The Battleborn beta launched for the Playstation 4 on April 8 and featured a fast-paced first person shooter with a cartoon-styled design. When you get into the rules of the multiplayer mode, it feels more like a MOBA. This team-based FPS/battle arena influenced game feels unique but it is definitely an acquired taste. Coming from someone who isn’t particularly fond of MOBA games, I can still appreciate how distinctive the gameplay is.
The Battleborn Beta provided two story missions where badass heroes slash, cast, parry, run and dash their way through enemies to protect the universe’s very last star. It feels like a Borderlands game with a cartoon-like atmosphere and comedic dialogue. You can play with up to five players as well as split screen co-op. The story missions were entertaining to play with friends and the boss designs were awesome. The atmosphere was whimsical but the story mode doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Clip includes footage from story mode
There are two 5 versus 5 multiplayer modes called Incursion and Meltdown. In Incursion, you defend your base guarded by two sentries from enemy AI and players. In Meltdown, the objective is to guide minions to an incinerator and get them to throw themselves in. It may just be my personal taste, but I seldom found myself wanting to play Meltdown. Incursion was more entertaining and seemed like the mode they chose to bait the fish. Scattered around the map are gold objects for you to break which contain shards for you to collect. You use these shards to purchase gear in your loadout, activate turrets, healing stations and more powerful minions. As you progress you are rewarded with different types of gear packs. Gear from these booster packs are varied by a certain percentage of skill cooldown reduction, healing boosts, shield penetration, speed boosts, and more.
Footage from a multiplayer match – very long like a MOBA
In story and multiplayer you gain character rank between 1-15 for each hero. You also have a command rank which unlocks badges, titles and loot for your player profile across all heroes. There is also a character helix system that offers accelerated character growth as you progress per mission and per match. This gives the opportunity to modify your abilities to be more versatile or increase damage output.
There were no frame rate or technical issues, but I did spend a long time in the queue when I first started the game. Sometimes it was difficult for me to know when I was taking damage and where I was taking damage from. The game can do a better job of indicating damage input.
The character design is the best thing about Battleborn. The beta includes all 25 heroes but you only start off with five heroes and unlock more as you progress. You can unlock and equip different taunts and skins although I do wish the alternate skins weren’t just limited to a change in costume color. Like a classic MOBA game, the character types are assorted by supporter, attacker and defender. Every character plays different regardless of their type and will be played successfully depending on your personal play style. While it was fun to experiment with all characters in story mode, I found myself only enjoying to play with three characters in multiplayer.
More details on heroes here: https://battleborn.com/en/battleborn/
The open beta for Battleborn comes out for the Xbox One and PC on April 13 and the game comes out on May 3. I am curious how successful Battleborn will be with Overwatch (among many other games) releasing a few weeks after that. After playing Battleborn and watching Overwatch footage, they seem to be very different games. The point of comparison is because they are both advertised as hero shooters releasing within the same month. If you are into MOBA-styled games and FPS you will enjoy this game. I personally feel Overwatch may be more worthwhile to my gaming preference.