Battleborn is a FPS very much akin to Overwatch. It is brightly color with fast paced action and beautiful cinematics, and it’s developed by 2k Games and Gearbox, the makers of the Borderlands series. It’s a fun game, one I had beta tested for a long time. But after purchasing it at its midnight release and playing it initially for about an hour and then off and on for a few days, I have yet to pick it up again. I do intend to at least beat the story someday, but I fear its launch came at a bad time. I’m not sure if I could say it should have even been released this year as this may be the year of Blizzard. Not that the game has failed but its success may have been greatly stunted by the release of Overwatch, as well as the upcoming Warcraft movie , AND the launch of the new Warcraft expansion Legion.
I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy Overwatch as much as I do. I had spent a great deal of time testing the beta for Battleborn with a friend and at the time he was also of the same mindset about the two. From the limited exposure I’d had with Overwatch I thought Battleborn was a superior game. It’s got an intriguing storyline with hilarious dialogue and wonderful voice acting, many of which you may recognize from the Borderlands franchise. I love story driven games, I love being able to sink hours into a character learning and forming their story and becoming immersed in the character’s world. Through the beta I was able to get a feel for and an attachment to quite a few of the characters and as you play with a character more you unlock things about them as well as skins and other characters which I felt help push players to play longer.
After the game’s release I didn’t expect the story mode to be what it is. You can play the story solo but it is best enjoyed with other players. After the prologue, the story missions aren’t played in succession, you and your fellow players can vote on different missions or “maps” to play. This often leads to repeating the same mission or never playing a certain map. This may have changed since I last played but there was a mission the people just never voted on because we always failed the mission. Each mission gives variety to the game play with different objectives and ways to achieve them. One mission is an escort mission another is a cap and defend and all of them can be quite enjoyable. Within the first couple days of me playing it all of my groups had been PUGs (random players) as none of my friends purchased the game because they only wanted to play Overwatch with the launch of its open beta coinciding with the release date of Battleborn. This hurt the gameplay for me, as the groups I PUG’d with never seemed to gather that the missions took some amount of coordination from the players and with some of them being timed, attention to the actual to objective, rather than just blindly trying to kill enemies.
With the impending release of Overwatch and its open beta, let alone Uncharted 4 releasing the following week Battleborn didn’t seem to get the press nor the dedicated players it deserved. I’m sure many were like myself playing only a couple days or so but primarily playing the Overwatch beta. Then the week after Battleborn came out I picked up Uncharted 4 on its midnight release and was greatly engrossed in playing it and platinuming FarCry Primal; a game I hadn’t really played since its release but now was somehow drawn to instead of the newly released Battleborn. Since the release of Overwatch, I have wanted to pick Battleborn up again. But instead of actually playing it, I just end up playing another “quick match” in Overwatch, as they are quick but quite rewarding depending on how the game is won. Which brings me to another issue that creates an aversion to playing Battleborn, the match and mission times. At times they’re just too long or feel too long, especially in PVP. Matches in Overwatch are almost never longer than 10 minutes and often end in around 5 which is immensely satisfying. Your losses don’t feel so terrible because you didn’t just spend 20-30 minutes and gain nothing, and quickly load into another match with a different objective. Though the types of matches are very limited in Overwatch at present they are simple and quick and often full of mayhem because of the varied character types and their unique and often DEVISTATING abilities.
Battleborn also has more of a default MOBA feel. Every match your character starts off at level one with a basic move set. As you play through the match you gain XP that allows you to purchase improvements to your move set. The max level is 10 and on each level you can choose between 2 talents that enhance your moves and abilities. During matches, you also collect shards that allow you to use 3 enhancements you’ve slotted for your character. When a new match begins you start all over. It isn’t terrible and I love the UI’s design, but unfortunately the traits gained at each level up are clearly geared for PVP or PVE so you’ll obviously end up picking the same ones over and over again depending what you’re playing.
With Overwatch, the character start off complete when it comes to gameplay. There’s nothing you need to unlock or level up and all of the characters feel incredibly balanced, though people do call for certain characters to be nerf’d, it’s more or less that those players have yet to realize all of the characters have a counter and you shouldn’t necessarily play as the same character through the whole match. How you play and who you play as is fluid with Overwatch. When I look at the gameplay of Battleborn it feels fun but also monotonous and I know I truly enjoyed it before fully experiencing the gameplay of Overwatch. I’ve also heard this from a number of friends as well, some who even canceled their Battleborn pre-orders after playing the Overwatch closed betas. Now since its launch, Battleborn has had steady price drops, 20%off at Gamestop and Amazon even 40% off on Steam. Battleborn had the potential to be a game changer, mashing FPS and that MOBA core play but it’s just been lost in a Blizzard…
Tell your opinions on Battleborn in the comments below. Love it hate it? Never played it?