Battleborn is the latest first person shooter to come out of Gearbox, the studio behind the Borderlands series. I say first person shooter but perhaps that’s not an accurate description as many of the heroes you will see in the game are perfectly happy bringing a sword to a gun fight! Or a stick… or a rocket launcher. Essentially there is no rules for combat when the last star in the universe is at stake!
There are 25 characters to choose from but many will need to be unlocked before you can play them. At its core, Battleborn features two main ways to play and both can be played either solo or with the online community.
The first is the story mode which sees the “Battleborn” thrust into action in order to save the last star from being engulfed by the darkness. You start out as Mellka who is tasked with locating and rescuing Deande who defected from the side of darkness in order to protect the last star. After a brief introduction into how the game is played you are free to carry on with the story mode or you can jump straight into some intense online multiplayer, although doing so you will be limited to just a handful of characters.
You can either choose to unlock extra characters from completing story missions or by levelling up your profile rank depending on how you wish to play.
On the whole the characters seem very balanced and ultimately it’s all about finding out which of the characters complement each other. For instance, on his own Rath doesn’t pose much of a threat to most players but should he be supplied with a constant stream of health he is a spinning barrage of swords and death! Whereas Marquis, being a sniper at his core, would simply waste a healer’s time and should stay as far away from combat as possible.
When it came to the gameplay itself, I felt the weapon mechanics, surprisingly, to be just as good if not better than a dedicated FPS. Each shot felt like it mattered and was satisfying from the moment the finger hit the trigger to the point of impact. The same goes for those sword and stick wielders! To cut an enemy down in a flurry of darkness and confusion was enough to get me hooked!
Yes Battleborn could be classed as a FPS MOBA on paper but when you get to playing it you realise how much more than that it is. The game features a mode called Meltdown where, like classic MOBAS, you are tasked with escorting your minions to their destination whilst dealing with hostile entities. You will be fighting a range of robotic monstrosities as well as various aggressive and non-aggressive turrets. Amongst all that you have the other players to contend with as you clash head to head in order to… have your own robots eaten by a giant menacing face…
Multiplayer also features a mode called Capture Maps which plays like the classic Capture the Flag game mode. You also get to build useful turrets and healing stations along the way so it really pays to collect those crystals. The turrets are a genuine problem to deal with at times so it’s not just a time waster.
The last game most commonly in play is the Incursion Maps, which sees each team aim to destroy the other team’s giant spider robots. Once a team finishes off both giant death machines it’s game over.
The bottom line is that Battleborn features a huge list of playable characters, each with their own quirks and unique play styles. With so many to choose from you are sure to find a great fit for the way you play.
I love this game and will be spending a lot of time on it in the future. I have no problems giving this game a 9/10. The comedy is classic of Gearbox and the visuals are a real treat. I had a few minor issues with matchmaking but for being so close to release I was surprised there weren’t more.
If you’re a fan of Borderlands then you will be a fan of Battleborn. There are a lot of elements similar with the two but not so similar you don’t feel like you’re getting something new.