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Gearbox’s Battleborn tells the story of 25 heroes on a quest to stop the evil Rendain. These 25 heroes will need to unite in an effort to stop the Universe from being eliminated and protect the last sun.
Battleborn has huge potential and could easily be one of the biggest titles that will drop this spring. I’ve played an early build at last year’s Gamescom and the demo got me hooked. The game features 25 playable heroes, each one with its own unique abilities, personalities, weapons, and helix system. Battleborn is a brand new IP by developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K Games. It leans heavily on Gearbox’s Borderlands franchise, but with more playable heroes and no sandbox gameplay. The game is built as a multiplayer game and that’s pretty much the only way the game should be played.
The story revolves around a tremendous band of badass heroes who are fighting to protect the universe’s very last star from a mysterious evil. To defend it, you’ll need to utilize every type of character and weapon you’ve ever imagined — from cyborg hawkmen to samurai vampires to mini-gun wielding man-mountains. Slash and parry, run and gun, cast and dash, or simply obliterate foes all while building and growing your personal team of heroes. Choose your hero and fight alone or co-operatively alongside friends in story missions, or battle against them in fast-paced competitive multiplayer matches.
Battleborn’s Story Mode is a narrative experience that can be played entirely as a singleplayer experience, but is even better when it’s played cooperatively with friends, or random players both splitscreen and online. The game features 8 story missions and each of these missions can be played with up to five players. You can play each of these missions on your own, but the game is so much more fun when you play it with a full team of misfits.
Each player may choose his or her character at the start of a mission, keep in mind that each hero can only be selected once. The game forces you to try out other characters and makes you respect the fact that being able to play as your favorite character is a blessing – sharing is caring! What’s cool about picking a character is the fact that you’ll need to level-up said character from 1 to 10 and fully experience each hero’s unique weapons and powers in a single story mission. This is made possible by the game’s unique Helix system, which makes mastering a character a daunting task. Your character can feel and perform differently each time you’ll play a mission and finding the “sweet spot” of each character is a fun experience – Don’t forget, you can have 25 of these experiences in the game!
The story missions aren’t as good as Gearbox’s Borderlands, but they’ll definitely beat the blend story modes of your common fps. I have this intense feeling that the story missions could have been so much more than what they’re now. Each mission is similar to the previous one and the majority of them will leave no lasting memory of awesomeness. The boss fights are cool and working together to achieve victory is a satisfying achievement, but you’ll forget every memory of these missions in no time. However, the game’s prologue and included animation is pretty awesome and that sure is something worth mentioning and replaying.
Luckily Battleborn features a team-based competitive multiplayer and it’s pretty badass! There are only three game modes; Incursion, Capture, and Meltdown. Each mode features 2 different maps and a lot of fun. This sounds like the multiplayer could need more modes and maps, but as it turns out it’s just enough to keep you interested. Battleborn is and never will be a versus shooter. The game is made as a team-based multiplayer and each of these game modes is objective based – Remember teamwork is key here. Just like in Story mode the game forces you to try out other characters and makes you respect the fact that being able to play as your favorite character is a blessing. However, if you’re lucky, fast enough, or focus on a less popular character you will likely get to pick the character you want.
We’ve included the video below so you can get a good look at two of the games multiplayer modes; Incursion and Capture.
With just three game modes and 2 maps per mode it’s easy to familiarize yourself with the maps and get a sense of where things will reach its climax. My favorite among these modes is Incursion, where two teams of heroes must defend their base from waves of AI-controlled minions while working together alongside their own minions to destroy their opponent’s base. Completing a match will earn you Character Rank and Command Rank. Each character’s rank can be leveled up to 15 and in doing so you’ll unlock additional augments in their helix skill tree, as well as additional skins for each character. The Command Rank is your own player profile and by leveling you’ll unlock badges, titles, and loot that can be used to benefit any hero. However, each time you’ll finish a match you’re returned to the matchmaking screen and the game doesn’t automatically search for the next match – a lot of time is wasted on waiting and searching for matches.
The game looks and feels amazing, each character has a unique look and a cartoony finish. The characters are diverse in both looks and gameplay. You’ll have a few different factions, classes and Alien races. Healer Miko is one of my favorites and playing him is truly enjoyable. He can’t dish out serious damage, but his kunai deal poison damage, he can slowdown enemies and heal teammates. There’s a character for every playstyle, finding and fine tuning your character is what the game does best. The game offers a crazy amount of replay value and the conditions for unlocking new characters will surely drive up your average playtime.
Battleborn is available now on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.