Battleborn is published by 2K and developed by Gearbox Software. “Set in the distant future, Battleborn is a first-person shooter featuring 25 unique playable heroes who form an unlikely alliance to save the last star in the universe from a mysterious enemy hell-bent on its destruction.”
When you first load up Battleborn, you’re greeted with one hell of an introduction video. Around 8 minutes of decent music and an old school cartoon like video telling you a bit about the story and showing off a few characters. I personally liked this and wanted to give a “well done” to the developers but like a decent beer you can’t get too excited at the start, because will the first sip be flat? Will it have too much froth? I’ll do my best to describe my love hate relationship with the game at the end we’ll see if it was a decent beer or a can of supermarket lager.
So in a nutshell Battleborn is a game based on 25 characters coming together to take down this mysterious enemy. You make your way through 8 episodes with twists and turns along the way, the majority of the game is kind of like a horde mode, run to this area and defend this, when doing so you unlock extra characters along the way which can completely change your gaming experience due to the different abilities each character has. One minute I was playing as a standard FPS character the next I was a samurai cutting people up! I found my feet through the first few missions with tag team characters Shayne and Aurox; your cliche rebel teenager mixed with a large badass devil. Usually I wouldn’t select the character that slashes with it’s claws or throws a boomerang, I’d usually go for the biggest gun but something about Shayne and Aurox clicked and I found myself getting through the first 3-4 levels with ease. It will take a lot of testing with each character to find which suits your play style best, after Shayne and Aurox I decided to follow my gut and go with a character which had a gun named Caldarius. This robot style character also had a knife (LT) and better special moves for my play style to get through the progressively difficult levels. As you can see I’m being particularly vague with the special moves and upgrades you can achieve in each level, from collecting skill points by killing enemies and collecting skill tokens, the reason for this is simple; each character has so many different capabilities and it’s down to the player to utilize which is best for them. The variation is nice to see in Battleborn, I really wasn’t expecting it to have such a selection when I first picked it up.
With all of that said I did find it a bit of a grind playing the game alone, this has been developed to get your friends together and play as a team. Sadly when matchmaking the campaign players vote on which episode they would like to play so you don’t exactly play them in order or get a choice if you’re matchmaking, and a party of players jumps in to your lobby. This really put me off when playing the campaign online, but maybe I’m just old school and like to play each level in order so the story line isn’t ruined. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this feature, it really let the online campaign experience down, but like I said above this game is better when playing with a group of friend’s, since the days of Halo 3 I haven’t found a game that I’ve had such a laugh when playing in a group, not having to play too seriously etc and I think Battleborn may have been the social gem I’ve been waiting for!
Now on to the actual multiplayer, this consists of three different modes:
Meltdown – Meltdown your minions in the opposing teams grinders, in essence you have to guide your minions through the map to the set areas you can spawn in large minions and purchase turrets and healing stations to help your team and minions along the way, it can be tricky but I found was very enjoyable.
Capture – Like Call of Duty’s Domination; capture and defend an area until you hit a set amount of points (generally 3 areas to capture and keep a hold of until you reach 1000 points).
Incursion – Lead a team of AI minions towards the enemy base taking control of any turrets etc on your way to gain control of the full map, the objective is to destroy the M7 Super Minion, you can also tame mercenaries to fight along side you until they die.
With these 3 multiplayer options i found it a better experience playing privately rather than online as again teamwork is the key and i didn’t fancy jumping into a party with randoms when i did get a team of friends together it was one of the most fun times playing online I’ve had in a long time!
Both the multiplayer and campaign have beautiful cell-shaded graphics with a witty monologue, back and forth between characters. I did see a few glitches in the graphics but it was mainly in the multiplayer menu and character selection, I only came across one glitch in game where an AI character blocked me in to a corner and after they moved back I couldn’t move until I was killed!