Games News

New Battle Royale title Mavericks to feature 400 players

Automaton
Old car on the side of a village road
Automaton Games: Mavericks

Well it was just waiting to happen, wasn't it? The only way to steal PUBG or Fortnite headlines is to beat them at something, and the developers at Automaton Games seem to be have the right ideas. When in doubt, scale upwards.

The trailer shows some trees, with gunshots heard echoing in the distance. We first thought there are no characters, then we noticed the running blur of a strangely animated character scuttling between some trees.

The graphics looks smack dab between PUBG and Destiny. The devs said they're not trying to build a world for world's sake - they want a living, breathing world with handcrafted locations. That's what I'd say too if I was trying to promote a game based on a 40 second pre-rendered non-teaser. Especially after No Man's Sky giving procedural generation a bad name, forever.

Mavericks isn't just going for player count - they've got ideas. Improbable's SpatialOS technology allowed them to build a map stretching over 12 square kilometres and once the game can support 1000 players, the company is going to implement RPG elements. Because linear progression systems are how you get them hooked. Add some RNG and the Destiny comparison becomes hard to ignore.

Automaton GamesView of a large field titled Mavericks: The Proving GroundsMavericks: Proving Grounds

It's difficult to say what Automaton means under "RPG element" - are we talking about weapons, individual stats or just abbreviating rocket propelled grenades?

Automaton are planning to make a gradual shift from the playable iteration of the 400 player battle royale mode sometime in spring. Once the game is released in 2019, however, it will start gunning for a 1000. If nothing else, it will be an interesting milestone. They apparently also want to switch genres somewhere mid-development. It worked for Fortnite, maybe Automaton can pull it off in reverse - going from battle royale to MMORPG. Considering the proposed scale, they will have a lot to chew on.

One could argue that the market is already getting saturated with battle royale titles, and normally we might even agree. However, Mavericks: Proving Grounds has the potential to breathe in some much needed fresh air into the genre. Might be a good time to open up the old Like X but,... book.