Chances are you’re starting to take an interest in free-to-play shooters such as Fortnite and PUBG.
That’s what brought you here, right?
The good news is that there’s another new kid on the block – and it’s arguably just as fun.
Enter Radical Heights – a fast, fun and free shooter that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Plus, it’s been getting rave reviews.
Here’s everything you need to know about it – oh, and you check out our Fortnite explainer here.
What is Radical Heights?
Think Fortnite with vehicles.
It’s set in the 80s and features the same Battle Royale-style combat millions have fallen in love with.
One hundred people drop on a map and then it’s a fight to death, with the winner being the last person standing.
The key difference here is that there is in-game cash on the line – which you pick up when you kill someone.
This can then be used to buy weapons and prizes.
Who’s it made by?
It’s developed by Boss Key productions.
Cliff Bleszinski, who made a name for himself as the creative director of the Gears of War series at Epic Games before leaving the company to start a new studio, has recently accused Epic of poaching developers from his studio, Boss Key. Both are based in the Raleigh, NC area.
How can I play it, is itbout yet?
Yes, kind of. It’s available on Steam Early Access.
Be warned, though – a lot of the game is not finished, so some areas will look very rough around the edges.
As the developers explain: “Early Access is an incredible opportunity for us to get the core foundation of the game into players’ hands and start building a community almost immediately.
“At Boss Key, we have some really unique twists we want to put in the Battle Royale genre, and launching into Early Access allows for us to share those high level ideas with our community quickly.
“We want to work with our fans to build Radical Heights into the ridiculous sandbox of fun we want it to be. It’s all about community engagement, and once we launch, this game is no longer our game, but our community’s game, and we are ready to mould it together.”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
Boss Key said: “Our current plan is to be in Early Access for about a year. This gives us time to solidify the foundation of the game with our community, build out additional features, and develop a solid understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and flesh out a full release content plan based on what we think is right for the game.”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“Our team has a high-level vision for where we want Radical Heights to be by the time we leave Early Access and a solid road map for what new content we will drop throughout. Our community can expect new weapons, gadgets, customization, vehicles, game show events, game modes, and eventually a Daily/Weekly Challenges system! We will continue to push and identify features that the community thinks is best and fits within our development vision.”
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
Boss Key said: “Radical Heights is a work in progress; we are launching in a state that we have branded ‘X-Treme” Early Access. The core gameplay experience is complete. However, players should expect to experience placeholder assets in the world including; models, audio, animation, and even entire buildings. We are actively working on improving performance and bringing the level of polish up across the entire experience.”
Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
Boss Key said: “Radical Heights has been built from the ground up with Free to Play in mind, and we plan to keep it that way post Early Access as well.”
How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
Boss Key said: “Balancing weapons and combat experience will be the number one focus with the community.
“We have unique weapons and gadgets we are trying out, and we believe they work, but every game needs tuning and adjustment when you are dealing with a large number of players and their individual experiences.
“Outside of combat, we want to develop fun sandbox style experiences within the world, and take Radical Heights to unique places with social features. We need our community’s input to truly do this in a meaningful way.”
So, what is Fortnite?
Fortnite is a FREE co-op sandbox survival game.
Set on Earth, a worldwide storm has caused 98 per cent of the population to vanish and zombie-like freaks to take their place.
Up to four players work together on randomly-generated maps collecting resources and building fortifications to protect survivors from said zombies.
Wave upon wave of enemies head your way – with the aim of the game seeing you and your team trying to stay alive for as long as possible.
Yes, sounds awfully like Metal Gear Survive, doesn’t it?
Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like the Fortnite I’ve been hearing about? What’s all this about 100 players?
Yep – you’re right.
That’s because in September 2017, a new standalone mode called Battle Royale was launched – which brought the game into direct competition with PUBG – another battle royal-style shooter.
Each game sees 100 players plonked on to a map with little or no weapons or armour – you need to scavenge and explore to find these.
The two titles share a similar, ‘closing in’ mechanic – which sees the game area get smaller and smaller.
Venture outside the safe zone (a ‘storm’ in Fortnite’s case) and you’ll lose health rapidly, before being eliminated.
Both PUBG and Fortnite can be played solo or with a friend.
Word to the uninitiated – if you’re playing solo, do not try to team up – you’ll get killed.
How much does Fortnite cost?
It’s free – unless you’re mad about upgrades (which some people clearly are).
PUBG is free on mobile but costs around £15 on Xbox (which is a bit ropy at the moment and has been hampered by performance issues).
Here’s the cheapest place we found it, though, if you’re keen.
