Shack Chat: Which game or genre deserves a battle royale next?

The Shack Staff discusses battle royale modes and which games and genres might benefit from adding them.

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Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature where each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there. 

Question: Which game or genre deserves a battle royale next?


Demolition Derby/Death Race - Asif Khan, F-Zero Evangelist

I think the 100 person multiplayer battle royale mode would fit very well in games like Road Rash, Twisted Metal, or F-Zero. Hell, it would be cool to see Mario Kart with a 100 person battle mode. It is cool to see the idea finally be applied to games outside of the shooter genre, and I believe racers would benefit from the mode. I still play F-Zero X death race every week on my Wii U and would love to see a new take on that awesome game mode.


Dance Dance Revolution - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

I know it's entirely unlikely that we'd ever see this, especially since music games are no longer at their zenith, but a massive online DDR battle would be an interesting option. There aren't any current generation DDR titles to use, but a PC version would make sense, and players could duke it out against dancers from all over the world. There would have to be special "attacks" like "bombs" from the other DDR games in the series, or freezes and holds, much like Tetris 99

But, to be frank, I don’t think we need any other battle royale modes or games. We have a new one cropping up every week or so. The market is beyond saturated. If I had to see a game I already enjoy receive a new battle royale mode, however, DDR would definitely be it (and I would probably lose every time.)

As someone who spends a lot of time hopping from game to game for review, I don’t like to spend my down time playing online when I have other adventures to go on, though, and the battle royale games that are already out there have already cornered the market. That’s where the players are. I think we’re pretty well covered until the Next Big Thing comes along, and people go crazy over that. Maybe getting a new DDR and something like “1 vs. 99 Dance Mode” might help revitalize the series, though.


Mario Kart - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

So I don't know quite how the logistics of this would work out. I'm sure Nintendo trying to run servers that could hold this would be a nightmare, because people would hear "Mario Kart" and rush over to try and get in. But just picture the classic Mario Kart multiplayer Battle Mode. You get three balloons to take three hits and the idea is to hit any opponents with shells, banana peels, or whatever other power-up you can get your hands on.

Now imagine 100 of those players. I can't imagine that Mario Kart has 100 characters to choose from. (Or maybe it does. The Nintendo pantheon is a big place nowadays.) But if you have everyone playing as a customizable Mii, it works out much better. Create a giant multi-level course with pipes to teleport racers from floor to floor and let all 100 of those players go at it until one is left standing. Battle Mode is always at its best when there's more players, so why not throw 100 in there and let it stand out as the next great Battle Royale experience?


Gang Beasts or Human Fall Flat - Josh Hawkins, Expert in Boredom

While I can think of a few different games I’d like to see made into battle royale experiences, I think the style that sticks out to me the most would be making a game like Gang Beasts or Human Fall Flat into a larger scale battle royale experience. Imagine taking either of those games an incorporating the “last man standing” ruleset. The number of traps that you could set for other players using objects in the world, as well as the controls themselves would make for some unique and interacting gameplay.

If you really think about it, Gang Beasts already basically acts as a battle royale on its own, though much smaller than the majority of BR games out there. I could see myself hopping into a much bigger version of the game and punching away at others as I try to throw them off cliffs or into grinders. Sure, it isn’t the most exciting idea for a battle royale ever, but damn would it be fun.


Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit - Kevin S. Tucker, Afternoon Correspondent

I'm not much for competitive games, nor do I much care for online games in general, so I'm not really the person someone would come to for a new battle royale idea. With that said, I came up with about a dozen bad ideas before happened upon one good one: an online multiplayer battle royale racer matched to the gameplay of Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit. Not the PS3/X360 game, but the 1998 PC release that drops the player into a number of police chases set across America.

Matches could play out in small cities and the outskirts surrounding, where a large group of wanted racers all set out to evade the law. The risk-taskers will brazenly hit the streets and earn points for near-misses and other outlandish driving, while casual players can hide in parking garages or back alleys as opponents take the heat. And, in true competitive fashion, the drivers with the most cops tailing them are in the best position to funnel lawmen through other players' hiding spots. Done right, the city would be a swirling mass of police chases, right up until the point when there are so many cops and barricades that hardly anyone can escape.

