It’s eight below zero out, and you can see your breath as it flows from your body. You have the warmest clothes on that you can get for this trip to the mountains for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. You sit on top of the tallest peak of the ski resort with your board strapped to your feet. All of a sudden there is a gunshot, and that is followed by another, and another. It is a full on warzone out there now! You head down the mountain as quick as you can and stop at a house that sits at its base. When you walk inside there are guns laying all over the place. You pick one up and prepare to defend yourself as you hear a radio message that a storm is coming, and the local rescue chopper is coming to get people out quickly. These are our first impressions for Ring of Elysium.
From developer Tencent Games, and publishers Garena and Tencent comes a new battle royale where you are trapped in a ski resort area with all sorts of places to roam. “Another battle royale?” You may be asking yourself. Well, let’s put it this way. If you took PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and you polished it up, optimized the coding, and added snow, then you would have Ring of Elysium. This game is only in early access, and it was brought to the masses on Steam as of September 19, 2018, yet it is one of the more polished battle royale games that I have played to date. There are similarities and differences with other battle royale games, and I will discuss some of those as well.
To begin with, Ring of Elysium is set at a ski resort town in the dead of winter. Your character is dropped into the map and you have to be the last one surviving to win. This is the traditional battle royale formula after all. To kill or be killed. When you enter the game you will have the ability to choose from one of three “classes” as we will call them. You have a glider class, a snowboarder class, and a climber class. Each of these classes gives you different initial setups to go across the map with. The glider is the smallest as far as storage is concerned and gives you the greatest travel distance of all the classes that is if you happen to jump off a mountain, and I do often. You will be given a starter pistol and some bandages. The snowboarder class gives you a medium storage capacity and medium travel distance and also starts you with a pistol and some bandages. The last of the classes is the climber class, and this one has the least amount of travel distance with the greatest carrying capacity, and it starts you with a shotgun and some bandages. Each class has its own merits, and it is up to you to decide how you want to play the game, or where you are going to start to make the biggest difference. We will talk about the start of the game shortly.
Weapons and Gear
So, just like any other battle royale game, it is going to be up to you to find the best loadout that you can, or at least the quickest gear you can find. The way you play it will be determined by how many people start right next to you. The weapons that are the closest matching to PUBG in this case. You will see classics, like the M4A1, the Groza, the Aug, and the MP5 (UMP). There are some other guns that are closely compared to guns from PUBG like the Remington 700 sniper rifle, which I would consider the closest thing to the AWM, and boy does it pack a punch. There are other guns like the Famas, which closes resembles the QBZ, but not as closely as some of the other guns may. Some guns may even surprise you, such as the MP5SX which comes suppressed already, and that saves you the need to find a suppressor for this sub-machine gun.
There are the traditional classes for weapons also. You have the Assault Rifles, Sub-Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, Throwables, Wearables, and Healing items. The throwables include grenades and smoke grenades at this point in the beta. Wearables include level one or two helmets and vests, which are ranked as a bulletproof vest or (superior) bulletproof vest and helmet or (superior) helmet. Healing items are similar as well including, bandages, first-aid kits, and full medkits.
Differences Between Ring of Elysium & Other Battle Royale Games
Where do we begin? At the beginning of course. All battle royale games have some kind of entry point into the game. With PUBG you get sent packing with your trusty parachute out of the back of a cargo plane, and in Last Tide you get launched off the back of a boat in a rocket pod that propels you across the map, and in Black Ops 4 BR mode Blackout, you get to jump out of military helicopters with a wingsuit which allows you to fly all over the place. In Ring of Elysium however, you don’t get to do any of that fun stuff, no you don’t. You get a map that pops up on your screen where you choose your starting class, and you get to choose your starting area. What is this? Yes, that is right you don’t have to fly to the ground and hope to get there first because you are already there. The map is laid out in a grid of squares, and each square represents a spawn point on the map. In solos, it is pretty self-explanatory how to read the map placements. For duos and squads, however, you can spawn in the same square as your teammates, and the square will light up with each of your colors. One key thing here is that no other group can spawn in your same square, but only adjacent to them.
Weapons are another difference in these games as well. From PUBG to Last Tide, to Black Ops 4, you get your guns as you normally do, but the mechanics of the guns are all different. In PUBG, they have tried to make the physics of the bullets as realistic as they can, by adding a drop to the bullet based on the velocity of the shot, and also the height of the shot from beginning to end. Last Tide has, well basically darts that are fired from all manner of underwater weapons. These weapons don’t really match any of the guns from the other games either, however, if you shoot a dart in the water it will slow down as it goes further from you. In Black Ops 4 you are basically doing as all Call of Duty games do, and that is pointing and clicking. Where you shoot, well that is where your bullet will go. In Ring of Elysium, there is more of a Call of Duty feel to the shots from your guns, perhaps with a little bit of a difference.
How the game ends is different from all these other games too. PUBG, Last Tide, and Black Ops 4 all have the same thing in common, and that is that once you or your team eliminates all the other teams then you win. Ring of Elysium is different and the same in this aspect. So, obviously, you want to kill all of the other enemy opponents, however, you are not required to kill everyone to get a first place win in this game. At the end of the zones, there will be a final zone with an inbound helicopter warning. Once the helicopter reaches its final position it will drop a rope ladder for players to climb into safety. There are four spots for players to evacuate, and only four. So if you manage to make it to the last few people alive then you have a pretty good chance to make it out alive. Even if four solo players evacuate the map in the helicopter each of them gets the victory, and if you shoot everyone left, and then climb up for yourself then you get the solo win. So as you can see this is an interesting mechanic to the game.
Comparing Ring of Elysium to other Battle Royale Games
So where do they all stand up together as a whole? What can we pull from each of the games that is similar? Well, the whole premise is to kill all opposing players and win the game. In each of the games, you are introduced to the map and have to find and loot whatever weapons, ammo, and other gear you will need to survive into the end game stages. The weapons, armor, and other gear also, more times than not, match each other from game to game. Assault Rifles are still the same from game to game as well as all of the other types of weapons that you get to choose from.
Health is an important key to survival for all of these games as well. If you run out of health then you are dead, and dead is game over. Each of the games has room for more than fifty entrants into the game mode, while most of them go up to one hundred total. The number isn’t really a big factor so much as the skill of that number of players coming head to head with you. Everyone looks the same at the end of the scope. Which is another key similarity to each of these games. The scopes in all of these games are relatively the same. A red dot is a red dot, an 8x scope is still an 8x scope. Each of them helps you find the range of your enemies, and hopefully land a good shot.
Overall, at this point in development Ring of Elysium is already well ahead of PUBG and Last Tide, and Black Ops 4 is pretty solid in its own right. There have been news reports of new things, and updates coming out over the next few months that should make the game even better. I look forward to seeing where this game goes in the future because it feels like the one game besides Black Ops 4 that could take PUBG down with the realistic version of battle royale.