Dreams are a funny thing. Brent Davies, teenage MMO junkie and light novel enthusiast, once dreamed of being transported into a fantasy world based off of a video game where he could start a new life with new skills and powers.
One day, the young man’s dream comes true, but it isn’t the kind of game he was expecting. There are guns, bombs, and a bizarre pink rabbit mascot who expects him to fight the 99 other people who were brought to this new world with him.
A new life of glory and riches may indeed await, but Brent will need to survive first. And maybe learn how to shoot.
A LitFPS where not everything is as it seems.
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Every day on Royal Road I wade through a sea of uninspired Isekai web novels. Authors churn out story after story, centering them around some ‘unique’ gimmick, as if this one minor difference will make them the new Mother of Learning.
But when the focus is on milking the gimmick, these stories end up just checking off a list of tropes, and forget to be fun, entertaining, or creative.
Isekai Battle Royale: I was an MMORPG player transported into an FPS World! (or just IBR for short), succeeds where others have failed.
It’s funny. Really fucking funny.
IBR’s narrator, the voice in your ear guiding you through this comedic romp, lovingly describes the misadventures of Brent Davies, the main character, as famous nature documentary commentator David Attenborough might narrate the first steps of a baby foal as it stumbles through an unfamiliar environment. The narrator’s sense of humor is quite possibly the best part of this story, and makes me literally laugh out loud xD
Brent is a teenager: insecure yet idealistic, as many high schoolers are. But he’s also brutally honest with himself at times, in ways that we might neglect to be with ourselves, and the narrator spares no expense to poke fun at it. Seeing him experience his own highs and lows with such sincerity, we cringe with Brent at his fuck ups, and rejoice with him in his victories.
AND THE MEMES! Every chapter has references to classic or cutting-edge memes, which are so cleverly integrated into the prose that they’re easy to miss. But I get the biggest grins when I notice them, as, like the Spanish Inquisition, they are so unexpected yet appropriate for the scene.
There’s also a sense of mystery and world-building that’s surprisingly deep for an Isekai comedy. Battle royale games are a simple concept, but what if the participants missed their own lives, came from their own universes, and had to think about life after surviving such a brutal tournament? The author puts a lot of effort into making the character interactions feel real, including the representative of the shady organizers, who evokes the worst of corporate pragmatism and unfeeling adherence to protocol.
Lastly, you can tell that the author himself is an avid battle royale player, and makes sure to get his details right. The weapon and armor stats, flavor text, and mechanics feel like they came straight out of the biggest battle royale games. As the title implies, Brent himself is actually not a battle royale player, and seeing him translate MMO concepts to a battle royale world is interesting.
Do yourself a favor and start reading IBR today. You’re going to have a blast ^_^
This review written as of Chapter 21.
Even as someone who doesn’t usually like Isekai/GameLit type fiction, I have enjoyed Isekai Battle Royale a lot so far, and I find that it puts a unique twist on the genre. If you’re into that type of story, definitely read this one. Even if you aren’t, check it out and you might find yourself surprised. I recommend it.
IBR starts off in a typical fashion: our mild-mannered gamer protagonist Brent finds himself transported to another world with no idea how he got there. However, things quickly go off the rails. Rather than JRPG-land, he’s ended up in a madcap combination of Fortnite, PUBG, Apex, Warzone, and maybe some other Battle Royale games. He’s got a System interface, status screen and all, but this isn’t VR or a game; the action and stakes are very real. Figuring out where game logic ends and the real world begins is just part of the Fun™. Thus the premise: Brent must try to reach the end of this real-life Battle Royale with his life and hopefully his sanity intact. I’m not sure if this sort of thing’s been done before, but this is the first I’ve seen it- and it’s refreshingly different from the typical Transported to/Reincarnated as an X in a Fantasy World type isekai.
The prose is clear and concise, providing enough description to make sense of what’s going on without dragging or feeling slow. There is none of the awkward sentence structure or word choice you’ll often see on RR. Action scenes flow well and it’s easy to understand what’s happening. The story’s leavened with plenty of humor, which is where I’ll add a caveat. A good portion of the jokes are based of references to contemporary ‘meme culture,’ if such a term exists. While I personally enjoy that, I can see where other readers might not. However, this stuff isn’t usually shoved in your face; it’s more like you’ll notice if you’re in the know and it’s unobtrusive otherwise.
Dialogue is well written and characters talk like real people. Their lines sound natural, not like a robot reading down an outline. Almost nothing takes me out of a story faster than bad or stilted dialogue and IBR does not have that problem.
As for the blue boxes, they are present when necessary without being overwhelming. Whenever they show up it’s to convey information that they would logically, not just spammed to take up page space or stand in for actual description.
Another five, with the caveat that at the time of writing we seem to be relatively early in the storyline. First of all, the pacing is fast, which IMO is a good thing. Something important and/or interesting is always happening on page and the story holds attention well. Information on the world and the character’s situation is introduced at a steady pace, and it’s not as simple as “a hundred people get dropped on an island and have to kill each other.’ Occasionally the System introduces extra challenges or events that change things up from the standard BR-type action. At time of writing it seems like the story is into its second story arc, with the first being more of an introduction to the world, mechanics, and characters. I especially enjoy the above-mentioned line between real world and video game logic.
To give one example, guns do damage based on a numerical stat, and optics and attachments snap on without the need for tools or zeroing. However, their actual operation and use is governed solely by one’s real-life gun-handling skills. The characters have to figure out where this logical divide lies by trial and error, giving the System a more interesting presence in the story than it often has in LitRPG/GameLit. To conclude I’ll say that things are definitely going in a more complex direction than “shoot guy, level up, win” and I’m excited to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Easy five here. It’s easily better than 99% of the stories on this site (including mine lmao). I’ve only noticed a couple mistakes and they were very minor spelling/punctuation errors. This thing is obviously proofread well and I have no complaints.
I already mentioned that the characters talk like real people, and they are written like them too. Each feels like a thinking person, not just a checklist of tropes. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses which I will not spoil here. Nobody is perfect and nobody is useless. Brent himself is fun to read, combining the realistic oh-crap attitude most people might have when dropped into such a situation with more initiative and cleverness than he gives himself credit for.
One thing I really like is that the author chose not to have every person turn into a raging grimdark psychopath the second things got bad. This is not to say there aren’t some murderous nutjobs running around, but whenever a story has everyone instantly turn gritty and evil it takes me out of it. That’s not a problem here. Again, it seems to be pretty early in the story, but there’s already been character development for our protagonist Brent, as well as some significant interactions with other characters.
To summarize again, this thing is far better than the tongue-in-cheek title might make you think, and even people who aren’t into Isekai/LitRPG might find enjoyment here. Give it a try and I bet you’ll be chapters deep before you even know it.