The small-scale battle royale Darwin Project is coming to PlayStation 4 next week on 14th January. This will presumably also see the game leave Early Access on Xbox One and PC and get its full release.
Survive the Canadian Rockies — and 9 other inmates fighting for their lives — in Darwin Project, a free-to-play battle royale launching January 14 on PS4: https://t.co/uGK5IDAnhA pic.twitter.com/CtiFIjv8Vb
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) January 9, 2020
Darwin Project takes the battle royale genre back to its cinematic roots, dropping ten players into a dome to survive the elements, scavenge and fight to the death with whatever comes to hand, while an eleventh player, the Show Director watches on and can shift the balance of power one way or another by playing specially made cards to alter the conditions of the arena.
The game was first announced at PAX East in 2017 before a further reveal at Microsoft’s E3 2017 press conference. From there it entered into Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access in March 2018, but was largely overshadowed by PUBG and Fortnite’s larger scale, more populist approach to the genre. It also didn’t help that Darwin Project was a paid game, with Scavengers Studio forced to change tack and make the game free to play just a month later as they struggled to fill servers. They’ve inched closer and closer to a full launch ever since.
With the finish line in sight to reach a full release, they’re introducing a last few touches to the game, with a new class system that lets players pick between Jet Wings, Grapple Gauntlet and Headhunter Drone before heading into the arena. This will likely be expanded after launch as well, while the in-game shop is being updated with new cosmetics to flaunt.
This is one that’s well worth checking out, whether you have even a passing interest in the battle royale genre or are turned off by it as a whole. In the little time that I spent with the game on Xbox I found it to be a really fascinating twist on the video game genre, with the smaller play count and leaning toward melee options giving it a different flavour, and the Show Director’s impact lending it that Hunger Games vibe.