Battleborn’s story centers on the last star in the universe and the conflicts surrounding it. While many factions are trying to figure out how to better utilize the dying resource, a greater evil is plotting to extinguish it. The core game-play, which includes co-op and competitive modes, will center around these plot points. Visually, Battleborn‘s art design is definitely inspired by many popular animation studios. You can spot some Pixar and Disney influences almost immediately and it makes for a very colorful FPS experience.
The team only had 10 players on display with 25 total planned, but the few we saw were interesting. The devs wanted to expand on the diversity afforded the characters in Borderlands and that was immediately on display when a few of us got a hands on. The play styles were unique, the animations/perspectives often different (my chosen character attacked with four arms), and injections of Gearbox’s trademark humor enhanced the experience as well.
During the match, the 5 players are tasked with clearing out hordes of enemies via certain objectives. Early on we all just ran into the fray lone-wolf style with no regard for the others but, as difficulty jump upward further in, we started to group together. The first part was fairly tame, taking out the different types of enemies and looking out for larger more damaging leaders. The 2nd part was more refreshing as the team was tasked with escorting a large tank to another part of the map. The tank had its own set of skills that could be purchased and activated, but we just used the bubble shield as it became available.
The final section was a great deal tougher as we defended a fixed position while the tank broke a doorway’s encryption. Waves upon waves attacked as we balanced destroying them and reviving teammates. A mini-boss appeared as the tank got closer to its goal and, though difficult, it wasn’t an overwhelming experience even with us all picking up the controller for the first time. Speaking of the controller, Gearbox has a done a solid job mapping all of the abilities.
While Battleborn presents some interesting characters and solid game-play ambitions, I can’t gauge the true potential of a game of this nature without seeing the competitive game-play in action. The pvp will be the meat of this experience and it will be exciting to see if Gearbox Software can get everything balanced and deliver another quality title. Look for the full game on Xbox One, PS4, and PC this winter.