It’s Halo meets Portal – or Portal meets Halo, whichever you prefer. Either way, one thing’s for sure: it’s the next big thing in first-person arena shooters.
With the new year among us, we thought it would be good to revisit some games that we recommend trying out. Today we revisit Splitgate, a unique arena shooter that’s enjoying an ever-growing player base on both PC and consoles. What makes this game unique and exciting? Read on to find out!
At its core, Splitgate will remind players of the best elements of Halo and Portal, combined with slick map designs that incorporate notes from some of the stalwarts of past arena shooters. As you gain momentum and fly around the maps of the current open beta, you will likely find yourself transported to flashbacks of Quake and Unreal Tournament, complete with the adrenaline rush that came with those early arena shooter experiences. There was something captivating about building momentum in Quake and discovering a whole new way to move in 3D space that directly corresponds to the feeling you get when trying Splitgate for the first time.
Splitgate has very tight movement and momentum-building options at its core, with a floaty and lofty jump height boosted by the ability to use a short burst jetpack. Fans of Halo will automatically find the movement familiar and welcoming. However, the addition of Portals allows you to gain and maintain momentum in ways you hadn’t necessarily considered before in a first-person shooter.
Portals are a fantastic addition to the genre; not only do they provide Splitgate with a fresh and unique experience, but they also allow for a greater skill ceiling and more dynamic experience. Gravity suddenly becomes your biggest friend, as you use portals to translate vertical momentum into horizontal and fly through the air sniping those below you as you pass by.
But portals are not just limited to providing excellent momentum-based options. Why fly through the air when you can simply open up a portal behind a pesky sniper and either step through to shoot them in the back? Why not take it to another level and don’t even step through at all? The game allows you to throw grenades and shoot through portals, opening up some mind-bending play opportunities. But best of all, each player controls their own set of portals, opening and closing them as they desire. Portals are a core feature of Splitgate and deeply entrenched in the gameplay design at every juncture.
Outside of portals, the game offers fantastic, rewarding gunplay. The hitboxes and net code feel on-point and every gun holds a place in the meta.
Outside of portals, the game offers fantastic, rewarding gunplay. The hitboxes and net code feel on-point and every gun holds a place in the meta. No matter if you find yourself equipped with a sniper rifle or the BFB baseball bat, you will have a strength and a weakness to try and adapt to.
Team modes are as you would expect for an arena shooter, with weapons spawns on timers and map control proving key to any success. But simply camping an angle and holding against incoming opponents won’t cut it here, as savvy players will simply utilize portals to circumvent your camping. Thus, communication and cohesive team movements will be crucial at the higher levels of play. But no matter your skill level, you will be sure to have a blast in Splitgate, which comes with solid matchmaking features for both casual and ranked play.
There are currently 13 maps available during the open beta, with more on the way. Each map has its own distinct feel, look and flow. In addition to this, there is a quick tutorial to help you learn the ropes, a more advanced practice range for honing your skills and fine tuning your settings and a time trial race mode for practicing your use of portals, movement options and learning each map.
Splitgate comes with all the modern features you would expect from a free to play title in 2021: a battlepass with premium and free unlocks (currently entirely free during the beta), as well as daily and weekly challenges with a range of rewards. Finally, there is also an item shop selling cosmetics that can be purchased with earned in-game currency or the premium currency splitcoin.
Splitgate is currently free and available today on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One, with cross-play across all platforms. So download it, give it a try and we’ll see you in the arena.