Again, I'm not much for battle royales, but I'd play the hell out of that game.


PowerStone - Chris Jarrard, Understands the Dreamcast was the greatest console ever

When PowerStone first appeared on Sega’s short-lived Dreamcast console, the wild beat-em-up action grabbed hold of me from the first match. Set up as a four-way brawler with a overhead perspective, PowerStone asked players to beat each other senseless using their fists, special moves, and a variety of item pickups that would appear across its multi-tiered stages. Undoubtedly one of the greatest franchises to not receive a modern remake, bringing back Capcom’s underrated fighter in a battle royale format could be something special.

Like the prototypical battle royale, PowerStone asks its combatants to eliminate each other and find items to assist the process. Expanding the scope of the stages and drastically increasing the player count could offer the chance to see some insane fights as the players battle for the final few spots. As the original games had light platforming elements, the new battle royale version could leverage this as a way to heighten tension during the play area shrinking phases. Environmental hazards could also make a return, forcing players to take a dangerous path to stay within the constricting bounds of the safe zone. Sneak attacks and massive melees would be commonplace and undoubtedly awesome.

Capcom could sell forty different outfits for the fighters and make a bajillion dollars. This is impossible to f**k up.


Dance Central - Blake Morse, Electric Boogaloo

Remember the dance-off episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Imagine 100 people all competing to win in an online version of that without the sociopathic cheating and sleeping pills hidden in “energy balls.” You could even throw in the one-on-one dance challenges where players could compete against each other to see who can get the highest score on one song.

While a dive bar would still make a great prize, it would make more sense if the prizes were things like Xbox Gold or Game Pass subscriptions. Cash prizes and other gamer related swag would also work. Possibly winning stuff is definitely a good motivator to get gamers off their couches and shaking their butts.

The only major hurdle I can see is finding a way to keep these dance-offs from going on way too long. Maybe winners could be based on how high a score each player can get in an allotted time, or maybe we could just integrate it into Fortnite since people seem to love dancing in that game already.


Burnout - Charles Singletary Jr, Park Ranger

Hear me out, here. What better way for the Burnout series to return than to have 50 (100 may be a bit much) cars dropped onto a city map and they have to race around and eliminate each other?

Bringing a battle royale style mode into any racing game doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless there’s a demolition derby involved, but Burnout is made for this. If it never comes to fruition, I’m sorry for etching this wonderful idea into your brain.


The Long Dark - Bill Lavoy, Started Playing The Witcher 3 Again

I’ve been against the battle royale movement almost since the start. Just not for me. However, the emergence of Apex Legends, a very good battle royale game that wasn’t hyped or dragged through years of early access, and Tetris 99, a completely fresh take on battle royale, has me considering what other games could interpret this mode.

I don’t know exactly how this would work, but I would want to see if there was a fit for The Long Dark in some type of battle royale mode. It might not be a realistic mode for that game, but it would be fun to talk with other players and developers to see what sort of ideas emerge and if something could make sense. The main points for me, though, would be no PvP, and the mode would focus on surviving realistic elements (no zombies) and outlasting other players. A survival battle royale without a PvP aspect and realistic mechanics. Bet I don’t see that any time soon.


Bomberman - Sam Chandler, The Man from the Future

Battle royale games are a dime a dozen these days, so if we’re going to dedicate our time to playing one, it’s got to be really good. In fact, it has to be better than good, it has to do something none of the others have done. Aside from the recent Tetris 99, battle royale games all use guns and firearms - so what game doesn’t use those? Bomberman.

A lot of the hard work has already been done. The series is known for its intense multiplayer matches of 8 players, why not up the ante and make it 99 players? While I don’t know how this would be possible on the classic grid board, maybe it could be implemented in a Bomberman 64-like stage?

