, and will not require you to read lines and lines of text to choose one weapon over another, also given the continuous situation of danger. The same cannot be said of the skills, which for each of the 9 characters must be meticulously deepened to be mastered.

Shadow Arena - Pearl Abyss MMORPG Battle Royale preview

A problem that also arises for everything else, from the game objectives to the mechanics that you need to understand to win, because the work does not offer any kind of tutorial or help, at least in the closed beta, as well as a lack of localization in Spanish. The first games are therefore a complete chaos, where the dozens of notions on the screen are less clear than the other. It takes several hours to become familiar with the experience; better not be discouraged when anyone on our way is able to take us out in seconds, the situation will sooner or later be reversed. However, even after having mastered the game system with difficulty, it is easy to see how it is not at all balanced. We are not talking about stronger characters than others, but about combos from which it is not possible to escape that lead to the KO, with no possible answer if you start well. The game controls aren't exactly comfortable and although a controller approach may be a good alternative, the commands for the controller are not mapped, and consequently even less clear. Despite its flaws, however, the play system manages to amalgamate the two genres unexpectedly well, managing to surprise with its well-devised even if still immature ideas.

Visual shock

If for the gameplay there is still a lot to file, fortunately the same cannot be said for the graphics sector. This is a not indifferent screen impact, among the best for multiplayer titles, which would be more than acceptable even for triple A productions focused on single player. The animations have an extreme naturalness, the color palette creates the perfect blend between a dark atmosphere - tending towards dark fantasy - and a magnificent fairy world.

However, the price to pay is high, because on PC Shadow Arena it is not well optimized at all and it is quite heavy even for very high-end configurations. Furthermore, the closed beta was unfortunately a container full of bugs, which were hardly ignorable given their frequency. Small glitches or real freezes, continuous crashes and problems with the camera, a great mixed fried of problems that the developers will have to fix in the best way before the final release.

Just the beginning

Shadow Arena is a truly amazing game, both for the magnificent graphics it boasts, and for what the title has managed to demonstrate. The conjunction between MMORPG and Battle Royale is possible, and if improved it can be a valid alternative to the world of Battle Royale shooters, which have almost become classics due to their massive presence on the market. The approach with the user has yet to be polished, both on a technical level and for the necessary tutorials, and a greater balance will only benefit the experience. We can only hope for a worthy support for an atypical and extremely intriguing work that is still a diamond to be finished.

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