Friday, 17 June 2016

Battleborn

Battleborn is a culmination of multiple genres blended into a first-person perspective that doesn’t do a great job of not making you feel a bit overwhelmed when you first dive in but give it your time to understand all the mechanics at play here and what you’ll find is a surprisingly fun but complex MOBA-style game in a First Person Shooter.


Developed by Gearbox and out now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hasn’t had a fair perception coming up to its release. It’s been consistently compared to Overwatch and been considered inferior in this comparison. Having played both titles, its clear to understand that these games are very different. The only things they have in common is the perspective and that they focus on quirky characters. Battleborn is brimming with stuff to see and do - too much in fact. There are multiple levelling across the game for characters and the account itself which can feel slightly overwhelming as well as multiple currencies that are available within the game and throughout the menus.


The competitive game itself though is pretty fun actually. Every match begins with every player starting at level one and as they kill the opposing team and enemy AI throughout the map. As you level up your character, you get a choice between two boosts. By the end of any match you feel like a powerhouse and a stark contrast to when you began the match. Incredibly, starting every match at level one again doesn’t feel disappointing or overly-weak. It’s always fun that progression again.

One thing you can’t condemn Battleborn for is having no ideas. In fact, that game has far too many ideas and directions that make it a feel like a scatter shot of those sticky hands you got as a kid. You throw it all at the wall and hoped most of them would stick. This very much feels like this was Gearbox’s approach. There are 25 diverse characters which is impressive, especially when you unlock them and see just how different they all feel. Instead of unlocking perks and equipment that changes the stats of the character, Battleborn just throws a different character your way to try out. These unlock at a decent pace meaning you never run out of someone new to try out.

But that stick idea wall follows through to the modes as well as the humour and back to the progression systems. It seems like every idea that was thought up had to have at least two additives to add longevity but overall it makes it feel overly-complex and lacking a true cohesion across the entire title. There is a campaign also that can be played alone, with friends, or with strangers online and while they have story, they very much just feel like strikes or mini-raids that only have one of just a few objectives that unfortunately grow tiresome by its completion.


Even if there are disappointing aspects, Battleborn has a lot of promise to grow on a lot of people but until its been in hands for a few months its hard to gauge if we’ll hear people talk of this game six months from now.

A rocky road cake of different ideas. 3/5.
★★★☆☆


Jason Redmond


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