I’ve secretly always been insanely competitive, but I’ve always hid that side by playing games where it doesn’t matter too much if you lose, or by playing games that are actually pretty easy once you get the hang of them. At the same time, I’ve also had a ton of people ask me if I want to play various battle royale games, mainly Apex and Fortnite. You’d think, what with the loose, “jump in, jump out” system that battle royale games have, I’d want to play them, right? Wrong.
In a battle royale game, there is only one winner. Meaning everyone else is a loser. In Apex there might be 3 winners if a whole squad makes it, but otherwise, if you die, you lose. Even with the new revival mechanics that Apex is forcing everyone to add.
But becoming that winner is mostly based on luck. Sure, there’s skill involved, I won’t deny that. There’s game sense, knowing when to run, knowing when to fight and knowing where all the good loot is. None of that means anything though if you just happen to run in the wrong direction, into the sights of another player.
The gameplay is what drives this whole feeling of losing and nothingness. Gameplay, from what I’ve seen and experienced, always seems to devolve into two things: you spend forever in a wilderness on your own or you run into other players and someone dies. In scenarios where you don’t get instantly mowed down or sniped, the gameplay is nothing more than a series of long, slow strolls through ruined and often already looted locations towards the next safe spot, interjected with occasional bouts of gunfire.
None of that interests me, nor does it really inspire me to continue to play. It doesn’t really matter if you manage to survive for 5 minutes or 25 minutes, it all disappears in a blink of the eye. You just die so quickly and all your progress is gone forever.
I’m not saying this as a complete stranger to battle royale games. In fact, I was playing one of the first battle royale games, the Hunger Games mod for Minecraft, all the way back in 2013, when the Hunger Games movies and books were popular. I wasn’t that good at it (even though I did win a couple of games) mainly because Minecraft’s hit detection is awful and melee fights would always devolve into who could spam their swords the fastest. Even back then though, I didn’t REALLY enjoy Minecraft Hunger Games for the same reasons as above. It would be a whole lot of nothing followed by a flash of something and then, nine times out of ten, me dying.
I just don’t find this sort of gameplay interesting or rewarding in any way. You never win. Even if you win, you go back to not winning the next game. If anything, the rewards are just the skins you might obtain when you level up. Skins that most people don’t really see as they fill your body with bullets.
My dislike of battle royales though is just an opinion. If you like these games, then more power to you.