Oh yes, how I’ve alluded to this trend continuing earlier this year. Just about everyone and their father’s uncle is going to hop on the ‘Battle-Royale’ band-wagon. Epic shuttered Paragon to focus on Fortnite, and now developer of Lawbreakers, Boss Key Productions, is attempting to not just dip their toe but to throw a bug-ridden, 80’s vibin’, BMX-riding foot into the pool that current trendsetters have been ruling. Seemingly two steps behind the trend, Cliff Blezinski’s studio has launched ‘Radical Heights‘ on Steam today. With it’s “futuristic 80’s” theme, Boss Key decided that Early Access is the way to go, and not even on mobile. Yeah, I know. It just doesn’t seem to add up.
Since Lawbreakers never could get out from Overwatch’s shadow, it seems Radical Heights is simply not impressing anyone either. Sitting at a “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam, perhaps Boss Key jumped onto the bandwagon a bit too soon. Reviews are dripping with concerns and complaints about optimization, memory-usage and even high-end rigs experiencing issues. Not only graphical bugs and stability issues, but there are even problems trying to add friends and play together.
A multiplayer game having issues adding friends is a major no-no here, especially when you’re launching in competition against the highly regarded Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and the polished, super accessible Fortnite. I understand the anticipation and want to get in on the ‘Battle Royale’ trend as soon as possible, but there are certain things that you cannot prioritize above a good first impression for games. One would think Boss Key isn’t doing well financially, and this was a last gasp to save the company after Lawbreakers failed to impress.
It truly is a shame. The artstyle, the concept and everything that Radical Heights stands for as an idea is just awesome. As Fortnite is a ‘PUBG’ that doesn’t take itself seriously, Radical Heights goes one step further, and is akin to how Far Cry: Blood Dragon was to its predecessor. It just zany, ridiculous and it really showed promise. My own experience with Radical Heights simply lined up with the reviews. Buggy mechanics, terrible controls for BMX riding and janky animations were among my own issues in addition to those already mentioned. The worst offenders were fully incomplete areas (no weapons, furniture; essentially whiteboxing), and randomly the game would quit to the main menu for no reason.
I really feel for ‘Cliffy B’, and I truly hope this first impression doesn’t hurt what otherwise could be a great addition to the ‘Battle-Royale’ genre. What about you geeks? Have you tried out Radical Heights yet?