Radical Heights is the new kid in town! Though it is currently still in early access and trying to stand toe-to-toe with the other two battle royale giants, PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds and Fortnite. While this new genre has since been dominated by the two, it’s only a matter of time before others join in and the comparisons start. Here are the different things Radical Heights does to make it stand out:
The main map of Radical Heights, SoCal, is split into grids with varying degrees of hostility (think of them as Danger Zones). Instead of the looming threat of the storm reducing the size of the game map like in PUBG and Fortnite, these zones are split between Red, Yellow and Safe, with Red making you lose health faster as you are in it, Yellow will inflict some damage until the timer runs out and it turns into a Red zone, while Safe has nothing that’s trying to kill you, unless there are enemies of course.
PUBG and Fortnite have improved their maps and even added new maps to play on. But to fairly compare the three, I’m judging them by their initial maps. And with that, I say Radical Heights win this round.
Winner: Radical Heights
While PUBG still remains supreme in its bevy of vehicles for players to travel around in, Fortnite’s lack of vehicles does make sense as to give spotlight to the building mechanics. Hence, seeing all the pros racking up giant towers and walkways just to get around. Radical Heights takes it to the extreme, quite literally with their traversal options including BMXes, ziplines, and good ol’ trampolines lying around. This goes hand in hand with their goofy, Miami Vice aesthetic. While Fortnite and Radical Heights does have more verticality going on, PUBG’s vehicles creates more tension, and you can either drive or die with it.
Speaking of aesthetics, Radical Heights goes hard on theirs. Neon colours all around, your player character sporting mullets, it really feels like a return to Vice City. With everybody sporting wacky jumpsuits, like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger wears in Running Man, they go the distance with their aesthetic. Fortnite does well with their more cartoony look, emphasizing the fun to be had. While PUBG just goes as realistic as possible, making for a more hardcore look. Real doesn’t always look good, and with Radical Heights and PUBG, it can be a bit janky and just look a little bizarre. Fortnite is at least consistent with its look.
PUBG’s main gimmick is arguably the fact that it is a battle royale game, it doesn’t really have a gimmick per say, just the fact that 100 people dropping down to fight is enough of a draw to play it. Fortnite ups the ante with its building mechanics, as it’s based on an entirely different game, just with this free Battle Royale mode to accompany it.
Radical Heights main gimmick is money. Yes plain old money. You can find cash hidden in chests, you win cash if you survive a match, everything gets you cash. The fun part is that you get to keep the money between games, keeping it in banks and withdrawing from in-game ATMs. With it you can buy guns and upgrades for each match. Who knew money was the answer to make a fun game. This new spin on the formula works in my opinion and I’d say Radical Heights is onto something.
Winner: Radical Heights
Early Access Woes
Each and every one of these games went through early access, with Radical Heights still currently in it. While it does come with the usual woes, like glitches and bugs, trouble getting into games, and the graphics looking a little wonky. At its core, Radical Heights’ main mechanics work fine and make for a fun enough game. As of now, there’s still a lack of cosmetic items, no female avatar, and a lot more that needs to be added in. Only time will tell if the actual full release of the game can stand toe to toe with Fortnite and PUBG’s complete states. So when it comes to launch, I’d say Fortnite’s one was the best. It was optimized and pretty easy to get into a match.
Platforms To Play On
PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds for now, is only available on Steam, Mobile and Xbox One, all with varied results. Fortnite is available and free on Mobile, PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. Radical Heights as of now is free and only available for Steam, hopefully once its out of early access, it’ll make its way out to the other consoles out there, especially the Switch. It's only a matter of time before any of these games make it to the Switch. With it being free on every platform, and much more optimized than PUBG is on PC or console, Fortnite easily takes the cake.
How You Drop Into A Map
PUBG has you dropped off by a plane with a parachute.
Fortnite has you dropped off by a school bus/plane thing with a glider.
Radical Heights just drops you. While it’s cool, I still think Fortnite sticks the landing here. The glider is way more fun than just dropping out of the sky or even parachutes.
Overall Winner: Fortnite
So out of the 3, I still say Fortnite is the best. Radical Heights, for what it's worth, is pretty good and is a good alternative to either game. But for now, the “battle royale” genre is still new and while most gamers are content with just two options, competition is good and hopefully, it means that developers will come up with better ways for us to endure and enjoy battle royales. Here’s hoping Radical Heights reaches the heights its reaching out to.