Recently, the creators of Cyanide and Happiness released their take on the battle royale genre called Rapture Rejects. The game is currently at $20, but is also out for free for the first few days. Me, a lover of free things, decided to pick the game up and give it a whirl. So, here are my thoughts on the game.
Rapture Rejects is an isometric battle royale game that takes place in the Cyanide and Happiness universe. God has given up on humanity, so he decided to send all of the good ones to Heaven and left the rest to rot on Earth. He felt bad about that, so he decided to give the rejects one ticket to Heaven for them to fight over. Now it is up to you, a reject, to fight for your life (are you considered alive if you are sent to Heaven?) in order to escape Hell on Earth.
Right off the bat, I think this game has my favorite battle royale premise. A premise doesn’t mean a whole lot, but having a good one is cool. It leads to the theme of the game and gives reason to why you are fighting. It doesn’t mean much, but this idea that there is one ticket left to go to Heaven is a cool and creative premise.
When it comes to gameplay, I found the base experience to be a lot of fun. Now I say base experience because there is still a lot of rough around the edges, but at its core this game is a really fun isometric battle royale game. Matches, the map, and the amount of players are short, but its frenzied combat feels just as intense as in other battle royale games. Getting down to the last few is a different kind of intense, because the circle is about the size of a water fountain and you can see everyone trying to clamber against everyone else. This battle royale experience is a different kind of battle royale experience, and I like the change. All of the other battle royale games feel the same, so for this one to come along and feel different in an indescribable way is a change I welcome.
Feeling different is good and all, but this game has got a little more packing underneath the hood. One of the biggest things I love about this game are the wacky weapons. The weapons take on a trashy theme as for you are finding guns that shoot compost or discs instead of bullets. Not only that, many of the weapons have cool secondary abilities that come in handy when the going gets tough. My personal favorite weapon (and probably favorite weapon of all royale games) is a double barrel shotgun toaster that shoots knives, with a secondary ability that allows the player to jump high into the air and land closer to targets. I’ve never had quite as much fun as strategically jumping to or from enemies to get kills or escape a hairy situation. But weapons aren’t the only thing you will pick up. Throwables, healing items, ammo, and item upgrades are also scattered around. This is where another aspect of the game shines: its inventory system.
For me, a bad inventory system can break a royale game. The inventory system speaks to how specific the loot can be and how much time you spend in an inventory screen instead of playing the game. In this game, the inventory is simple, and the amount of times I spent trying to configure my stuff was seldom. For starters, this is an isometric game, which means you can have a mouse cursor. Because of that, all of the inventory elements are off to the side of the screen, which means there technically isn’t an inventory screen. On top of that, the way this game handles loot is very simple. There are only two types of ammo, each item you pick up has its own limit instead of a weight limit, and items are player upgrades with their own set inventory slot. I don’t think this style of inventory can work with all royale games, but it certainly works with this one, and I love it.
I talked about its core, but what about its rough edges. Well, this game has quite a few. This game is in the infant stages of early access, so it should come as no surprise to hear that the game needs fixing. Server issues will momentarily stop the game, the game doesn’t run great despite its low-demanding nature, and each match only has around twenty players despite promising fifty (though if you were to ask me, I prefer twenty-five to thirty). On top of that, its isometric point-of-view makes callouts hard, and a lack of a compass makes things harder. With this game, I am stuck with just saying, “he’s over there” and hoping my friends knows to follow me. The game only offers solo and duo matches, though this I can see considering the game’s smaller nature. The cursor and the aiming line are off, but this issue isn’t as bad considering bullets are slow and you’ll miss anyways. Finally, the game is a blast to play with another friend, but it's hard to play with a random player considering the game has no chat feature (or none that I can find anyways).
One thing I like out of multiplayer games is a sense of progression, and that isn’t really here. I’m having a lot of fun with it to the point where I don’t really notice that, but I wish I was working towards something. Well, there is something I am working towards. The game gives out tickets after each match that can be used to get cosmetics, but the ticket drop is atrocious. Winning a solo match with six kills (which I have done) gets around eighteen tickets, and 100 are needed to get new stuff. I can already tell where this is going, and I don’t like it. Like I said, this game is in its infant stages and in some sense you get what you paid for, but there are a lot of issues that I hope are fixed soon.
I got some holiday travels coming soon, and while I know this game isn’t coming to another platform until well after my travels, I couldn’t help but think about how awesome a Switch port would be. Then I thought about what compliments the Switch (especially when traveling offline): offline bots. I’m going to be frank: I don’t think this game will have a sustainable player base. I think this one will go the way of other royale games, so I hope at the very least they put bots in the game so then I can shotgun jump clowns for as long as my heart desires. I know features and ports won’t be for awhile, but if I were to put in some requests, I would say bots and a Switch port would do the trick, as well as all of the fixes needed.
In conclusion, I think Rapture Rejects is quite a surprise. It’s really rough as of now, but at its core I am having a blast with it. I don’t think this will replace any battle royale game you are playing, but I do think this game is at least worth checking out.
That is going to wrap things up. I’ll probably pick this game up and play some more, and hopefully those bots will come around before the player base leaves. Thank you all for reading, and tune in soon for another blog on another day.