Radical Heights, the newest game from Boss Key Productions, launched onto Steam Early Access yesterday after five months in development.
After the financial tank that was LawBreakers, Boss Key Productions has released their latest project onto Steam Early Access. Radical Heights, their free-to-play battle royale shooter, sets itself apart from the other battle royale games by taking on the aesthetic of an 1980’s game show, like a playable version of The Running Man. In the game itself, the players can earn prize money, which can be spent during matches for advantages and can be carried over to future matches.
In the short period in which Radical Heights was announced, given a trailer, and put into Early Access, the prize money system was a key element in a short-lived controversy over pay-to-win mechanics. In the $15 Founder’s Pack pre-order available on Steam, part of the pack included a permanent 10% boost to cash earned in-game. Fortunately, Boss Key Productions changed this part of the offer, and replaced the cash booster with a large lump sum of Rad Gems, a premium currency used to buy solely cosmetic clothing and accessories.
In its brief time on Steam, Radical Heights currently has a ‘Mixed’ reception, with 51% of the 2,534 reviews being positive. Many of the negative reviews cite issues such as poor optimization, plentiful bugs, and long load times. Given the game’s relatively short five month development time, many of these issues may be fixed in the future. There is some question as to how receptive customers will be to the game, though. The official trailer on Youtube has about 1,100 likes and 3,800 dislikes. Whether it’s because viewers weren’t fans of the bright 1980’s “X-treme” aesthetic or because it was seen as a clone of better battle royale games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnight Battle Royale is up for debate.
The early release of Radical Heights can be seen by some as a big risk. Drawing in players to a new battle royale game is difficult with two huge competitors in the field, but it also has to keep them interested while the game is polished and bugs are squashed. Given how LawBreakers tanked in the market, this might be a last-ditch move by Boss Key Productions, and time will tell whether Radical Heights will find its footing or be forgotten like many lesser 1980’s Saturday morning cartoons.