Blast Out, formerly known as RUiN, was inspired by popular Warcraft III mod Warlock, which, in turn, inspired 563 fans to pledge just over £10,000 to successfully fund it on Kickstarter. Considering that budget’s missing a few digits on the games to which Blast Out draws comparison, this vibrant battle-arena brawler is shaping up well.
Fast paced, action-based combat sees ranged spells perpetually flung and dodged in an isometric dance of death that marries Super Smash Bros. and SMITE.
Despite the accessible controls and aesthetic, there’s really a lot going on beneath the surface, so it’s unfortunate that you’re left to learn lessons in actual multiplayer matches and feel like you're letting the side down in the process. Though there are simple, to-the-point text tutorials that put forward the basics in slightly broken English, they don’t quite prepare you for the reality of putting everything into practice during a frenetic combat situation. Thankfully, the fledgling community is nothing less than accommodating, encouraging new players rather than bearing ill will. Bot matches would regardless be a welcome addition to the final game, if only to provide an alternative to waiting out the often lengthy matchmaking process.
Blast Out’s still in alpha phase, with developer Tarhead Studio looking to expand the game together with the community over the next six or so months until final release. They’re even open to transitioning to a free-to-play business model if there’s call for it, which wouldn’t be a stretch, as the groundwork is laid with loot boxes and ingame currency already dictating your access to gear, just without microtransactions as an optional means to speed the earning process up. An asking price of just £9.99 and the promise of rewards for early adopters in the event that this happens should help negate any potential sting in the tail.
The very solid foundations of a game are here, though there's still a lot more to erect around them and a few building faults to smooth over. We have faith Blast Out will get there however, not least because Tarhead have already done the hardest work in nailing the fundamentals down to create an Early Access product that’s visually and mechanically rich, with balanced gameplay that calls for hard-fought, nerve-shredding matches. If you can accept the few caveats that come with the current build, Blast Out is a rare Early Access game that we’d recommend grabbing now, in place of exercising caution and waiting to see how the final release shapes up.