Ring of Elysium haven’t even made it out of early access yet but it already proves itself a worthy competitor to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds(PUBG), in fact, it is better than the battle royale giant in more than 1 way.
Ring of Elysium could be a serious contender for PUBG’s throne as the most popular ”realistic” battle royale on the market down the road. It is free-to-play, adds a few great innovations to the genre, and often it plays better than PUBG overall.
- Developer: Tencent Games, Aurora Studio
- Platform: PC
- Price: Free-to-play
Ring of Elysium: Review Summary
Ring of Elysium(ROE) is a free-to-play battle royale game with a lot of potential and only a few things holding it back from really blowing up.
In most ways, Ring of Elysium feels almost identical to PUBG and other games of the battle royale genre, but it’s mobility class system sets it apart from the competitors and change the gameplay for the better.
In Ring of Elysium, you get to choose between three mobility classes that will significantly alter your gameplay experience, and the classes differentiate depending on the map. On the snowy peaks of Mt. Dione you get to choose between a snowboard, climbing gear, and a paraglider. Whereas on the brand new map ‘Europa’ you get the choice between the paraglider, the BMX bike, and the brand new grappling hook, each class provides you with unique advantages that help you move around the huge maps.
Even if you ignore the class system, Ring of Elysium is beautiful, polished and runs incredibly well for a game in early access. Both maps in the game are huge and look fantastic, and the roster of weapons and vehicles helps to keep each game interesting.
I have had an absolute blast trying out Ring of Elysium, but I do have a few complaints that I think needs to be addressed if ROE is to reach it’s potential. Most notably the gunplay and map rotations. A lot of the weapons feel incredibly similar in its recoil which can stagnate the gaming experience a bit. We also only have 1 map to play at any given time as they rotate out the old ones with each new season which really takes away from the variation.
Most of these issues might be fixed or looked at as the game makes it way out of early access, but I feel it still needs to be said.
The Bottom line
All and all, Ring of Elysium is an incredibly fun battle royale shooter that plays better than a lot of pay-to-play games of the genre. Even disregarding the fact that ROE is entirely free-to-play, I would still consider it one of the very best Battle Royales on the market. I would also recommend it over PUBG as it’s free-to-play nature makes it the perfect introduction to the genre.
The Basics – Not Just Another PUBG Clone
Let us have a look at how Ring of Elysium sets itself apart from its competitors.
Like most other games of its genre, you play on a massive map against other players to be the last man standing, in the case of ROE it’s a total of 60 players. Instead of dropping down from a parachute you spawn at a chosen location which you select at the beginning of the match. Unlike many of its competitors, you start with a weapon, but bigger and better guns will quickly replace it after a few minutes of looting buildings.
So far it sounds and feels just like most of its peers, such as PUBG, and to be fair it very similar. However, Ring of Elysium has a few fundamental distinctions and innovations from other Battle Royales.
Ring of Elysium Class System
At the start of each match, you will be asked to choose your spawn location as well as 1 of 3 distinct classes, each with a unique feel and advantage. The classes available depends on what map is currently active, but the classes so far look like this:
Your gaming experience greatly varies depending on your chosen class and all of them are pretty fun to use, in particular, the snowboard and the paraglider.
- Paraglider: Incredibly mobile and fast over long distances but also very situational.
- Mountain Climber(Mt. Dione exclusive): Provides a lot of utility and situational mobility. Has increased carrying capacity and can climb cliffs and use the ziplining network throughout the map.
- Snowboard(Mt. Dione Exclusive): Very versatile and useful in most situations also provide incredible speed downhill.
- BMX Bike(Europa Exclusive): Adds a good amount of mobility to any situation and is quite useful on almost all terrain.
- Grappling Hook(Europa Exclusive): Not very good for long distances but provide you with incredible amounts of vertical mobility as you can scale buildings, trees, and mountains.
Your gaming experience dramatically varies depending on your chosen class, and all of them are pretty fun to use, in particular, the snowboard and the paraglider.
The addition of these classes also eliminates a lot of the stale and more boring moments as you can quickly make it from A to B.
Separate Mode for Third & First-person
This is something that every competitive battle royale should offer, a separate queue for the third-person and first-person game mode, as a third-person view gives some definite advantages.
Having separate queues gives the game a lot more potential for competitive play down the line.
The Endgame – Up to 4 survivors
Instead of having one sole survivor as you do in most battle royale games, in Ring of Elysium, up to 4 people can get away.
At the end of each match, a rescue chopper will arrive at a marked location which can hold up to 4 people. However, it is a maximum, not a minimum, meaning you can be the sole survivor and in solo queue and duos you rarely see four people get away.
This is an excellent feature for squad play as it allows the entire team to win the match together and it also works well for duos and solo queue as a few more people are allowed the satisfaction of victory.
I also have to mention that the battle to climb the ladder on that chopper at the end of the match is some of the most intense moments I have had in any shooter in a long time.
Quality of Life Improvements
While the class system is the most significant improvement ROE offers over other Battle Royales; it also adds a few quality-of-life enhancements that are worth noting.
The auto-attachment is incredibly noticeable and it makes it so that you have to spend a lot less time managing your bags and equipment
Weapons attachments equip automatically
This might not sound like a huge improvement but as anyone who has played a lot of PUBG can tell you; it is. The auto-attachment is incredibly noticeable, and it makes it so that you have to spend a lot less time managing your bags and equipment.
