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Why You Should Keep Your Eyes on Mavericks: Proving Grounds

The battle royale genre seems to be one of the hottest things in gaming at the moment.

With games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dominating streaming services like Twitch and Mixer, I’ve often wondered what it will take for a game to differentiate itself from the crowd. Enter Mavericks: Proving Grounds.

Announced last week at PC Gamer’s Weekender event, the game previously known as ‘Project X’ finally got its official reveal. The trailer — which you can watch below — doesn’t show off much besides some beautifully rendered environments and the muffled sounds of battle in the distance, but there was still plenty of information unveiled to sink into.

Mavericks describes itself as a 1,000-player open world persistent RPG. It’s set to fully release in 2019, with an impressive 400-player battle royale mode launching in 2018. On its own, that’d be big enough news to turn a few heads, but the really interesting stuff is within the tech behind the game itself. Utilising Improbable’s SpatialOS technology, the game is capable of creating maps that are 12km large, dwarfing the already gigantic islands of Fortnite and PUBG. Coupling this with Crytek’s CryEngine real-time rendering technology, there seems to be a lot of potential riding under-the-hood.

One of the game’s driving philosophies, according to developer Automaton’s CEO James Thompson, is to create a “tactics and strategic” focused first-person shooter approach to the battle royale formula. Part of delivering that experience involves creating a higher-fidelity game than many of Maverick’s competitors, but that’s only part of it. The game also will include many real-world ways interacting with players in the environment. Tracking player footprints, dynamic weather elements and persistent destruction, the entire game is built to create a level of immersion you won’t find in other similar games.

All in all, Mavericks is intended to evolve the current battle royale genre beyond its limits. Where most games at the moment simply take existing first-person shooter experiences and scale them up to 100-player matches, Mavericks: Proving Grounds is meant to be a totally different game. Focusing in on player interactions, the game is to do away with the randomness of most other battle royale games and instead offer something more consistent. With a sophisticated network and physics simulation system scaling to 400-player matches, Mavericks is going to be a much more methodical take on the battle royale genre’s gameplay.

Of course, any fan of other recent battle royale games will note that latency has become a pretty big issue for games like Escape From Tarkov. According to an interview done with Automaton CEO James Thompson on WCCF Tech, Mavericks is prepared for the heavy playerbase because it was built from the ground up for it, rather than other games that use a “single server architecture… with a lot of code”.

Currently planning on a Q4 launch for PC, Mavericks also intends to launch on current generation consoles. With a closed beta planned for this summer, there will be plenty of more news to come for this enticing new shooter. Even if battle royales aren’t your cup of tea, this one might be worth keeping an eye on.

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