One of the more significant battle royale games to release this year, Naraka: Bladepoint, treats players to a surprising difficulty curve following their first matches. Some of the game’s early Steam reviews have called out the problem, claiming that developers need to either adjust the way training matches are presented or be more straightforward about its mechanics.
Developed by 24 Entertainment, Naraka: Bladepoint is a 60-player battle royale game similar to popular titles such as Apex Legends. Its particular focus on melee combat and player versatility make it stand out among a sea of competitors, describing itself as a next-generation battle royale game featuring an interactive vertical map design and enhanced mobility. Thus far, reviews on Steam have been mostly positive, albeit with a couple of significant hang-ups including claims of excessive monetization and the game’s less-than-obvious inclusion of bots.
Naraka: Bladepoint includes unannounced bot matches seemingly as part of the early player experience. While this is the case with many battle royale games, allowing new players to learn the game’s combat systems without being in a competitive PVP atmosphere, Naraka: Bladepoint doesn’t make this factor obvious to players. Some have even gone so far as to claim that the developer has gone out of its way to hide the fact that bots are included in the game.
This could be done in an effort to make players feel more skilled or to mislead them regarding the game’s actual difficulty before throwing them into the proper multiplayer experience. What makes this problem especially noteworthy is the fact that some reviewers have cited the game’s matches as being at least 80% bot-based up to 5 hours into the game. Steam’s refund policy only allows no-questions-asked refunds provided that players have less than 2 hours of playtime. This means that someone who is dissatisfied with Naraka: Bladepoint‘s real PVP experience may not even be aware of the difficulty level until it’s too late to get their money back.
What could 24 Entertainment do to fix this moving forward? For one, the game could be more upfront about the inclusion of bots, perhaps warning players when they’re about to enter a match with bots in it. It could likewise be made more clear when exactly Naraka: Bladepoint‘s “learning period” ends and players begin to enter matches against real people. This point should be well before 2 hours of playtime, though, in order to allow Steam users to get a full refund. Given how generally praised Naraka: Bladepoint‘s gameplay is otherwise, for the moment it seems as though the bot issue is one of the game’s major problems aside from more standard hiccups such as server instability. It’s possible that developers will look into resolving it sooner rather than later.