Shroud Meets Katniss
Photo Credit: Kienan Lafferty

Shroud on Islands of Nyne: “It’s like PUBG but Hunger Games”

On the evening of April 10, 2018, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek hosted a 5+-hour live stream for the usual PUBG session. But instead of closing it out with Battlegrounds, he tried out another battle royale game that was in closed alpha which looks quite promising: it’s called “Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale.” Despite the ridiculous name, it actually seems to be quite an enjoyable BR game. Shroud liked it, so why not others?

Believe it or not, the game has been in development since 2016 and could arrive on Steam as Early Access within the year or early 2019. In the case of Shroud, he received a Closed Alpha invite to test the game. As it turns out, it was quite a breath of fresh air in the battle royale category of online shooters. Even though such multiplayer game is oversaturated at this point right after the re-emergence of class-based/hero-based shooter games in 2016 (even though this was brought up by Team Fortress 2 in 2007), especially with Overwatch, along with its competing titles on that same season as well as the following year after such as Paladins, Battleborn, Quake Champions and LawBreakers.

In this day age since mid-2017, nobody thought that the rise of survival shooter games that mimic the Japanese cult classic film Battle Royale and Hollywood’s movie adaptation of The Hunger Games series would cripple the now-former big names In multiplayer for Twitch such as League of Legends, DotA 2, Overwatch and Counter-Strike Global Offensive – starting with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which was a direct inspiration from H1Z1: King of the Kill and the Arma-modded DayZ.

As the game got bigger, every other developer had to ride on the sudden trend; with Epic Games being the biggest competitor right now with their smash hit Fortnite: Battle Royale. When two of the biggest names in its own category began to spread like wildfire in the world of gaming, some would compete against it but may or may not be able to be in par; games like Rules of Survival—which is a very successful title especially in Asia, the upcoming Dying Light: Bad Blood, and now, Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale. Will the latter be any good? From Shroud, he says it’s pretty fun.

From Shroud’s live stream, you can already tell the game’s direct inspiration from PUBG, except it is based on the future and its ambiance looking like a lovechild created by Halo and The Hunger Games/The Maze Runner. It may be in Closed Alpha, but its graphics and gameplay already look like the game is ready to be launched on Steam.

At the first hour of the stream, Shroud is placed on queue with ninety-nine other competitors inside some sort of space station until 60 seconds have expired. A sexy female AI voice warns everyone that they will be deployed onto the Island in 10 seconds.

Shroud is launched onto a rather small-sized map. Waiting for a parachute or glider to guide him all the down, he was surprised to find out the player lands down like some sort of epic superhero like Superman, complete with a clenched fist hammering down on the floor as he lands. All the players were wearing skintight suits that are similar to, again, The Hunger Games, or even The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Everyone is equipped with a knife that can either be thrown or used as a melee weapon. In the case of Shroud, he picked up a kill via throwing his knife on the head behind a player with an assault rifle. “Oh okay, it has mods too,” he said as he was looting the corpse.

Now confident with a scoped assault rifle in his hands along with body armor and helmet, he ventures into the woods where the safe zone is located. At this point, he’s just wandering around since no enemy was within him until he heard gunshots from a nearby hut. He scouted to shoot anyone that went out the shelter, but no living body was fleeing the scene. He recons inside only to find 2 bodies lying on the floor. With nothing in his interest, except for a shiny hunting rifle, he ventured out again until he found some ruins.

He swapped his current assault rifle with a new one he found on a surface near a mossy bridge.

Checking where to go, he was surprised to know that the circle was swiftly shrinking. The map interface was cool—unlike PUBG or Fortnite, the map pops up from a hologram on a wrist device.

As he crossed over the mossy bridge, he found a small sunken cargo in the river near. He dived to see what’s up, and lo and behold, some ammo and a scope for his sniper rifle. “Oh wow this is some treasure hunting shit,” he said in surprise.

Just as he emerged, he finds a runner. With Shroud being his naturally good self, he shoots the guy clean with just several bursts.

Happy with his kill, he went up to loot the body but unfortunately, such action would become his demise. The announcer/AI then says to him, “You have been eliminated.”

And just like that, he said, “You know, I actually had a really great time with this. I hope it succeeds like PUBG because it feels somewhat unique.” After the match, he said goodnight to his loving followers.