The opportunity arose for #GamersRule to cover Until None Remain: Battle Royale PC Edition and being such a huge fan of similar BR games, I was intrigued.
Until None Remain: BR PC comes from indie developer & publisher D.W.S. and was released at the same time as the VR edition. It’s a third-person, Sci-Fi arena shooter and there is definite potential here.
To begin with, players will find a handy tutorial, a kind of offline lobby area where weapons, items, and targets can be found. Each has a tooltip, which is great, and players cannot be damaged in this area while they get the feel of the controls and learn about the game mechanics. This area can be left at any time to join an online game, and players can return here later for a refresher.
Once ready to jump in, contestants will find themselves in an online lobby, waiting for the match to begin. My first bit of feedback pertains to this lobby. I actually played and streamed this game with a friend of mine, and when we entered this area to find nothing but empty tables and a game show-like sign on the wall with a 3 minute countdown, our first reaction was, “Geez, this catering service sucks!” Three minutes is a very long time to wait, especially when there are no other players around and nothing to do but jump up and down or spin in circles.
Until None Remain: BR is a very new and relatively unknown release, for both VR and PC versions, so there is little to no playerbase at this point. We were in-game nearly an hour before my friend and I came across two other players in the lobby. Therefore, I applaud the developer for including the bot mechanic which populates the rest of the match with bots when live players are not available. Every game has the challenge of cultivating and maintaining a playerbase, so this bot mechanic demonstrates foresight and if nothing else, a starting point for players to get into the game and determine if it’s something they’d like to come back to at some point. However, I have to say that I’m disappointed with the bot behavior. It seemed relatively inconsistent to me, so I’m hoping that these functions are tweaked in the near future or that the developer can market effectively to generate a live playerbase, making the bots more or less obsolete.
During gameplay, a variety of weapons, items, powerups and gear can be obtained. There are weapons and gear to suit just about every preference, from Tesla grenades and shockguns to jetpacks, sniper rifles and rocket launchers. The item mechanic seemed to be really well thought out, overall. Some items, like med kits, are used upon pickup and cannot be stored for later, while items like med pills can be stored in a backpack. I was a little confused about some of the gear, though. I kept coming across one particular piece of armor, yet you can only equip one, and these didn’t seem to degrade over time.
The D.W.S. team has obviously spent considerable time on graphics. While there is definite room for improvement, such as with the game show-like contestant sign in the lobby, other features, like the highlights and shadows on interior tiles, are noticeably better. I did experience one particular graphics oddity when attempting to grab items of the tables in the arena. It seemed that clicking the “Y” button on the controller too quickly resulted in a white box. This subsided when button presses were slowed.
There is no musical soundtrack for Until None Remain: BR PC Edition. I found this a bit strange. While I understand the need to focus on sound effects, such as footsteps, in an arena shooter, I would have rather had a musical soundtrack with options for volume reduction than to have so little going on in the way of audio stimulation. What I did notice was the sound of wind when walking or sprinting around the arena. Others have referred to it as ‘heavy breathing” but it’s actually the sound of wind, and if the purpose of eliminating the musical aspect was to narrow focus to audio cues, then this feels out of place to me.
Overall, Until None Remain: BR PC Edition plays better than a lot of other indie offerings out there, and that couldn’t happen if it weren’t built on a very strong developmental foundation. Support is included for 10 languages, and multiple player servers are available 24/7. There are also a variety of settings in the menu that can individualize your experience, including button/key mapping.
There’s some solid work in this game, but I did have an issue with the hoverbike. Until None Remain: BR includes controller support; however, I was unable to board the hoverbike with my controller and unable to fly or debark one with the mouse & keyboard controls, so I was never effectively able to test that out.
I also felt that some weapon re-balancing was in order. Some of the weapons tended to do a greater degree of damage than expected while others did considerably less. This also pertains to the obstacles in the arena, such as the laser turrets. I was unable to damage these in any way, yet they did an immense amount of damage in comparison to weapon attacks from other players. Since there is no upgrade mechanic for the player, we’re reliant on the gear and weapons balancing to be spot on.
I was also disappointed that more maps were not available. There is an outdoor, desert-like area and an indoor area, but additional variety could go a long way to encourage players to return to the game. I was also surprised by the size of the arena. It felt way too small to me. The developers have incorporated a PUBG-like zoning aspect, pushing players to the center of the arena, but it’s so small to begin with that I didn’t feel like I had enough space to maneuver comfortably.
Additional upgrade mechanics for the player or weapons and cosmetic options for the player would be fantastic, so I hope to see those in the future as well, but of course, these will have to take a backseat to any core gameplay improvements that the developer decides to implement.
With such a small playerbase and limited map options there is limited replayability, unless you have a group of friends in mind to play with. D.W.S. recently dropped the retail price in the Steam store to $1.99, a huge reduction from the original price point, so in that regard, it’s definitely affordable if you have friends in mind to play with and enjoy battle royale games.
Gamers who enjoy arena shooters and battle royale games are likely to enjoy Until None Remain: BR PC Edition, but only if they have friends in mind to play with. This is by no means a top tier quality game, but it’s certainly not broken, and it doesn’t exactly feel like an alpha or beta either. It feels and plays like exactly what it is, a brand new indie title from a talented indie developer that has obviously been influenced by other similar games, one that’s attempting to accommodate both VR and non-VR PC gamers in separate releases, therefore doubling their workload and challenge to a certain degree. D.W.S. hasn’t quite gotten all the fine details worked out just yet, but #GamersRule would certainly revisit Until None Remain BR PC Edition in the future.
Until None Remain: Battle Royale PC Edition can be purchased on Steam.