Dragon Ball: The Breakers Playtest Impressions

As someone who has Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 on every platform I own, I got immediately excited when a sequel was announced. I was extremely surprised to hear that the sequel, Dragon Ball: The Breakers was not a new fighting game. Instead, it is a take on the survival horror genre. To which I coined it as “Dead by Dragon Ball” to my friends after hearing the premise. The premise of the game is extremely similar to a game known as Dead by Daylight. You have one villain character searching for up to 7 survivor characters.

After getting excited about getting a code to play the beta, I instantly began my download to play the game for the first server launch. The beta was within my reach, and I wanted to play it as soon as I possibly could.

Once logged in, I was given the opportunity to create a customized character right off my own. The choices haven’t really changed all that much from Xenoverse, but the main outfit that accompanies the character you create is a snazzy blue and orange jacket. You are then given in-game currency in your mail and dropped into the hub world as it gives you a bunch of text tutorials to look at. I am not the biggest fan of text tutorials, so this was a bit jarring for me.

Impressions screenshot for Dragon Ball the Breakers

I decided to mainly skim the stuff I needed and try to grasp the game as I started playing more and more rounds. The hub world is pretty bare-bones, but I guess it doesn’t need to be too much for this beta launch. Within the beta were a normal shop, a hyperbolic time chamber to learn skills, and a premium shop for harder-to-earn in-game currency.  Getting started was as simple as hitting the Start matchmaking button on the controller at any time. It wasn’t required to go to some location in the hub world to begin matchmaking which is very convenient.

I started my first round as a survivor only knowing I needed to find specific keys to place in certain locations to summon the Super Time Machine. When it is activated and powered up it will take all survivors nearby it to the time rift where Time Patrol Trunks is located. You get placed in a random spawn point with the other six survivors. I figured out early on that anyone can find a key but the person who found the key doesn’t have to be the individual to place the key at the specific spot. So once anyone grabs the key every survivor has access to that key. That’s convenient. 

The only defenses you have against the enemy raider is connected to your hotkey list. The first one is a transformation ability that turns you into an item, allowing you to hide, or into a rocket that rapidly transports you somewhere else in the area. You can also call a Saiyan space pod to your location to move you anywhere you can see below. While there’s access to a gun, it does practically no damage to the raider, but you can blow up debris for items with it. You can find Zeni to buy rocket launchers or armor somewhere around the map. Your character is given a grappling shot that can help you go to higher locations on the map. There were mountains and buildings you can scale with it.

As you traverse into the big open box area looking for items you can also find power cubes that increase your power. When you get your power bar to level 1 you can transform your character into a DBZ fighter. You have up to 3 levels on your power bar with 3 different DBZ characters you can transform into. In my time playing the beta, I had the default preset, which was Piccolo at level 1, Vegeta at level 2, and Goku at level 3. You can shoot their signature attacks or just go for a frontal assault with your fists at the raider until the transformation wears off and you have to wait for the cooldown to end before transforming again. Luckily your power level will stay at the level you are at when you return to your survivor self.

If the raider kills you all before the time machine is up and running, you lose. If the Time machine gets destroyed before it can work, you have the option to run to an individual time machine to leave. Otherwise, you lose. You can win by teaming up with everyone once you have a power level above 1 and they all come together, and spamming attacks the raider. That is the basic experience of playing as a survivor.

Raider playthrough for Dragon Ball The Breakers

I did get one round in as the Raider, as Cell in his the larvae state. You can move and absorb civilians or even survivors to increase your energy. Once your energy power hits 1 you evolve into the first form known as Imperfect Cell. You can try looking for the survivors and kill them one by one or wait till they try to start the time machine to get them all in one place.

I did the latter and it turned out rather well. I then instantly killed them all and won the game. It was extremely fast and shows me one big problem this game has. The balance is extremely in favor of the raider. Survivors have to be lucky enough to get the right keys and also hope they have other survivors near where those keys need to be placed. Survivors need to have better avenues of communication in order to get any of their plans to work or to help track down where the Raider may be. There was no in-game voice chat or in-game text chat in order to communicate. Without being in a group this would be practically impossible. The only other way to win as a survivor is to hope the Raider is absolutely brain dead.

Overall, I did enjoy my time playing Dragon Ball: The Breakers. It has time to get polished and I hope the hub world is not as bare-bones when the full release hits. I wasn’t expecting to like this game as much because it wasn’t like Xenoverse 2 in regard to Calibur or playstyle, but I do appreciate the graphics making a return with a variety to its gameplay. If you are looking for Dragon Ball Xenoverse 3 though, you will be disappointed in this release.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers is scheduled to be released in 2022, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.