I think the real crux of what I’m getting at here is that I want more Bomberman games, and you know, it might actually work as a battle royale game?


Doom - Greg Burke, Nobody tells him nothin' 

Battle Royale is the hottest trend in gaming right now, but the one thing I felt would help improve the genre is to have less RNG weapon pickups. Something like DOOM would be great. You could have weapons and ammo always spawn in the same location, making those great choke points for battles. It would also be interesting to see a smaller, tighter world map, with caves and corridors rather than a HUGE open space to play in. 


Hitman 2 - Donovan Erskine, Intern

I think a smaller scale battle royale implemented into the Hitman games could be fresh and really exciting. I imagine somewhere around 16-18 players are spawned onto one of the games different locations. Everybody would begin the match dressed in one random disguise. From there, players can interact with or kill the numerous NPC’s roaming around to gain new disguises and items.

You could set traps to harm/disrupt other players and use different disguises and behavior analysis to blend in with NPC characters. Instead of a closing circle that inflicts damage to those not inside of it, there could be a circle that shrinks on the minimap as the game goes on, players not inside would stripped of their disguises and would have their location revealed to everyone else, making them good as dead.

With Hitman in its current state, there would need to be several core changes/additions made to suit a proper battle royale (multiple player models, improved shooting mechanics, more diverse environments), but I think a stealth-based battle royale mode could be something unique.


Survival Horror and Fighting Games - David Craddock, Long Reads Editor

The release of Tetris 99 was a wake-up call for me, and for the industry. Who said battle royale modes had to be exclusive to shooters? Virtually any multiplayer game can be rejiggered to create a BR mode, but two genres leapt out at me.

The first was survival horror. Several games have provided a blueprint that could be expanded to accommodate 100 players instead of just a few. Left 4 Dead encourage players to work together to escape a common threat, but that group dynamic can break down when an escape 'copter touches down and zombies are nipping at your heels. In Friday the 13th, players can escape as a group, or let one player fall prey to Jason--even offering him or her as bait--so the others can get away. When you think about it, those games could be considered battle royale but on a smaller scale, in environments with “walls” that don’t close in to force survivors closer together. A large-scale game of cat and mouse, maybe even casting some players in the role of monsters or killers who will eventually, inevitably turn on each other, could be a blast. And imagine if survivors could only be active at night (with servers for every time zone, natch).

My second answer comes straight from a childhood standing in long lines at one-on-one fighters like Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat. As the line inch forward, I'd wait until I could finally put my quarters or tokens on a dashboard and say the magic words: "I got next." Contemporary fighters feature lobbies where queues of players wait in virtual lines to challenge a winner. Why not create a tournament-style, battle royale-style mode for fighters where 100 players square off in 50 one-on-one bouts? All matches could take place in real-time, with winners being matched up and losers getting the boot until only two contestants (or kontestants) remain.


Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 22, 2019 2:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: Which game or genre deserves a battle royale next?

    • reply
      February 22, 2019 2:28 PM

      Pan-Man. I would say something similar to https://worldsbiggestpacman.com, but with more of a Championship Edition styling, and have it show you the surrounding board areas.
      Besides avoiding ghosts, a Pac-Man that eats a power pellet becomes faster and can eat other Pac-Men.

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        February 22, 2019 2:42 PM

        Checkers, chess

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        February 22, 2019 2:50 PM

        It exists and is amazing!

        https://www.bandainamco-am.com/game.php?gameid=30

        Four-players and super fun. If you mean expanding it to like 100 players then yeah, that would be really crazy

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          February 22, 2019 3:05 PM

          Didn't know about that. Yeah, expand it to 100 players and get it on my PC / Switch / other platforms.

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            February 22, 2019 3:08 PM

            If you ever see it in the wild then go out of your way to play it with a full group, super fun

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      February 22, 2019 2:31 PM

      stardew

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        February 22, 2019 2:42 PM

        the farmland is withering away. who will control the last plot to keep their crops going to market!?

