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Bethesda’s BattleCry Sounds a Little like an MOBA, but It’s Not

2 minute read

Bethesda would like you to know it’s going to release a free-to-play online game sporting 32-player battles somewhere down the road, and that it’ll be showing it off at E3 in a few weeks. No, not Robotech: Battlecry, or Warlords Battlecry, just BattleCry, capital C, and no, it’s no relation to The Elder Scrolls: Battlespire.

It takes its name from its eponymous design studio, launched in 2012 under owner ZeniMax Media’s wing and helmed by a ex-Bioware-ite Rich Vogel (who’s also worked on Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies, so he’s been around the MMO block).

Bethesda calls BattleCry a “multiplayer action combat game,” which you’ll note stands for MACG, not MOBA. It’s intended to be a team-based combat game in an alternate history version of the early 20th century without guns (or gunpowder, anyway) designed by Viktor Antonov (the guy behind Dishonored, and before that, the art director for Half-Life 2). Instead of messy world wars, you settle your grudges in “warzones” led by teams of warriors trained for the occasion (in other words, Hugo meets The Hunger Games).

That’s the official revelation trailer above, and here’s Bethesda on the gameplay:

Choose your faction and progress your warrior through the ranks. Each rank unlocks new abilities and effects allowing deep strategic builds for your warrior on every level. Risk life and limb as the powerful Royal Marines or the fearless Cossacks in imaginative WarZones each designed to combine positioning, spacing and verticality to redefine your core combat experience. Fight with transformative melee and ranged weapons that harness iron and energy and eviscerate your opponents with swords that transform into shields, bows that can punch an arrow straight through an armored skull or electrocute your foes with high powered blades crackling with electro-static energy.

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Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com