The past few days Battleborn has been available to anyone who would like to play it as an Open Beta It started on the 13th and will end on the 18th, and has a release date of May 3rd. I took a break from my normal games and gave it a shot.
At first glance I was expecting a game more like Overwatch than Smite, a fast paced first person co-opperative shooter, but I found that the game is really does manage to walk the line between several genres and never really dips its toes too deeply into any specific type of game. Gearbox, the developers of Battleborn fiercely denied that the game was a MOBA despite what a passing glance might make people think. Once I sat down and looked at the game and realized that It wasn’t just another team-based-character-driven-first person-shooter I started to really get interested in the game. There is a plethora of characters at launch, 25 listed so far. Each character will have their own set of abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and style. Some are Melee, some are ranged, there are some supports, some tanks, and even some junglers. As you play you gain XP and level up to unlock better skills and eventually an ultimate ability. It already is getting pretty close to being a MOBA, but it almost completely jumps into that end of the pool when you take a look at one of the game modes.
If you have ever played Borderlands you might be wondering how funny this game is, and if you’ve never played any of the Borderlands games, you might wonder what I’m talking about, but either way I can tell you that there is a really good sense of humor in this game, I find myself laughing at the characters interactions, and scripted dialogue often, which is good, it really sets this game apart.
The Story mode missions are what you might expect from the developer of Borderlands, a fairly linear level with boss fights, and a ridiculous story. The levels are independent from one another, and the two that were shown off during the beta were unique, and well designed with more levels promised through DLC after the games release. But the Story missions are only half of the draw here.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before
One of the more interesting aspects of this game is that every character needed to be designed with PVP and PVE in mind. As any World of Warcraft player can tell you, this is no small task. The Gearbox team seems to be doing a good job so far, I never ran into anyone who I felt was too strong or too weak. One of the PVP modes is a normal Capture point game type, but I had the most fun in the “Incursion” game type. Players escort NPC robots toward their enemies base and destroy objectives along the way. The map is set up with a single “lane” with defensible positions, and turrets that can be activated after you earn some of the games currency. If it sounds a little like a single lane MOBA, you are hitting pretty close to the mark.
A five vs five team brawler is always fun in my book, but I don’t think many people are expecting it from this game. On more than one occasion I was trying to organize players who had no wish to try and “group up” or “push the lane” and would run into battles repeatedly like Master Chief into the maw.
All roads lead to… Battleborn?
With its roots in so many genres, this game manages to feel completely different, but as the child of MOBAs, shooters, and RPGs a game like this was inevitable, it takes everything that is popular now and combines it into one very well made game. The single player missions are very well done, and despite not being a MOBA I really recommend it to anyone who liked Borderlands, and if you never played one of the Borderlands games, you still might enjoy this game. It’s light-hearted, fresh, and takes chances, but best of all it’s a fun game!