Reviews - Updated on April 8, 2022

April Fool’s jokes of developers have long become a good tradition. Sometimes fake news acts as such fun, but recently the release of special patches dedicated to April Fool’s Day has been in vogue – they add a bit of fun to the game, and sometimes change the gameplay in the bud. Most often, session projects are distinguished by this: we all remember the battles with a giant snail from War Thunder or the battles of ball tanks on the dark side of the Moon in World of Tanks.

On April 1, 2018, Gaijin Entertainment once again joked – this time the experiment was set on the still unreleased network action movie Enlisted. It introduced a battle royale mode called Cuisine Royale, where players fought each other with kitchen utensils and other available items – a logical development of the PUBG deadly frying pan theme for April Fools’ fun. The public appreciated the joke, and soon the developers announced that Cuisine Royale would become an independent game. On December 12 last year, the full release took place – it’s time to take a look at what this battle royale is.

April 1st, trust no one

For those who suddenly forgot what the essence of the piano genre is, let me remind you of the basic principles: players with bare hands appear on a fairly large map, where weapons and equipment are scattered in secluded places, and the main goal is to remain the only survivor. Death is threatened not only by losing a shootout with other such poor fellows, but also by falling outside the ever-shrinking “circle of life”, which does not allow sitting in a corner. It all ends, as a rule, with a fight between the last two or three lucky ones on a narrow patch, when the circle of safety has almost collapsed. Particularly dodgy guys manage to get the title of winner without killing at all – if you try, then other participants and that very deadly zone that causes damage to everyone outside the circle will do everything for you.

The genre requires the ability not only to shoot accurately, but also to make non-trivial tactical decisions, and victory brings inexpressible emotions (becoming the best among dozens of players is worth a lot) – this is probably why royal battles are so popular now.

Cuisine Royale is making full use of her “big brother’s” legacy: from Enlisted, she got large-scale maps and weapons that can be found and used on them. Gaijin Entertainment’s future online action movie is dedicated to the battles on the fields of the Second World War, so it’s not surprising that the locations in Cuisine Royale match this setting. Small villages in Western Europe or hot Mexico – the breath of a serious war is felt everywhere: fortifications and trenches, stationary firing points with machine guns, artillery and anti-aircraft batteries are often found. Aside from the general frivolity of what is happening, it is worth noting the good detailing of each map: the Dagor Engine performs well not only in large-scale battles in War Thunder, but also in a shooter where much more attention is required to working out the little things, and large locations are not so important. However, the local maps cannot be called small in any way – vehicles (among which there are such exotic things as a rocket pack) are not superfluous at all: sometimes it is not easy to get to the safe zone without them.

Cuisine Royale game review

There are no parachute landings in Cuisine Royale, hence the minimum number of hand-to-hand fights – at the start, everything is far from each other, and by the time of the meeting with the first enemy, the player will probably already have a normal weapon with him.

Most of the weapons are also taken from the era of World War II: there is a Mosin rifle and a Thompson assault rifle, M1 Garand and SVT, PPSh and MP40 submachine guns – a gentleman’s set of any self-respecting WWII-themed shooter. However, there are also enough modern samples – for example, M4A1 or HK MP5N. Such a variety of varieties does not bother anyone: rather, on the contrary, weapons and cards are perhaps the only thing that looks serious in this game.

Oh those jokes

The frying pan, which has become one of the symbols of PUBG, is a trifle in Cuisine Royale. A colander can act as a helmet here, pots become shoulder pads, and a cast-iron waffle iron covers the back. What adds to the comic relief is that each character starts the match in the same underwear. As a result, the shootouts look like a party in a mental hospital: jingling dishes, madmen dressed in very strange outfits try to kill each other, using quite serious weapons.

The matter is not limited to cooking tools alone – you can pick up a dropper that restores health points, or a glowing halo that reduces damage from the forces of Darkness (as the shrinking zone is called here), and special rabbit slippers allow you to jump high and block damage when falling from a great height.

Just right for the April Fool’s joke, which was originally this royal battle, but these purely cosmetic gags are clearly not enough to constantly maintain the desired degree of fun. After some time, the humorous mood disappears, you no longer look at the external absurdity of the heroes, but at the effects that the equipment gives. In general, the gameplay here is quite standard for the genre, and there are no more truly funny moments than in any other “piano”.

Cuisine Royale game review

There was a place for realism: for example, the damage model takes into account the speed and range of the bullet, which should not be forgotten when shooting at long distances.

Black magic

On the other hand, Cuisine Royale cannot be called the most ordinary battle royale either – there are also unique features that affect the gameplay. When you kill an enemy, you get not only the loot that fell out of him, but also a certain number of souls of sinners, which can be used in several ways at once.

The first is the use of a special skill that is unique to each of the four available characters. For example, the beautiful Annie can slow down time (a rather unusual skill for an online shooter, but it works adequately here), and Clyde turns into a deadly beast in close combat.

The second opportunity to use the pool of souls usefully is the magical seals needed to create traps and conduct rituals. There are more than a dozen options for traps, and they are especially important at the end of the match, when each enemy poses the maximum threat: a “trap” installed in the right place will throw anyone who comes too close to the side, detonate a fragmentation or smoke grenade, reduce movement speed or increase the recoil when firing.

Rituals are even more interesting: they cost a lot, but the effect of them affects all players on the map. For example, “Brown Note” turns every street toilet into a teleportation booth, “Fast Run” doubles the speed of running, but probably the most fun turned out to be the ritual of the zombie apocalypse – the survivors are attacked by crowds of the dead, while the cunning man who caused the zombie invasion sits somewhere in a secluded place. You can take no more than three seals into battle, and it’s far from certain that each player will have time to use at least one of them – souls still need to be accumulated, which is not so easy.

Cuisine Royale game review

The game carefully highlights those items that are clearly useful to you or are improved versions of existing ones (such items are highlighted in purple).

The choice of seals for a future battle is not the only way to customize your character. In the workshop, for game currency and pumping points, both purely cosmetic improvements are purchased that allow you to stand out on the battlefield, as well as valuable items – for example, a mask, the owner of which receives several souls of sinners at each meal (and you will have to eat often, given that this is the main way to replenish health points).

However, most of the players flaunt practically what their mother gave birth to (you didn’t forget that at the start each participant of the match appears almost without clothes?) – the reason for this, apparently, is the aggressive policy of monetization of the game. You won’t be able to get access to many items in the workshop without purchasing a “book of stories” – and its cost is comparable to the average price of most modern games. The same book will be needed to unlock premium tests, without which it is much more difficult to accumulate experience and money – pumping slows down, which makes it difficult to get even to things purchased for game currency. Isn’t it too much for an April Fool’s joke?

Hero Torden can deliver Thunderstrike directly from the sky.

***

After Fortnite, you won’t surprise anyone with a frivolous Battle Royale, but here the developer is not burdened by the burden of the most popular game in the genre – hence, probably, such high prices in the store. Cuisine Royale will be a good option for those who want to try the royal battle for the first time – it is noticeable that we have a project without any special claims. But the work of Darkflow Software cannot be called unfinished either – it boasts excellent optimization, and regular updates and new seasons that steadily add new “features” are another confirmation that everything here is actually more serious than it seems.

Pros: low entry threshold; interesting mechanics of hero skills and magic seals; big cards; optimization.

Cons: monetization.

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