AT A GLANCE
- Game: Battleborn
- Publisher: 2k
- Developer: Gearbox Software
- Platform: Review is based on the PC version of the game played with a controller.
- Availability: Out now on PS4, PC and Xbox One
- Buy Now : Gamestheshop, Steam
Battleborn is many things, it’s a MOBA , it’s an FPS and there’s also RPG elements and loot system.
Set in Solus, the last star in the universe, it’s up to a rag-tag group of five factions – Peacekeepers, Eldrid, Rogues, LLC and Jennerit Empire who have formed an uneasy alliance called The Battleborn in order to save the last light in the sky.
Battleborn Review – A Stylish Ride Packed With Humour And Explosive Action
The game starts off with a very well done and stylish animation cinematic that introduces us to the main story and characters with a badass intro audio track by Deltron 3030 that fits right in.
Battleborn’s “For Every Kind of Badass” marketing slogan is pretty much accurate as there’s a vast number of possible ways to kick some ass. You’ve got giant robots, an eagle that shoots bullets, dwarves, and even elves. The roster is huge and allows for a diverse style of play. The base game comes with 25 different heroes with distinct characteristics from the 5 different factions and there’re 4 more heroes coming in with the upcoming DLC’s.
So much of Battleborn is customizable that it’s easy to get hung up on indecision. You can customise gear, skins and even unlock taunts.
Right from the start it feels like a Gearbox title. Battleborn shares a lot in common with Borderlands, the environments, UI art style and enemies have a Borderlands-ish feel to them.
Each mission lasts a good 30 minutes. If you play solo, you can expect to take a lot longer than that depending on the character you choose. In Battleborn, choosing the right character can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Some characters are support characters. Some are ranged. Some are brawlers. For example, if you choose Miko to do a story mission Solo, you are in for a world of hurt. But Miko’s healing capabilities are vital in co-op and multiplayer games.
Completing missions unlock additional characters and gear. Gears are sort of perks that you can use in a mission by using shards, giving you a range of one-use-per-mission enhancements and offensive and defensive buffs. This again brings up that sweet feeling that Borderlands had to offer with its gorgeous loot system.
Battling minions, other players or CPU-controlled foes, earns you XP and levels, allowing you to unlock one of two augmentations for your abilities with every level. Level up further and you’ll unlock a third ultimate skill. This level up system, dubbed “HELIX” system by Gearbox brings a unique aspect to the gameplay. While the skill combinations aren’t endless, they allow you to build your own variations for different situations. Skills are not carried, so when you enter a new match it’s mostly an even playing field and anyone can go from zero to hero throughout the course of the match.
There’s also command rank that unlocks new characters and customization, and there’s also character rank that unlocks new lore and skills in the HELIX system for your favourite heroes.
Three multiplayer modes — Capture, Incursion, and Meltdown — test your skills in team-based arenas that guarantee chaos, adding interesting twists on the standard gameplay modes that we have become accustomed to of the shooter genre. For instance, Capture melds the standard capture the flag and king of the hill for a chaotic turf war, while Incursion goes the MOBA route with AI controlled bots spawning that you have to protect from the enemy bots and the rival team. You’ll need to think on your feet and work well with your squadmates if you wish to succeed.
Battleborn can be absolutely brilliant at times. Gearbox has a way of making even the most linear missions fun with their unique humour and wit, and Battleborn’s allies and enemies are just as funny as you would expect from the people who made Borderlands.
But not everything is fantastic, like many RPG/MOBA games, the balancing is a hit and miss. Some characters are downright OP while some feel unnecessarily nerfed. I hope with input from the community gearbox will be fixing some of these issues. The grind might feel a bit unnecessary at times. The biggest challenge in Battleborn is to find a character that suits you. Unlocking all characters will keep you busy for a long time.This wait can be disappointing, especially when you have unlocked a character after hours and then find out that it is not at all fun to play.
Coming to the matchmaking, the waiting can be a serious headache at times. I had to wait 10-15 minutes sometimes before finding a match only to be disconnected. PSA : For those of you who are facing a similar situation, changing my steam download location to EU helped a lot.
The comic book-style visuals are well done and the environments are unique. But there seems to be something wrong with the way AA is implemented, jagged edges were still present after enabling FXAA. On the performance side, the game maintained a steady 60 FPS with everything at max and 1080p on the STRIX 960.
Gearbox leans heavily into the aesthetic, delivering a gorgeously animated 2D intro and opening credits for each “episode” of the story campaign. For those of you who have played a Borderlands game before, you might feel a sense of deja vu here; the same sense of humour and overall brightness contrasts the plight of the universe.
Although there are only 3 types of environments, the attention to detail is amazing and really draws you into the world.