A diverse band of unlikely heroes fight to protect the universe's very last star from an ever growing evil force in this next-gen shooter/MOBA hybrid from the creators of Borderlands. To defend the last star, players will need to utilize every type of character and weapon they've ever imagined - from cyborg hawkmen, to samurai vampires, to sentient mushrooms. Slash and parry, run and gun, cast and dash, or simply obliterate foes all while building and growing your personal team of over 20 heroes. Choose your hero and fight alone or co-operatively alongside friends in story missions, or battle against them in fast-paced competitive multiplayer matches.
- 25 unique and deadly heroes await players
- Fast paced MOBA/FPS hybrid gameplay
- Co-op, solo, and PVP modes offer something for all types of gamers
10-12 hours for the single player campaign (more when replaying missions in co-op or battling others in PVP)
May 3rd, 2016
PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: 2K Games
A diverse band of unlikely heroes fight to protect the universe’s very last star from an ever growing evil force in Battleborn, a next-gen shooter/MOBA hybrid from the creators of Borderlands. To defend the last star, players will need to utilize every type of character and weapon they’ve ever imagined, from cyborg hawkmen, to samurai vampires, to sentient mushrooms. Choose your hero and fight alone or cooperatively alongside friends in story missions, or battle against them in fast-paced competitive multiplayer matches.
Battleborn is relatively tame in its content compared to the M-rated Borderlands franchise. As this is a more MOBA-like game, the characters often spew forth witty quips which sometimes do contain vulgar jokes such as sexual innuendo about certain characters’ mothers and obscenities of four-letter variety. However, the worst of these phrases are censored by bleeps and @#* in subtitles. While the game is a shooter, there is no blood or gore as most enemies simply fall over dead before their bodies disintegrate, or they die in a puff of smoke. There is some mild tobacco use as some characters smoke cigars. All in all the content in Battleborn is suitable for players age 13 and up.
I have to admit that I had no interest in Battleborn when it was first announced as I normally do not enjoy MOBA games due to their often abusive and vitriolic player base. Just play any game of DotA for the first time as a new player who has no idea what they are doing and you will know what I am talking about. However, once I learned that Battleborn was also an, FPS my interest was piqued.
The story of Battleborn is simple: as one of 25 various heroes, from a talking sentient mushroom man to your standard soldier, cheekily named Oscar Mike, players will venture across the galaxy to stop the traitorous Rendain from destroying the last star, the last beacon of hope for a galaxy running low on resources. Standing in the way are the imposing Verelsi, an alien force hellbent on destroying everyone. While this basic premise is intriguing, it is hardly explored within the 10-12 hour campaign as most of the single player missions consist of the same run here, defend that, extract this data while holding off enemies style of gameplay. At the very least, the bits of story present in Batleborn are provided through humorous dialogue and banter between the heroes in the single player or co-op matches and the NPCs in a particular mission. These NPCs are often other heroes that must first be unlocked by completing the mission.
Aside from the typical campaign missions which can be completed solo or with friends via online co-op, there is also PvP multiplayer in Battleborn. While most of the modes are similar to the type of gameplay you would find in most online shooters, the meltdown mode is the closest the game comes to a full fledged MOBA. In this mode, two teams of five players compete to see who can destroy the opposing team’s core the fastest. Along the way, players will battle other players and a constantly swelling army of creeps that are always advancing towards the opposing team’s base—just like in any other MOBA on the market. Likewise, players can purchase loot with in-game currency or earn it in campaign missions and this loot can be used to customize character builds and other aspects of gameplay. Working like a loadout, these mods and abilities might make your sprint speed faster or provide a quicker rate of fire so you can kill foes more efficiently. In this fashion, while this gameplay works, Battleborn does very little to differentiate itself from other MOBA games.
This may all sound very simple, but it can grow stale after playing a few campaign missions as players will soon forget all about the story of the mission as the repetitive and tedious gameplay rears its ugly head to bog down an otherwise charming, humorous and colorful game. Seriously, Battleborn is one of the most colorful shooters I have ever seen and the introductory cutscene for the game is well animated and feels like something DC would create for one of their comic book properties. However, this is the only real cutscene in the game as any other story bits are explored through in-game dialogue via talking heads on the player’s HUD. It is a real shame because Battleborn could have been a far less boring and tedious game if the story was fleshed out a bit more. Adding to the monotony and tedium is the fact that campaign missions last anywhere from 30-45 mins with no mid-mission checkpoints. This means that if a whole team gets wiped before completing a mission, you have to start all the way from its beginning.
All flaws aside, Battleborn does have a very unique group of playable heroes. While some favor melee combat and others ranged, the game goes far beyond the standard bow wielder or magic user as each character has abilities and attacks that complement not only their own playstyle but their overall look as well. For example, Miko, a sentient mushroom, is essentially the team medic. He has a heal beam and can detach his head and throw it ahead of him to create an area of effect healing aura which can be upgraded to damage enemies that step within its radius. However, he can also hold his own with spore bombs that slow enemies and do damage over time as well as attack with Kunai to keep advancing foes at bay. On the flip side, there is Toby, a seemingly harmless penguin who climbs into a battle mech to join the fight. Toby’s abilities consist of lasers, a rail gun, jump jets to reach higher areas, and a force field to protect himself and allies from damage.
With a diverse, humorous, and growing roster of characters, Battleborn certainly brings something new to the FPS and MOBA genres. However, the overall experience is marred by a lackluster story that is brought down by tedious and repetitive gameplay. While the game is great when played cooperatively with up to four other friends, it is a real slog when playing solo. The fact that all 25 of the game’s heroes must be unlocked by completing missions and challenges also discourages thorough experimentation with different characters as most newer players are forced to use the same four or five heroes through most of the campaign. What Battleborn does offer is fun in small doses, but the more I played the game’s drawn-out 45 minute missions, the more I found myself wishing I was playing something else.
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+ Colorful, vibrant world and characters
+ Humorous and sometimes downright hilarious banter give distinct personalities to each character
+ A diverse roster of heroes with abilities that go above and beyond what players can normally find in shooters or MOBAs
- Boring, tedious single player missions
- No real story is told beyond the in game dialogue in each mission
- The well animated, Saturday morning cartoon-esque intro sequence never appears again throughout the game
- Heroes must be unlocked by playing missions and completing other challenges before they can be used