Have you ever played Apex Legends and thought to yourself “I really just wish this was more like Tom Clancy’s The Division?”. Yeah, neither have I, but that’s what Midwinter Entertainment has delivered with Scavengers, the latest in the long line of Battle Royale contenders coming soon to a mobile phone near you.
Scavengers is actually a pretty interesting mashup of PvPvE with some light survival mechanics, all set in a frosty wasteland that has some damn good storm effects.
Your party of three drop into the wasteland with the goal of grabbing data packs, scavenging for loot, and attempting to leave on a drop ship as the last squad alive. It has all the elements you would expect from a Battle Royale, however Scavengers does a really great job of making it all make sense from a logic perspective, which is what really makes it stand out.
Spread all across the map are various settlement sites that will be filled with mobs for your to clear out. These get increasingly harder as the match progresses, which makes for some really tough fights. Many of these camps will also have a collection of data to be extracted, which means you will have to defend a point while your handy drone gets the data packs you need to be at the top of the scoreboard.
Just like Apex Legends, players will choose from a roster of Explorers who each have unique abilities to round out their squad. There’s SHOTGUN LADY who has a barrier that will protect your party not only from bullets, but from the barrage of storms that can appear at a moment’s notice. Or there’s YELLOW JACKET who has a slipstream power that will boost everyone’s run speed as long as they are trailing behind him, which is great to close big gaps and find some shelter.
You need to find shelter because the storms that I mentioned earlier, they will actually cause your player to freeze to death. You need to find shelter until the storm subsides, and then find a designated fire put to warm yourself back up. You also need to forage for food, by the way of berries, or hunting some beasts. It’s a cool concept, but ultimately it’s just another bar to manage and keep an eye on.
The weapons all feel a little standard and weak, and I constantly feel like I run out of bullets before being able to land killing blows. What is interesting however is that in addition to rare weapons out in the wilds, each character has a signature weapon that can be crafted, which is an interesting choice. It makes choosing your Explorer a little more strategic, and I really like that.
There’s a leveling system in each round, and when you do manage to level up you can use resources gathered in your expedition to upgrade or craft special items, including that special weapon I mentioned earlier. This encourages you to really explore and raid the various camps across the map, and choose how you spend your scrap. I really like that too.
What I don’t like is the research track between matches. Using resources that you extract from the wastes, you can start researching new weapons, and items, which will make them appear out in the field for your use more regularly. Each of these research projects takes time, ranging from 20 minutes to 4 hours. Of course, for a small fee of in-game currency, you can speed up these research tasks. Seeing this kind of system in a PC game is a little jarring, as it is definitely pulling from the mobile design space. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I also don’t think the game is strong enough to warrant this kind of spend right now.
That’s the rundown on Scavengers. It’s a cool concept, in a cool world, and it’s doing some different things in an overcrowded genre. Do I think it’s strong enough to stick the landing? That, I’m not quite sure about. I’d definitely advise giving it a few months to see if people are still playing before investing money into this one.