Brawl Stars Hands-On Impressions and What We Know So Far

Brawl Stars is the latest game for smartphones that comes to us from the popular development team Supercell. You’ve got to hand it to them because they haven’t disappointed the players over the last several years. Clash of Clans was their ticket to paradise, but they didn’t stop there. They continued with releasing Boom Beach and Hay Day, while Clash Royale completely transformed the mobile game market. That’s why we are excited that their latest hit the Brawl Stars is close to being released!

Far More than Yet another MOBA

Although numerous developers have tried to copy the successful formula from their games, Supercell always loved to be original and took pride in offering unique releases. Their focus has been on the MOBA genre lately, the turf that has proved to be tricky for many authors. Fortunately, the game seems to do a lot of things right.

First of all, once you try it, you won’t get the feeling that you are playing a game similar to any other. Considering that there are hundreds of MOBA releases on the market, it’s hard to offer something original, but the developers managed it one more time.

What’s Brawl Stars About?

The game focuses on placing you on the battlefield in real-time combat against another opponent. The first character you get to try in Brawl Stars is Shelly. She is a girl that has purple hair and knows how to wield a gun. It seems that Supercell also considered gender equality here because some of their other games focused strictly on males.

Either way, you will move Shelly around by using the simple control system. When you want to send her to a particular position on the screen, you simply have to tap the desired part of your display. She will start moving towards that position, and her movement will be marked by a dotted line. If you accidentally made a mistake and you want to change her direction or tell her to move to a different position, just tap the new place where you want her to be. Shelly will immediately listen and change her path.

The Alternative Control System

For those of you who don’t feel comfortable by tapping the screen to move the characters, there is an alternative method. If you head into options, you can activate virtual joystick and steer your player on the screen with it. The joystick will appear on the left side of the display, just like you may have used in other mobile games.

Brawl Stars Gameplay

The choice is up to you and perhaps comes down whether you have more experience playing MOBAs on PC or mobile devices. For computer users, it will feel more natural to navigate your character by tapping the screen of your gadget (just like clicking with your mouse). However, those of you who stick to smartphone games may feel more comfortable with using a virtual joystick.

Shelly Knows How to Shoot

As mentioned, Shelly is a woman that knows her way with the gun. That being said, shooting is a crucial part of the game. To shoot, you drag you’re here from the middle of the screen to the direction in which you want to fire. When you make that gesture, a target area in the shape of a cone will appear. Shelly uses a shotgun, so this area marks the spread of her shots, as well as their distance.

To fire, you just need to release your finger. Each time you fire a shot, it will take one of your ammunition. You can see the ammo bar appearing above Shelly (or any other character you use). AS long as you shoot reasonably, there is absolutely no reason to worry about running out of ammunition. The only reason the ammo meter is there is to prevent people from shooting like they first held a virtual shotgun in their lives.

Fire Carefully in Brawl Stars

The existence of the ammunition bar limits how many times you can shoot in a short time-span and moves Brawl Stars from an arcade game towards a strategy release. There is a strategic element involved when it comes to shooting. Although you will have enough bullets, you want to be careful because you can’t allow yourself to run out of ammo in the crucial moments of the fight. The ammunition refills quickly over time, but even a couple of seconds can mean a lot.

Gameplay 2

Whenever you hit the opponent, you will inflict damage to them, but you will also boost your unique ability. Each character has a unique skill that can be used to turn the tide of the battle. You can see this ability marked by the only action button on the display of your mobile device. There is a progress bar that slowly fills up, and once it is full, you can use your super skill.

The super power will be available several times during a match, which also contributes to the strategy element of the game. Although you can use super ability reasonably often, you want to make sure that it’s there when you truly need it. In case of Shelly, her particular skill is an improved shotgun blast. Once you fire it, it has a much wider spread than a usual shot and can knock the opponent on their back.

Shelly Is Not the Only One

Shotgun Shelly is only one of the characters available. At the moment, the number of existing heroes stands on more than a dozen. You can unlock them as you progress through the game. The diversity of characters is admirable, and each of them has specific traits. For example, some strong heroes take little damage when hit and there are those that can inflict more damage than a regular character.

For example, Jessie has a different shooting mechanics than Shelly. She has a long-range shot with her rifle, but unlike Shelly’s shotgun, there is no spread. Instead, you target with a line. Although that can be tricky, Jessie has a long shot range, which makes up for the issues when aiming. Also, her special ability is automatic fire, which can be incredibly enjoyable (when you are not on the receiving end).

Are You Ready for a Heist?

There is a variety of things to do in Brawl Stars, considering that the game has four unique modes to test your skills. The first one I tried was the Heist, which is a PvP battle of two teams consisted of three players each. There is a defending team, whose task is to guard the safe, and the attacking team, which has to attack it and destroy it.