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      February 22, 2019 2:31 PM

      Duke3d.exe

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      February 22, 2019 2:37 PM

      Fucking none.

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        February 22, 2019 2:41 PM

        Sweet answer.

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          February 22, 2019 2:46 PM

          I lean toward Dunkey's view on battle royale. I want to spend an hour and a half scouring an open world map only to be shot by a pixel 7000 miles away. NOPE. But I recognize the genre is popular so have your clicks and carry on!

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            February 22, 2019 4:23 PM

            Nice hyperbole. In Apex I go anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 minutes before fighting another group. The map actually isn't that big.

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        February 22, 2019 8:02 PM

        I believe this is the correct answer.

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      February 22, 2019 2:38 PM

      Stellaris would be interesting.

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        February 22, 2019 2:43 PM

        Doesn't it kind of do this already?

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          February 22, 2019 4:14 PM

          Oh yeah...true.

          Okay changing my vote to Midtown Madness

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        February 22, 2019 2:46 PM

        Doesn't it kind of do this already?

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        February 22, 2019 7:58 PM

        Multiplayer is basically this already, although it can only get up to about 25 players before it grinds to a halt.

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        February 22, 2019 9:56 PM

        I'm not sure Stellaris is a good fit, but if you could compress the time investment, I think a grand strategy battle royale of some sort could be very, very interesting.

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      February 22, 2019 2:38 PM

      Bomberman 256

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      February 22, 2019 2:43 PM

      i want a battle royale racing game. arcadey as fuck with lots of bumping into people

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        February 22, 2019 2:44 PM

        battle royale factorio. i don't even know what that would mean

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          February 22, 2019 3:08 PM

          I've seen a recording of people playing a special mod where there was 4 teams of three players each, with pvp between the teams. They had the science requirements turned down, so they has tanks shortly after an hour or so, and I think it lasted just about 2 hours.

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          February 22, 2019 3:09 PM

          Speaking of Factorio, looks like 0.17 may come out next week.

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        February 22, 2019 2:46 PM

        Give me a Rush 2049 BR

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        February 22, 2019 2:53 PM

        So, Mario Kart?

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          February 22, 2019 2:54 PM

          i was picturing real cars, like Blur, the best arcade racer there has ever been

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            February 22, 2019 2:55 PM

            Split/Second?

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              February 22, 2019 2:58 PM

              if you're going to add BR to a racing game from May 2010 i would prefer that game to be Blur

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                February 22, 2019 3:01 PM

                Too bad it's near impossible to come across a copy.

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        February 22, 2019 4:11 PM

        Seems like a quick code change to one of the TrackMania games and you’ll be all set.

        Also it would be funny as hell if this is what the Mario Kart iPhone game really was.

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        February 23, 2019 12:52 AM

        You mean FZERO?!??

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        February 23, 2019 3:08 AM

        https://youtu.be/EsJ0lghEJoQ

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      February 22, 2019 2:44 PM

      RACING DESTRUCTION SET ROYALE.

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        February 22, 2019 2:48 PM

        ARCHON ROYALE. I am Basilisk or Unicorn.

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          February 22, 2019 3:59 PM

          MAIL ORDER MONSTERS BATTL... oh wait the game already had that mode (Horde) 35 years ago!

          Make it so EA!!!!!

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            February 22, 2019 4:14 PM

            It was so good until endgame where it was vs only melee monsters. Psi-Amp + Gravity Gun is what I remember as my endgame (GG would displace them away from me, and IIRC Psi-Amp attacked the Mind stat rather than Health or Strength (which those endgame melee dudes stacked). I think it may have added a short term slow movement debuff too.

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              February 22, 2019 4:21 PM

              You have an amazing memory. I do remember trying to get the “Humanoid” (which was one of the weakest characters overall in the beginning) to be one of the most powerful, as you could basically use every (?) mod on the Humanoid, like gills (swimming), etc.

              Would make such an awesome modern game.

