Is Naraka: Bladepoint, Worth Playing?

Naraka: Bladepoint is a breath of fresh air in the battle royale genre, where new titles often feel like “more of the same”, and genre-defining innovation is a rarity.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Battle Royale
Developer: 24 Entertainment
Publisher: NetEase Games Montréal
Price: Free
Release Date: 12 August 2021
Supported Modes:

Free-2-Play Relaunch.

On 13 July 2023, Naraka: Bladepoint relaunched as a free-2play title, with full cross-platform multiplayer support between all current and new (PS5) platforms, increasing the reach and longevity of one of the most interesting and unique titles to come from the Battle Royale genre since Fortnite (2017).

Optimization.

Naraka: Bladepoint is visually stunning and performs incredibly well; however, this performance comes at a cost; Naraka: Bladepoint is one of the first games that actively discourages players from installing it on a mechanical drive.

While technically playable on a traditional HDD, the performance hit renders Naraka: Bladepoint borderline unplayable even on high-end gaming HDD such as a WD Black Gaming Drive.

When running Naraka: Bladepoint from a Nvme SSD, the performance gains are unparalleled, with ultra-smooth 1080p/120fps (RX 5700 XT) gameplay that rarely drops below 100fps, even during large-scale, multi-team engagements.

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Visuals.

Naraka: Bladepoint is the first 9th generation battle royale, and while the “next generation” upgrades received by titles such as Fortnite Battle Royale and Call of Duty Warzone are appreciated, there are unavoidable limitations that come with being a cross-generational title.

Naraka: Bladepoint has freed itself of those limitations by requiring an SSD and moderately powerful hardware, which, while sad news for those who are still limited to 8th-generation hardware, is great news for owners of higher-end PC hardware and 9th-generation consoles; finally, we have a battle royale that takes full advantage of our hardware.

In short, Naraka: Bladepoint is stunning, the map is spacious and inviting, and the character models are of higher quality than anything the genre has given us before, with polish and production values to rival even the best that the genre has to offer.

While Naraka: Bladepoint was originally intended to be a 9th-generation exclusive, a version of the game with lower-quality visuals and resolution was eventually released for the Xbox One in December 2022, around six months after its Xbox Series X launch (June 2022).

However, just two years later, in June 2024, this version would be pulled to allow developers to focus on PC and current-gen offerings.

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Character Customization.

Naraka: Bladepoint has one of the strongest character customization systems I have ever seen. Players are given a huge amount of facial customization options, including the ability to upload a photo of themselves to aid in the character generation.

You may notice I said facial customization, and that was no mistake; with the exception of skin tone, players are unable to change any other aspect of their character’s body through the customization panel.

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Fun To Play.

Naraka: Bladepoint is incredibly fun to play; once you get out of the “bot leagues”, while I understand and actually support putting players in bot lobbies for the first few matches to acclimatize them to the map and their character’s abilities, I can also understand why players who find out their early wins were essentially meaningless are disappointed.

I feel a greater sense of accomplishment in my 2nd, and 3rd place finishes vs real players than I did from a string of victory royales vs bots.

While the bots in Naraka: Bladepoint are miles ahead of the bots in Fortnite and Realm Royale, they are not that bright and often flee from combat, exposing their undefended back to the player.

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Hero Abilities.

While being a battle royale at its core, Naraka: Bladepoint utilizes several systems that are more commonly found in role-playing games (upgraded character traits and stats) and hero shooters (unique hero abilities).

While these features alone do not make combat between high and low level characters impossible, it does give a slight advantage to players who have levelled up a character’s traits considerably.

On the topic of levels, using a weapon to strike down foes earning experience in that weapon class, unlocking rewards, immortal treasures (loot boxes), and unique cosmetics, while this alone is not reason enough to main a weapon that doesn’t match your playstyle, it is certainly a motivation to explore other playstyles, even if only for a few matches.
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Community.

This is funny; despite playing for hours since the game launched, I have not communicated with a single member of the community; while one player forgot to mute their mic and treated the team to a constant stream of keyboard clicks, overall, the community is rather reclusive.

That being said, what the community lack in vocabulary they make up for in teamwork, and every team of randoms I have encountered has worked well together, marking items and points of interest for each other as well as calling out locations and covering for one another during intense engagements.

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Naraka: Bladepoint FAQ

NARAKA: BLADEPOINT is a battle royale video game developed by 24 Entertainment and published by NetEase Games Montréal, it was released on 12 August 2021 and it is Free-2-Play.

Platform Availability.

NARAKA: BLADEPOINT is available on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Are The Developers Active?

Naraka: Bladepoint remains in active development, with new playable characters, weapons, maps, modes, and special events being added on a regular basis.

How Many People Play Naraka: Bladepoint?

Due to a successful multiplatform free-2-play relaunch, Naraka: Bladepoint is doing better than ever and reaching a new all-time high of 372,076 concurrent players on Steam on 8 April 2024, not including its sizable Xbox community and PS5 community.

46462 Steam users are currently playing NARAKA: BLADEPOINT (Updated July 20, 2024, 8:50 pm)

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Is Cross-Platform Multiplayer Supported?

Naraka: Bladepoint supports:

  • Cross-Platform Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Platform Parties.
  • Cross-Generational Multiplayer.
  • Cross-Generational Parties.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Naraka: Bladepoint offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Skill-Based Matchmaking
  • Region-Based Matchmaking
  • Solo Matchmaking
  • Group Matchmaking

Are There In-Game Microtransactions?

The Naraka: Bladepoint in-game store sells:

  • Cosmetic Items.
  • Cosmetic Item Bundles.
  • Premium Currency Bundles.
  • Premium Battlepass.

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • Console - Controller.
  • PC - Controller.
  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Naraka: Bladepoint is rated PEGI 12+ and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Naraka: Bladepoint is an excellent change of pace for a genre that is predominantly balanced around ranged encounters, and the fact that it continues to arrive on new platforms is wonderful news.

While there is a time and place for exclusive titles, I feel that for players to get the best experience possible, all live service titles should be on as many platforms as possible.

Is NARAKA: BLADEPOINT Worth Playing In 2024?

10
Honest Video Game Reviews has given "NARAKA: BLADEPOINT" a rating of 10/10, indicating that it is genre-defining and essentially unmissable. While it may not be 100% perfect, it comes close, and the average gamer is likely to both enjoy and recommend it to others.

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