Events

It seemed that sneaking up on your opponents can play a crucial role. If you are on the defending end, you need to guard all sides of the safe because one of the rivals can make a full circle around the map and start shooting at it from the back before you even get a clue he is there. Of course, teamwork is a crucial part of the Heist. If you get along with your teammates, it will make your task easier, and you will be at an advantage.

Smash & Grab Everything!

Another teamwork mode that features 3vs3 battles is Smash & Grab. Some crystals appear in the middle of the map, and your goal is to collect them as soon as they spawn. The winner is the team that manages to collect ten crystals. However, there is a nice twist. Not only you should collect them, but you should also keep the items for fifteen seconds to get the point for your team.

Smash & Grab might be the most intense mode in Brawl Stars, considering that you need to protect the member of your gang in possession of the crystals. If they die, they drop all the crystals, which are then up for taking by anyone else. To contribute to the excitement, even more, you can hold up to 10 gems at a time, but imagine what happens if you die and drop them!

You Have a Target on Your Head

Bounty mode is the last teamwork mode you’ll experience in this game. It’s also 3vs3 combat, but it’s the number of kills that counts. There is no particular objective, except that you need to have more points than the rival team after 150 seconds (2 minutes and 30 seconds). Each killing of the rival member means one point for your team.

The twist in the Bounty mode of Brawl Stars is in the wanted level. The number of kill the players make increases their wanted level, which can reach up to 7 stars. When someone finally manages to kill the wanted dude, they will generate the number of points for their team proportionate to the star number the murdered player had. That contributes to the strategy element of the game, meaning that just one or two kills at the right time can turn the tide of the battle.

It’s Time for a Showdown!

The Showdown mode doesn’t focus on teamwork but leaves every man (or woman) for himself. It’s an individual battle of 10 players in a massive arena. The winner is the last one standing, but the fight itself comes with a few twists. There are boxes that you can destroy to generate elixir to boost your hero during the match. Considering that you should survive the longest, you should consider choosing a strong character that can take a hit or two.

Brawl Stars In-Game Currencies

If you know Supercell games, you are also aware that they are freemium but come with the in-game purchases. Coins and gems are two main currencies of the game, and you can get them by progressing through the game and winning the matches. You can also win trophies you can use to level up your player.

There are sources to get coins within the game, but paying is still the fastest and the best options. The playing works like this – there are maximum four available slots where the game modes rotate. That means that you can’t choose the modes you want to play, but you depend on what Brawl Stars offers you.

Chacter Screen

Brawl Stars gives its best not to be limiting, but sooner or later you will hit a paywall. You will have trouble upgrading your characters unless you are ready to invest some real cash. If you are not prepared to do that, make sure to arm yourself with patience.

Current Status of The Release

Brawl Stars officially launched for iOS in June 2017, but it is still in the beta phase. The release date of the full version is still unannounced. Considering that the game has been released to be tested by players, you should be aware that you can expect a bug here and there. The important thing is that the servers are stable and you won’t encounter trouble in that area while playing. That is something that is crucial for a game in the MOBA genre.

Supercell is known to listen to the players and their feedback, which might be the reason why they are still postponing the final release. They are making regular updates to the game to make it most appealing to anyone who downloads it.

What About Brawl Stars for Android?

If you are an Android user, there is no need to buy an Apple device if you are addicted to Supercell games. The Android has yet need to hit the Google Play Store, but it has been confirmed that the final version will be released for that platform, too. Up until then, you need to be patient. Take consolation in the fact that you will get a complete game that has been out of the beta phase. In the meantime, you can smartly use your time and read up on Brawl Stars and find out as much as you can about the game.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Is As Dark As Much As It Is Beautiful

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Destiny 2 is set for release in September 2017, check out the trailer here

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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Gameplay, Release Date And Closed Beta

Mount-&-Blade-2-Bannerlord

Oh, man, was I excited when I got the chance to play the demo of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord on the E3 Show held in Los Angeles this year. It all went quickly through my mind; how the original release in 2012 was an unpolished, but fantastic game. How the sequel was announced FIVE years ago, and TaleWorlds have been quiet about it ever since and how I expected a lot from their latest action RPG. The good news is that the demo kept up to my expectations, so let’s take a look at the way the developers presented epic medieval battles in Mount & Blade 2.

The First Demo Started a Bit Slow

We played a total of three different PC demos at E3, and the first one was there to heat things up a bit. It was nothing but a tutorial that explained us controls of the melee combat. We were put on a map and placed in a fight to the death with a bunch of other soldiers, while Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord explained us our moves.

