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Bethesda Announces ‘Battlecry,’ Free-to-Play Melee Action Game

Posted on May 29, 2014

Bethesda announced ‘Battlecry’ yesterday, its upcoming free-to-play melee action game. Battlecry is being developed by the studio of the same name for PC and supports up to 32-player matches.


Battlecry pits up to 16 players against one another on each side for bloody multiplayer combat featuring swords, axes, laser crossbows, and hand-to-hand combat. It mixes a few themes and art styles to form a unique blend of medieval, post-apocalyptic, B-movie, and more historically-based visuals.

Players choose between three factions and five classes, with more factions & classes to be announced later. A breakdown of the five classes is below:

  • Enforcer: Tank class whose sword transforms into a shield to block attacks.
  • Duelist: Rogue class equipped with dual swords and a cloak.
  • Archer: Long-Range specialist that can charge up his/her bow to shoot several arrows at once.
  • Gadgeteer: Support class sporting a coilgun ( and other gadgets.
  • Brawler: Hand-to-Hand specialist with a mechanical arm that deals severe damage.

Each faction also has its own types of weapons for the respective classes. For example, a Royal Marines Archer uses a transforming longbow, while a Cossack Empire Archer combines a crossbolt pistol and a crossbow to enhance his/her long-range attacks.

Bethesda has not announced its lineup of games modes yet. Apart from the team deathmatch mode shown in the trailer, the Maryland-based publisher has also indicated a survival mode that will pit a player and his faction against ongoing waves of AI-controlled factions; this is similar to Halo Reach’s Firefight and Gears of War 3’s Horde.

Battlecry puts a lot of emphasis on a player’s movement. Its maps, or “Warzones,” have several grapple points so that players can quickly swing through the map to gain strategic positions. Mechanics like mantling to higher points and sprinting are automatic, giving the game a more fluid feel that modern multiplayer games like Titanfall and Battlefield have refined. And like most action-based multiplayer games, Battlecry’s in-game currency is used to level up a player through multiple tiers and skill trees, enabling new loadouts, weapons, gear, and player skins.

Bethesda has not announced any support for the modding community yet, although it’s likely that the Skyrim studio has elaborate plans.

You can check out the trailer here, which makes Battlecry almost look like a “Super Smash Brothers” alternative for the PC.

Battlecry will enter a beta in 2015.

- Nick "stuBEEF" Pinkerton.