Battleborn is a MOBA. For those that are unsure of this concept, a MOBA (or multiplayer online battle arena, for the more pedantic souls out there) is a style of game tailored for team-based battle. Heavy emphasis on the idea of team, as playing solo on a multiplayer match will force you into the most ragtag band of misfit players that jeopardize the game at any given chance, with their Rambo-esque antics and ‘**** you, I’m master prestige on COD’ spiel whenever you suggest a team-based tactic down the mic. Luckily, I have a decent group of buddies to play this with, and because of this, my Battleborn experience turned out to be pleasant – with only a few minor flaws.
From the creators of Borderlands, the humor and style of writing is everything you’d imagine it to be – from a jocose set of characters to choose from and a script that’s often worthy of a giggle or two. The style of Battleborn pays homage to Borderlands in a sort of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ kind of way. Because of this, players are invited to choose from 25 playable Battleborn, each with their own move set, personalities and perks to discover along the way. There is a character for everyone on here and people who love to grind will find pleasure in mastering each character in order to unlock titles and general bragging rights.
It has to be said that it’s impressive that the game manages to involve every character to an outstanding level, and although certain characters share the same base concept i.e. sniper class, tank class and brawler class, every character plays uniquely different, and because of this, the game rarely becomes boring.
Unfortunately, the game asks you to unlock most characters from the start, and where I personally like the challenge of doing this; new players unfamiliar with this style of game may feel alienated, and perhaps bored, with not being given the freedom to try other Battleborn.
Battleborn does have a story mode, well, a wave defence mode on rails with a decent enough script holding it together. Story is often played to grind through and collect credits, which are used to buy items to boost your Battleborn and experience, to better your in-game profile, and although I found some of the dialogue funny and charming, the story itself is rather forgettable. This being said, we should be grateful that there is a story mode included as most triple A titles of this decade seem to neglect this – I’m looking at you Battlefront.
From what I understand, the game is released as a simple package and the guys at Battleborn plan to add more content over the coming months to keep it fresh and enticing. Games such as Smite do this, and it’s arguably a decent platform to work from. There is a season pass for the game that’s going for cheap, and every character they release can be unlocked using Hero Keys if you don’t happen to buy the pass. Apparently, these keys can be unlocked with in-game credits, which when you hear that, it sounds refreshing considering all the micro-transaction scams of most games, yet recently, one character to be released at the end of May can be bought with 47,000 credits. Now, I mentioned earlier that story mode could be used to grind and unlock credits, but this will take a long time considering what each chapter gives on completion. Still, the character unlock is done through the game, not necessarily by opening your wallet.
Players will most likely spend their time in the multiplayer modes Battleborn has to offer: Incursion, Meltdown and capture maps. Incursion pits a team of five against each other that have to to defend their sentry bots from being destroyed by the opposition. Players guide their little robotic minions across the map to do this, and the strategy is to use your Battleborn’s strengths to make sure their sentry bot comes off a lot worse than yours. As simple as this sounds, and as simple some players mistake it to be, there is a lot of strategy involved in making sure you win the game. This is where teamwork and communication are paramount to success, and playing alone will often put you at an immediate loss if the opposing teams have solidarity. During every match, items bought from credits can be used as equips to later enhance your character’s build, as well as a leveling up system which is awesome in designing the character you want and how they are played in that match. To elaborate, I have taken a liking to a character named Galilea (who arguably needs nerfing), and as she levels up her helix, you can decide if you want to activate perks in your defense and cool down times, or your offensive skills and crowd control capabilities. Each character has this option and it’s a mini-game in itself to build the perfect character you’re most comfortable with.
Capture is the multiplayer game most will be familiar with, where there are three points, A, B, and C, and you must make sure each point stays captured to your side in order to win. This is pretty self-explanatory and I have personally spent the least amount of time on this game mode. Meltdown makes each team lead a group of robots into a depository device at the other end of a lane to destroy said robots. Teams that have destroyed most robots are the winners. Where the three games modes are fun, it could be argued that there is a lack of maps to choose from, with only two from each mode to choose from. I understand there will be more added at a later date, but the question is when?
All in all, Battleborn is a spectacular game, but I feel some gamers need to spend time with this in order to understand its primary function. Where PC gamers will feel right at home with it being a MOBA, I feel console gamers may struggle at first with the concept, as arguably there aren’t that many games like this on console at this point to compare it with, other than Smite or Paragon. Give Battleborn time, it is well worth the money spent.