The attacks that you can perform depend on the weapon you use. For example, you can slash your sword by dragging either left or right, do a stab by dragging down while pressing the left button of the mouse and dragging up will do an overhead strike. Depending on the weapon you choose you will have a different arsenal of moves. You don’t have to use only swords; for example, there are also spears in Mount & Blade 2.

Shields up If You Want to Protect Yourself

On the defensive end, you can use directional blocking, but the shields still do a better job of protecting you on the battlefield. Even if you happen to miss the direction in which you want to perform a block, you probably won’t get hurt at once, but your armor will suffer a bigger blow. That looks pretty realistic on the Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord battlefield.

Gameplay

The next thing we tried in the demo is throwing axes. That moved things from the close up to ranged combat, and it was very satisfying to inflict some damage from afar. It’s pretty simple to use the ax; you merely press the attack button when the reticle is located above your enemy. You should be careful when using your ax because the enemy can block it with a shield.

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord Battle Runs Smooth

If you are a new M&B player, it might take some time until you adjust to the combat system. On the other hand, if you’ve played previous installments, you know what to expect. Once you get the grip of how things work, you will find yourself performing some cool moves, such as hitting two people at once with a slash right after you blocked an axe coming your way.

The controls are responsive, and everything works smoothly in Mount & Blade II. The thing I liked is that it’s not all about hacking and slashing, you also need a dose of tactics aside from insanely clicking the buttons. The damage system is improved, and it now considers different factors, such as weight distribution. That practically means that the same type of hit won’t inflict the same amount of damage to the opponent every time, but the results vary.

Let’s Take Things One Step Further

The next demo allowed us to see a truly epic medieval battle unfolding on the screen. We were placed in the shoes of a commander wielding a sword while leading his army to victory. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord allows you to send your units wherever it fits your tactics, but it also places you right in the middle of the fight. It’s an incredible feeling when riding a horse and leading an army into a battle to the death. You are in the core of the combat, which is much better than other RPG games where you feel like you are sitting on the sidelines despite the fact you are commanding an army.

Battle

There is a bunch of different moves you can order your units to perform. You can split them into two groups or merge them, order a lighting attack or ask them to form a defensive shield wall. Mount & Blade 2 solves the controls in a nifty way, allowing you to directly perform those orders by clicking a single button to avoid it influencing your performance on the battlefield.

Do You Prefer to Command or Wield Your Sword?

M&B2: Bannerlord also gives you the option to allow your units make independent choices and focus on killing as many opponents as possible. Fortunately, the AI factor that comes into play here does an excellent job. The developers claimed that they analyzed some of the most famous battles in history to ensure that the behavior of the units on the battlefield is realistic.

One would imagine that wielding your sword and riding a horse at the same time is tricky and that is something that Mount & Blade 2 faithfully replicates. There’s so much you have to do; you need to slow down the pace of your horse, make sure to turn it properly to find the right angle and time the attack so that you actually inflict some damage to the enemy.

Character-Screen

Unfortunately, riding a horse saw us feeling frustrated on more than one occasion. It seems that, even when you manage to land a hit, the opponent doesn’t suffer significant damage, which is why we soon focused on battling on foot. There’s still time for the developers to iron out this issue and we hope they will do that.

Control the Entire Army or Just a Portion of It

Aside from being the general commander, you can also control just a section of the army on the battlefield. That changes the things drastically because you need to follow the orders of the top command while making sure everything goes your way.

Unfortunately, this is the first time when AI messed up. We let the commands, and that led to many deaths of our soldiers because AI believed that the best tacticwas to attack the enemy at close range, leaving us pretty vulnerable.

Siege

We hope that the final version of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord will solve these issues. On the bright side, we got to see archers in action, and they looked kind of cool with pointing out their arrows, despite the fact that the configuration only allowed them to shoot to their left.

Oh, My Lord! Lords Are There in Mount & Blade II

Aside from regular soldiers, you will notice that some of them wear special dresses. These are so-called Lords, which should represent figures of power worth respecting and keeping alive. We still don’t know for what reason because it remained unclear, but they should play a role in the final edition of Mount & Blade 2.

Graphics

The Perfect Combo of Action and Strategy

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is shaping up to have everything that you can expect from an epic medieval battle. It combines the elements of action of dropping you right into the core of the combat with the strategy element of commanding your troops (or executing the commands of your superior). All in all, we expect a lot from the release.

Unfortunately, there is no set release date for Mount & Blade 2 yet. We are glad that the game is much more close to the final version that in 2012 when it was first announced and TaleWorlds should publish it soon. Our estimation is that the release of the full version will be by the end of 2017. Looking forward to it!