Five million mages have popped into Spellbreak (opens in new tab) since the battle royale's free-to-play launch. Even for a freebie, that's an impressive number, and it looks like people are just as content to watch it, as Twitch viewers have spent four million hours staring at arcane brawls.
Spellbreak launched on the Epic Games Store on September 3, so it's managed to snare all those players in less than a month.
Spellbreak sticks pretty closely to the standard battle royale formula, with players dropping into a shrinking map that's full of loot. You run around, gear up, murder other players and then hopefully end up as the last mage standing. It's the magic that's the attractive bit.
You can pick up arcane gloves that give you control over elemental magic, letting you toss out bolts of ice or summon walls of fire, and since you can wear two gloves, you can combine their powers, creating firenadoes or big toxic clouds. The effects are big and flashy, and it's impossible not to feel powerful, especially since Spellbreak's first matches are almost guaranteed wins, populated as they are by bots. That you're playing against the AI isn't clear, so at least for that brief moment you get to feel like you're good at the game.
It's some of the most fun I've had duking it out in a battle royale, but the build-up is incredibly dull. I no longer have the patience for running around opening chests and upgrading my gear—I just want to get to the good bits. Spellbreak doesn't have the tension of something like PUBG, where you're methodically clearing buildings and sneaking across an island, so it just feels a bit like busywork.
If the prospect of battering people with elemental magic has piqued your interest, you can grab it on the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) for free. And if you hop on over to our forums, you can enter our Spellbreak giveaway (opens in new tab) and maybe net yourself piles of gold and some dapper outfits.