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May 2021

Shadow Arena

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Pearl Abyss
Release Date: First Half Of 2020

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'Shadow Arena' Drops Battle Royale Mode In Favor Of 3v3 Combat

by Rainier on Jan. 14, 2021 @ 3:30 p.m. PST

A fantasy arena fighter game, Shadow Arena features two modes, individual and team, where players will experience a unique action-packed combat system.

Survive the Arena Shrouded in Darkness: Every fighter must fend for themselves as the darkness creeps in ever closer... Countless will fall and only one will ultimately rise victorious on the fields of the Shadow Arena.

Master the visceral, real-time action to both land attacks on enemies and evade their blows to become the last spirit standing.

Shadow Arena pits 40 players against each other in a ruthless fight to be the last person standing on the battlefield. Players can choose from nine playable characters in the beta, each with their own unique fighting style. To climb to the top of the pack, players must slay monsters and collect loot to upgrade their gear and gain buffs. However, impeccable skill execution and well-timed evasive tactics are critical in securing victory.

Pearl Abyss announced that Shadow Arena has shifted its primary game mode from 1v40 battle royale to a team-based “Trio Mode.”

The change comes after an extensive review of player feedback during early access, which has given the developers the opportunity to give its players exactly what they’re asking for: more strategic and cooperative gameplay. The biggest change is a dramatic shift in scope, with the new “Trio Mode” narrowing combat into 3v3 battles, where each teammate has a clearly defined role.

Additionally, Pearl Abyss has outlined distinct Hero roles on the team: each hero in Shadow Arena now falls into three distinct categories, with more specific team roles that facilitate teamwork, strategy and a co-operative focus. 

  • Brawler: Has high life/defense skills and uses strong crowd control and rush skills to lead battles, but is limited in attack range. Brawler Heroes include: Schultz, Goyen, Jordine Ducas
  • Dealer: A fast and mobile class with high damage skills but has low HP and defense stats. Dealer Heroes include: Yeonhwa, Haru, Orowen, Ahon
  • Support: Focused on buffs and healing party members, but is not a strong 1v1 combatant. Support Hero includes: Herawen

In addition to the new game mode and team roles, the Shadow Arena development team also added several new features to re-balance and streamline gameplay to go along with its more strategic and cooperative gameplay. New features include: 

  • New Black Spirit Skills: Matchlock, a firearm, and Hand of Healing, a healing ability, are available as new Black Spirit Skills.
  • A new in-game shop, where players trade in tokens dropped by monsters in battle for items to increase team stats like attack points, HP, defense point, moving speed, and attack speed.
  • Other balance and gameplay changes include the removal of the Laytenn and Putrumas they were overpowered and threw off the combat balance.
  • A new function added to the post-match results screen allows players to see a breakdown of party members and enemies’ gear, stats and damage dealt in battle. 
  • The development team also addressed issues where attack and combo special effects obstructed the player’s view. These visuals have been toned down, and the team has also widened the viewing angle at a macro level to increase player visibility.

The original Shadow Arena game modes, like battle royale, are still available for casual play in private lobbies. 

Shadow Arena was originally a game within Black Desert, but eventually evolved into its own stand-alone game. While Shadow Arena does draw from Black Desert, it has created its own unique style, drawing from the MOBA, battle royale, and MMO genres to create an arena fighter. Shadow Arena has two gameplay modes: solo and team. While players can boast their skill in the solo match, complex strategic gameplay is required in the team mode. Players can also enjoy a distinctive co-op mode with a new style of PvP action.

Currently available through Steam Early Access, Shadow Arena will be coming to PC first and console later.

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