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                February 22, 2019 5:31 PM

                Oh yeah it was a human for sure. Might have been a psi-amp limited to them sort of thing. Or they had the highest Mind stat...Or free Hands!

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      February 22, 2019 2:44 PM

      Nintendo smash battle Royale, I would buy that

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      February 22, 2019 2:46 PM

      Mario Golf

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      February 22, 2019 2:50 PM

      Burnout Royale

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      February 22, 2019 2:53 PM

      I've yet to figure out why Star citizen hasn't just pivoted into a battle Royale mode.

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        February 22, 2019 4:25 PM

        Dump 100 people on a moon, see you in a month when you finally find eachother.

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          February 22, 2019 4:27 PM

          You could even matchmake based on owned ships, imagine zoning into a mission that was 100 fighters vs 1 giant warship controlled by 100 players. A space battle Royale game would be epic if designed well

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        February 22, 2019 9:49 PM

        They have, it's Backer Royale. But it's just about eliminating backers until there's only one left

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      February 22, 2019 3:00 PM

      Twin stick shooter. Geometry Wars BR.

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      February 22, 2019 3:06 PM

      as a long-time Tribes fan, i dunno how i feel about this, but ...

      http://wiki.theexiled.pwnageservers.com/Tribes_Royale

      ... i'd try it.

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      February 22, 2019 3:11 PM

      how about a meta battle royale where you play as a battle royale against other battle royales in the ultimate battle royale

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      February 22, 2019 3:13 PM

      Left 4 Dead

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      February 22, 2019 4:18 PM

      QWOP.

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      February 22, 2019 4:18 PM

      Quake on smaller maps with reapawning weapons armor and power ups

      Oh wait

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      February 22, 2019 4:19 PM

      Warlords

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      February 22, 2019 4:21 PM

      Bust-a-Move

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      February 22, 2019 4:38 PM

      Rock Band 99

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      February 22, 2019 4:40 PM

      Highlander...

      We definitely need a Highlander Battle Royale game.

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      February 22, 2019 4:41 PM

      Bushido Blade

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      February 22, 2019 4:46 PM

      Asif, I totally agree. A demolition derby game would be hilarious.

      I keep thinking about writing my own game and building a custom cabinet for it like the guys at Tested did with their Starlords game. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NS4Oy7s-TQw

      A demolition derby game would be a great fit for that.

      Midway had a fun one back in the 80s.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ViXMaHIGzJw

      On the cool version of the cabinet, players stood around it looking down at the screen.

      https://goo.gl/images/iawyMw

    • reply
      February 22, 2019 6:21 PM

      Condemned : 99 hobos

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      February 22, 2019 7:53 PM

      Destruction Derby Royale

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      February 22, 2019 8:03 PM

      Oregon Trail

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      February 22, 2019 9:54 PM

      Twisted Metal

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      February 22, 2019 11:40 PM

      Why not Solitaire Battle Royale? You know, attract the older folks to this new fad.

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      February 23, 2019 4:01 AM

      Mechwarrior.

      It’s already 4 mechs to a lance. It basically writes itself.

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      February 23, 2019 4:05 AM

      SSX

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      February 23, 2019 5:49 AM

      Mirror's Edge.

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      February 23, 2019 6:10 AM

      Don't Shit Your Pants

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      February 23, 2019 7:01 AM

      Shower With Your Dad Simulator

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      February 23, 2019 7:04 AM

      some people had some solid ideas. I really like the idea of a serious sam or LFD one where the "circle" is just a huge wave of zombies/enemies.

      I also wouldnt mind a battle royale with NPC threats, maybe just an arena that's also full of zombies or something, they could even have "events" throughout the royale that releases stronger enemies into the game that can kill you but provide solid loot too or something.

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      February 23, 2019 7:36 AM

      Quake/DOOM Eternal (more so latter since QC is dead) because it desperately needs the multiplayer attention. However, it should still include oldschool TDM/CTF/DUEL modes.