Radical Heights was a free-to-play battle royale game developed and published by Boss Key Productions. It was released as Early Access on Steam on April 2018 and discontinued on May 2018 due to Boss Key Productions shutting down.
Why It Wasn't Radical
- It was an obvious desperate attempt to cash in on the Battle Royale craze, more specifically Fortnite, as seen by how the developers announced the game four days after discontinuing their previous game, LawBreakers, then released it literally the day after the announcement.
- Ironically, Cliff Blizenzki himself worked on Fortnite prior to him leaving Epic Games, meaning he tried to cash in on a game he helped develop part of.
- Boss Key described the game as "a passion project" despite how much of an obvious cash grab and how unpolished the game was.
- Cliff Blezinski later indirectly admitted that the game was indeed a rush job for a quick buck.
- The game only had 5 months of development when it was released as "Early Access", resulting in the game being obviously very unfinished, unpolished, and full of bugs.
- The game was so rushed and unfinished that the developers had to describe it as "X-Treme Early Access" because even by Early Access standards the game was too unfinished (and not just because calling it "X-Treme" fit well with the '80's aesthetic the game was going for).
- Terrible optimization. High-end PCs had trouble running the game smoothly, even on low settings.
- An insulting inclusion of Micro-transactions despite the game being so unfinished. The game even offered a "Founders Pack" for $15.
- At launch, the Founders Pack included 10,000 credits which could've been used to buy weapons, essentially making the game Pay-to-Win. Boss Key had to quickly remove the credits due to the backlash.
- Ugly and generic art style with a very obvious use of stock assets. Lots of buildings were completely untextured and completely empty.
- Bad map design. For example, there was a building with no roof and no doors that you could easily get into, but there was no way to get out of, leaving you trapped for good.
- Obnoxious '80's style narrators, with their lines of dialogue often overlapping one another.
- There were lots of cheaters with no anti-cheating measures to keep them at bay.
- The gameplay itself was very generic, offering nothing new to Battle Royale games.
- Glitches were abundant.
- Terrible driving controls.
- Sound design was almost non-existent.
- Matches were filled with bots.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- The "Battle Royale as a Game Show" concept was at least something new for what had quickly become an extremely over-saturated genre.
The initial announcement of Radical Heights was met with harsh criticism and hate from gamers due to it being announced right after Boss Key discontinued LawBreakers and because the game was released the next day as "X-treme Early Access". Reviews were mixed-to-negative, most of them pointing out how poorly optimized and unfinished the game was, even by Early Access standards. The game had a rather decent player count at launch but it quickly dropped to low numbers in the following days.
Boss Key was accused of "chasing fads" because their previous game was a failed Hero Shooter like Overwatch which they immediately followed with an unfinished Battle Royale like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. The studio also met harsh criticism over calling the game "A five month passion project".
Only one month after release, Radical Heights was declared a failure by Cliff Bleszinski in his announcement that Boss Key was shutting down. In his announcement, Cliff described the game as "a last-ditch attempt", indirectly confirming that Radical Heights was indeed a rushed cash-grab as many had called out. Bleszinski also announced that he's retiring from the games industry for the second time. Bleszinski later stated that he will never make another game.
On August 2018, Radical Heights' servers were shut down without an official announcement.