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What Spellbreak Chapter 1 Could Mean For The Future Of Battle Royales

Medieval wizard battle royale Spellbreak is set to receive a major content update on Dec. 15 that will introduce a story-based chapter system to the game. In a rundown of the update, IGN outlined how Spellbreak's implementation of its story content can help set it apart in a genre already saturated with a considerable amount of competition.

Spellbreak developer Proletariat Inc. essentially soft-launched the chapter system with the addition of a Prologue on Oct. 22. However, unlike in future chapters, all Prologue content was free to all players, and as its name suggests, was intended as more of a precursor to the game's planned story, rather than a proper kick-off. Chapter 1 will thus launch with functionality made smoother by player feedback gathered during the Prologue phase.

Content in Chapter 1, similar to a typical battle royale-style battle pass system, is divided into free and paid tiers. Instead of the paid version of the battle pass simply granting more rewards, paying players will have access to a higher number of quests. These are predetermined objectives that must be completed over the course of a match. Free players are tasked with three quests in total, and paid players with six. Only once these quests are completed are players rewarded their banners, badges and/or character skins.

Accessing the story itself, meanwhile, is entirely free of charge. In order to prevent story content from interfering with gameplay, plot is told through voice-acted NPC dialogue that introduces each chapter as well as provides a conclusion once players have finished all chapter quests. Currently, Proletariat plans to introduces a new chapter every 12 weeks, each of which will advance the story that began in its Prologue.

IGN detailed a few of the quests from Chapter 1. For example, one tasks players with using a type of portal three times that is located within the outer storm and leads back to the safe portion of the map. Another simply requires surviving two rounds of the storm closing in.

Battle royale games tend to build on one another. Whereas PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds codified the genre, Fortnite ended upĀ popularizing the battle pass, which is now a feature in turn included in PUBG (following a controversial rollout). Now Fortnite is introducing a subscription service that could further change how battle passes are handled in other titles. Story content is notably paper thin in most other games in the battle royale genre. Now Spellbreak has the chance to propose a narrative framework that could be easily implementable with some minor tweaks into other current and future genre standouts.