Years after the original MapleStory’s peak popularity, nobody could have predicted that the less popular sequel released in South Korea would make its way to the West. With the announcement of a Western release came several closed betas, along with details of the game that emerged for those that do not follow the gaming scene across the Pacific. No longer a prequel as previously thought, MapleStory 2 is a stark departure from the original in both graphic style and gameplay.
After the second closed beta back in July, developer NSquare and publisher Nexon have revealed that the anticipated sequel will officially launch this October. Perhaps the more shocking news attached to the announcement was the addition of its own Battle Royale mode, dubbed Mushking Royale. It’s clear that not even the veterans of the online multiplayer world can resist the temptations of the Battle Royale gold mine unleashed by Fortnite and PUBG.
Mushking Royale stands as a decent introduction to the new 3D world of MapleStory. Players can customize their avatars and claim their online names before the sequel comes out, and can get used to the controls in this new free-to-play spinoff mode. This is actually an ingenious method of both attracting newcomers and returning players alike, all the while maintaining the hype levels for the sequel and making decent money at the same time. Much like its Western counterparts, Nexon is also offering a Royale Pass, where leveling up in ranks nets players special items, and the premium pass (Gold Royale Pass) gives exclusive items that carry over to the main game when it launches in the fall.
In terms of gameplay, the Battle Royale mode is the same in concept as any other. Dozens of players are placed in a map with traps, bombs, and other hazards, and the last person (or squad up to 4) to survive the fight amongst all the chaos wins; all the while, mushroom spores shrink the viable spaces available. This type of PvP mode requires that players power up their characters each game by looking for and utilizing specialized items and combat abilities. While the new mode is still in pre-season, top winners for Solo and Squad modes of each region will receive various Founder’s Packages containing exclusive and rare loot.
Mushking Royale is available to play now, while the core free-to-play MMO sequel launches October 10, 2018.