With Blizzard’s Overwatch just around the corner, Gearbox has come out with their own answer in the form of the game Battleborn. With first person objective based arena shooters being the next big trend in multiplayer gaming, does Battleborn what it take to make it’s mark in the gaming scene?
Made by Gearbox, the same studio in charge of the Borderlands series, the similarities are made very apparent in the game’s vibrant colors, cartoony proportions, and bold lines. These stylistic differences are fairly visible in other aspects of the game. Battleborn is rife with the tongue and cheek humor that made Borderlands so memorable.
Battleborn at its core is a multiplayer arena first person shooter. There are multiple game modes, but what’s currently available for open beta is the game mode “incursion” where both teams are tasked with eliminating the other team’s two sentries and are aided by a continuously spawning wave of minions. Both teams are composed of five players each and is populated by a diverse roster of playable characters. Each characters come with two skills and an ultimate and all play quite differently from each other. For example, we have Oscar Mike who’s skillset is simple and straightforward running and gunning for players who are more at home with traditional shooter gameplay. To contrast, we have more unorthodox characters for a first person shooter game such as phoebe who fights with telepathic swords and whose kit enhances her mobility to make the most of her melee only gameplay. In a similar vein with Team Fortress 2, each character bears a unique silhouette which makes them instantly stand out from the battlefield.
In addition to their unique skillsets, the playable battleborn also levelup throughout games and at every level are presented between two mutually exclusive upgrades, similar to the system used in Heroes of the Storm. Level ups aside, players can also further augment their stats by use of equipment which modifies things such as maximum health, cooldown reduction, and recoil. Equipment can be obtained through purchasing booster packs which contain a random selection, or dropped through the game’s campaign missions. Characters can also be further customized aesthetically with different taunts and skins which can be unlocked through gameplay or as drops from booster packs.
Speaking of story campaign, the game features a solo and co-op online campaigns. The story campaign is very reminiscent of Borderlands with the dialogue and the humor. The only downsides of the campaign missions are their length. Each story mission is only good enough a quick fix, so players who maybe looking for a longer and more engaged campaign may be left hungry for more. For now, only two campaigns are available for open beta, and more will be made available on the game’s full release.
So far, Battleborn looks very promising. It’s fast paced multiplayer combat keeps it fresh and exciting, and it’s story campaigns can keep players entertained for a quick spell. The game offers plenty of opportunities to customize and tweak your build to suit your play style. As the game’s still in open beta, there are still a lot more features to look forward to such as more story missions multiple other game modes.