Everyone but me is very good at Islands of Nyne battle royale

royale with ease

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First-person battle royale shooter Islands of Nyne has been around for a while: its development actually began before PUBG was even announced. I had a beta key but I never managed to get into one of the testing periods to try it out, which I now deeply regret. lslands of Nyne entered Steam Early Access last week, and everyone playing seems to be extremely good at it already. Everyone but me.

The setting is an arena assembled by aliens, a sort of hodgepodge of glowing futuristic stuff and a bunch of old-timey looking castles and huts. Fifty players spawn in the air over the arena and then plummet to the ground. There's no plane ride and no parachutes, and you reach the ground in a 'hero landing' pose: on one knee, fist to the ground. You know the deal. It doesn't always come off as super dramatic, though, when you happen to skid off a tower and go sliding into the grass and then have to beat cheeks back to the castle you were aiming for.

The arena is a pretty small one, and with fewer players than most BR games plus a quickly closing series of death circles, the matches move along fast. There are loads of weapons—every table, chair, crate, and barrel seems to be covered with guns and ammo, armor, attachments, healing items, and grenades. It's not unusual to land a few seconds after someone else and find them already half-geared and emptying a magazine into you. 

It honestly feels like too much gear to me. I'll run into a house and find a gun and ammo for it, turn and spot another gun, then look in the other direction to find, yes, another gun. Before I get out of the house I've already dropped a few new guns and replaced them with a few newer guns and have all sorts of attachments already. It's nice to not have to scrounge for long minutes to find a pistol and helmet, but it also feels a bit like overkill.

Once you have a bunch of gear it's time to get shot to death by someone with far better aim, as happened to me repeatedly. I'm not blaming anything other than my poor marksmanship and inexperience with Nyne, but in most BR games I feel like I've got a bit more time to run around, try out a few guns, and do some exploring before I'm completely shredded.

Again, it's a small and crowded arena. I've never had to look far to find a fight, and it's never more than a minute or two before I'm back in another full match.

Dying immediately is just really throwing me off my normal routine: playing a bunch of rounds and then selectively posting gifs of me killing people as if I'm really good at battle royale. I have no gifs of me killing anyone!

Islands of Nyne is hard. You have to be incredibly precise with your aim and don't get second chances. I think that's pretty cool: I'm not sure how much more I'll be playing, but I can definitely imagine watching more skilled players on Twitch.

This isn't a particularly great looking game. The foliage isn't especially lush, and the buildings look like they've been imported from an unmodded save of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The architecture isn't well thought out, either: I tried to jump out a window at one point, sort of a normal, battle royale thing to do, especially in a game where slick and slippery movement seems pretty important. I couldn't fit through the window.

Hey, but I did kill one guy! Finally. He didn't even have a gun but I got him, eventually, while hopping backwards like a huge scaredy cat. Here's the evidence. Note how I'm killed a moment later.

I'll see how Islands of Nyne continues to develop in Early Access. I like that it's first-person only, and if you're looking for something fast-paced—almost rushed—where you need to have your head on a swivel the moment your boots (and fist) hit the ground, this is one to check out.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.