What games systems is Fortnite on?
It’s on Xbox, PC and PS4.
Both games have mobile versions, correct?
Yep, you’re correct.
There’s rumours of the game becoming cross-platform? Is that actually happening?
The demand for Fortnite cross-play between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is massive right now.
It’s certainly possible for both consoles to connect with each other, as you can play on PC with someone on console and mobile.
However, due to the politics between Xbox and Sony, it hasn’t happened.. yet.
What game has the better maps?
Let’s start with PUBG, which features two very different maps – Erangel and Miramar.
Both are 8x8km which means that if the safe zone is not kind, you’re going to be doing a LOT of sprinting.
Thankfully there are vehicles dotted around, which – although make you an easy target – can help you get from A-B very quickly.
Erangel rewards exploration, with Sosnovka Island’s military base one of the best places to grab good gear.
Just don’t get stranded – it’s a long swim back to the mainland.
Miramar is a refreshingly change of pace and takes place in a desert.
There are more sniping positions and vast open spaces with plenty of hills.
If you’re a camper, this map is for you – catering to a slower, more measured playstyle.
The Fortnite map doesn’t feature any vehciles – but it doesn’t really need them.
It’s smaller than both PUGB maps making it easier and quicker to traverse.
Despite plenty of hills and high points, snipers will find it hard to hide – as gamers tend to be more aggressive in searching for loot.
There are no other maps (yet), which will frustrate some, but developers Epic have added to their existing map with locations such as Tilted Towers, Snobby Shores, and Lucky Landing.
Where’s the worst place to land on Fortnite?
It all depends on your ability. Tilted Towers can be the best place if you’re experienced or worst place if you’re a noob.
It’s usually teeming with loot and powerful weapons – but most decent players will swarm on it pretty sharpish.
If you’re new to the game, head for Snobby Shores or Lonely Lodge – they’re a bit further out so they’ll be less competition for decent loot.
What game has better weapons?
PUBG has a load of amazing weapons – from assault rifles to pans, grenades and machetes.
The best ones are found in crates – which are dropped from the sky randomly – and usually snapped up within minutes.
Unlike Fortnite, they’re not defined by colour – rather a levelling system – from one to three. The higher the level, the better the item.
Combat is measured and clinical – leaning towards realistic simualtion than all-out gunplay. One shot will usually do immense damage so unless you’re skilled, you should keep your weapon holstered for as long as possible.
Fortnite meanwhile is far more accessible, with the colour of the weapon indicating how good it is.
There are far fewer weapons and items relative to PUBG – with each one having their own ammo type.
The shotgun is great for close range, while assault rifles are most popular in open expanses.
If you’re lucky enough to get a gun with a scope then you’re quids in.
Even better, the gold SCAR – which is the best weapon on the game – will render you pretty deadly in combat.
The best weapons are found in loot crates – so keep an eye out for these.
What game has better graphics?
PUBG goes for the gritty simulation look – which will win over more hardcore fans. It’s certainly not that attractive to look at, though (We’re looking at you Xbox).
Fortnite’s more childish visuals may put people off, but no one can deny it’s an impressive looking game – especially given its scale.
What’s more fun to play – and more accessible to complete noobs like me?
The biggest difference between the two is Fornite’s building mechanic.
Here, you need to use wood, stone, and metal to create structures to get a good vantage point over the competition.
Mess around for too long and you’ll be blown to bits – so it’s a steep learning curve.
PUBG, meanwhile, doesn’t let you do this, and you have find sanctuary wherever you can.
Luckily, you can go prone – and thanks to the green and brown colour palette (on one map at least), this can help you stay alive for longer than you think.
It’s also incredibly tense.
What’s a better mobile experience?
Critics are loving both – and rest assured both offer stable experiences.
They’re so good that some teachers are complaining they’re ruining lessons – with schoolkids playing the game instead of studying.
If you had to pick, I’d go with PUBG – simply because there’s more depth in the gameplay.
However, Epic’s Fortnite is showing no signs of slowing down – so expect more content and bigger announcements coming down the pipe.
So what’s better – PUBG or Fortnite?
Rather than running and gunning, a lot of the time will be spent hiding and avoiding combat in PUBG.
You’ll often get into the last 20 without firing a single shot altogether.
If that sounds more like your thing, then you’re encouraged to give this a go.
Fortnite, on the other hand, is all about action – and the fun construction element really helps add a new dimension to battles.
It’s far easier to pick up and play for an hour or two – plus, it’s free. It’s no wonder that more than one million people tuned in to watch some YouTubers play it recently.