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In this battle royale you can scorch players with orbital death rays after you die

(Image credit: Blindfold)

As filmmakers enjoy pointing out, suburbia is hiding a good deal of darkness behind its immaculate green lawns and white picket fences. The suburban neighborhood in Watchers, an upcoming free to play battle royale, has dropped the Pleasantville facade entirely and everyone is running around trying to kill each other.

And if you, like me, are the kind of player who gets bumped off early in battle royale, the nice thing about Watchers is you can still keep on playing. After you've been killed, you become a 'Watcher' and you can exact revenge on your killer (or other players) by dropping traps near the players you'd like to eliminate—noxious gas canisters, bullet-bending magnetic traps, time warps, and other devious devices that will muck with the match that you were eliminated from.

Below, you can see me doing pretty well, taking on two opponents but eventually getting my ass fried by a dead player who was using a damn orbital death ray on us.

Okay, it can be a bit much. Usually in battle royale, when you've taken down an opponent, you can enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done and have a breather while you hoover up their loot. Not really the case in Watchers. Moments after you've dropped someone you'll start seeing traps appear as they look for a little payback.

Not everything an eliminated player drops on you is bad, though. Immediately after someone is knocked out, they get to choose their favorite player from the remaining pool and place bets on who will win. So some of the Watchers will have an incentive to help you out. They can leave gifts containing useful gear in your path, create speed-up zones that let you move faster, and assist you in other ways. I didn't get a lot of help in the rounds I played: it was mostly death rays and poison gas. I guess I need to be nicer to my neighbors. 

You don't have to wait until Watchers launches to try it out. There's a free demo right now on Steam—while you'll mostly be playing with bots, it still gives you a brutal taste of suburbia.

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 stories in RPGs so he can make up his own.