Surprise! Dying Light: Bad Blood has launched on Steam Early Access, meaning you can now try this fresh take on the battle royale genre for yourselves.
Techland's latest game, built on the foundations of Dying Light, combines PVP and PVE action to see players battle zombies and each other in order to survive. With a player count of only 12, it's really pushing the limits of the battle royale genre - but there are some familiar themes, such as the last man standing requirement (undead not included).
The early access version of the game will only be available to those who purchase the Founder's Pack, which costs $19.99 (£15.24). Techland has stated the game will eventually be free on both PC and consoles, and will transition to this free to play model when the game is released in full. For now, those who choose to buy the Founder's Pack will receive "free content updates" including "new items, characters, maps and more" during the early access period. Loots crate to me.
It'll be interesting to see whether this business strategy pays off, as the price will probably limit the numbers of players picking up the game in early access. With only 12 players per match, however, the requirement for an enormous player base is reduced compared to 100-player battle royales like Fortnite.
In terms of gameplay, the signs appear to be rather positive. Digital Foundry's Alex Battaglia recently had the chance to go hands-on with Dying Light: Bad Blood at gamescom, and was deeply impressed with the game's combat. According to Alex, "the close-quarters intimacy of the encounters, paired with Dying Light's parkour traversal system makes for a unique take on the battle royale concept". Sounds like it should be an exciting new entrant in the competition for battle royale supremacy.
Dying Light: Bad Blood will, however, have to see off some firm competition this winter. Call of Duty just released the beta for its new battle royale mode Blackout, while Battlefield is also set to join the ever-growing crowd when its own battle royale mode Firestorm becomes available. Dig out the popcorn - the next few months are going to be fascinating.