You start with a gun
Depending on your class you either start with a simple handgun or shotgun. In most cases, you won’t notice this as they replaced pretty quickly but if you run into someone early on it is nice that you won’t be forced to bring a knife to a gunfight.
Your handgun is replaceable
Many battle royales out there feel it necessary to reserve 1 of your weapon slots for pistols but in Ring of Elysium, you can run any three weapons you’d like.
The Maps – A Beautiful Place to Die
Ring of Elysium has a fun and interactive class system and some tremendous quality-of-life improvements but at the end of the day it is a battle royale shooter, and the success of the game will come down to the quality of the gunplay and the environment you play in.
The Maps: Europa & Mt. Dione
Both the snowy peaks of Mt. Dione and the lush tropical islands of Europa is some of the most well-crafted battle royale maps I have seen to date. Even after days of extensive play you always seem to discover something new, and the attention to detail from the developers is astounding.
The maps also provide a lot of trademark locations that make it easier to intuitively navigate the terrain such as the mountains in Mt. Dione and the observatory and ocean park of Europa.
Locations such as these are crucial for huge maps such as these. Not only for navigation but also because it creates a welcomed variation in the environment that is otherwise pretty static.
I also love that they have added in additional fun stuff like the submarine and even sea monsters in the new Europa map. Just adds that extra feel of polish and care from the developer team.
I have had a lot of fun on Europa, but I did prefer the snowy mountain of Dione, and I really hope the map limitation is only while the game is in early access. Limiting the map pool to 1 map at a time could ruin the game in my opinion, and I really hope they remove the restriction down the road.
Weaponry, Gunplay & Equipment
Ring of Elysium(ROE) has a decently large roster of unique weapons and vehicles, as well as attachments and equipment you can find throughout the map and overall ROE does a decent job here.
Gunplay & Recoil feels a bit static
The gunplay in ROE has a decently satisfactory feel to it, and whether you are sniping from a distance or in close up combat with a submarine gun, it is a lot of fun and getting that kill feels excellent.
However, I do have a few complaints about the gunplay in general. I feel like the recoil pattern is very similar on most of the guns and riffles in ROE which makes it harder to determine what weapons you like the most and more importantly, it makes it hard to learn specific patterns.
On the plus side, there is so little difference in the recoil between most of the weapons that it is easy to master weaponry in general in ROE which makes it a lot easier to jump in and play for beginners.
But this is undoubtedly one part of the game where I wholeheartedly prefer Call of Duty: Blackout or even PUBG.
Handguns are useless!
One of my major gripes with the weaponry in Ring of Elysium is that the handguns are utterly useless, and I don’t just mean the starter gun. Ring of Elysium is the first shooter I have ever played where I wasn’t excited to find a Desert Eagle. I think there should be some benefits to having at least one gun equipped, such as allowing us to shoot while being knocked down.
Attachments & Equipment – Where’s my stun & flash grenades at?
I love how attachments are automatically equipped and a lot of the weapon attachments do feel really rewarding to find, such as the x4 scopes or higher. I think they could easily add a few extra fun ones such as a bayonet, but in general, I think they did pretty well here.
Equipment is also pretty standard with the kevlar, helmet and first aid kits, etc. Although I found the types of grenades really lackluster. Right now there is only the smoke and the frag grenades, which both work fine but lacks variation. I really think Aurora Studio should add a few more types such as a flash or stun grenade.
Movement & Vehicles
The movement and core gameplay feel of Ring of Elysium is one of the significant advantages it holds over PUBG as it all feels just a bit smoother and well polished. Not to mention that the amount of mobility that the classes themselves offer makes traversing the map a lot more enjoyable.
Movement & Mobility
Compared to any other battle royale of its kind, traveling and movement in Ring of Elysium(ROE) is an absolute joy due to the overall mobility and utility offered to you via the different classes, not to mention the fact that the movement animations such as jumping over fences or on top of walls feel a lot better in ROE.
Playing PUBG after ROE can be really tough as you get easily frustrated any time you would have usually used your BMX, Glider or grappling hook. Other games without these mobility boosters feel a bit slow after spending enough time in ROE.
Vehicles – Feels like Battlefield 2
It is pretty clear that the ROE developers spent a lot more time on perfecting the feel of the BMX, Glider and grappling hook compared to the vehicles.
Now don’t get me wrong, they do their job just fine and its decent enough to drive around in, but the only thing I could think while driving them is that they feel exactly like the jeeps did in Battlefield 2, which is a fantastic game but it is also from 2005.
I think the vehicles in ROE could benefit from a more realistic feel and a bit more polish, but the amount and variation in cars are pretty great.
Final Thoughts – A Fantastic Battle Royale With a Ton of Potential
Ring of Elysium can not only compete with PUBG in many ways but actually manages to do a lot of things better, and it’s unique additions such as the mobility classes and auto-attach equipment makes it feel a whole lot better.
Considering the game is technically still in early access I have a lot of hope for Ring of Elysium. If the developers manage to give some final polish to the gunplay, vehicles and add in the option to choose what map you want to play on, I could honestly see it becoming a real threat to PUBG due to the free-to-play business model.
Ring of Elysium is already pretty fantastic and one of the best realistic battle royales out there, and it certainly has the potential to grow into something huge.