The lights are on
Gearbox's new cooperative and competitive shooter, Battleborn, features so many playable characters that we've devoted an entire week of
coverage to highlighting just a few of them. So far we've covered everything
from a telekinetic rapier-wielding technocrat named Phoebe to the hulking
goliath with a Gatling gun, Montana. We're ending the week with three more
eclectic characters. Rath is an immortal samurai warrior that wields not one
but three energy-infused blades; Marquis is a stylish robo-butler with a golden
cane that doubles as a sniper rifle; and Caldarius is a shock trooper that
sports a pistol, a chainsaw sword, and a jetpack. Read on to learn about their
unique weapons and abilities, and for more of our hands-on impressions of the
Click on the image for a larger version
Name: RathFaction: The Jennerit
EmpireRath is kind of like a cross between a samurai, a vampire,
and a Sith lord. The katana-wielding warrior was a member of the elite guard
that protected the empress of the imperialist Jennerit Empire. However,
political infighting left him disillusioned and eager to get back to honing his
combat skills on the frontlines. As a member of the Jennerit's elite upper
caste known as the Sustained, Rath is immortal, but can still be killed in
combat – though with three separate blades and some devastating melee-focused
abilities, that's not a likely scenario.
KatanasRath is focused purely on melee combat, and performs
horizontal slashes with his dual katana blades via the right trigger and
vertical attacks with the left trigger. Rath's horizontal slashes can be
chained together in combos, while his vertical attack is a much slower and more
powerful downward strike.
Catalytic Smash – Rath's
Catalytic Smash causes the warrior to jump into the air and slam his third,
massive sword into the ground. The impact emits a rolling shockwave directly in front of
Rath; enemies hit by it are stunned and knocked into the air, setting up easy
combos from his other abilities.
Crossblade – Most
of Rath's attacks require him to get up close and personal with his enemies,
but Crossblade gives the swordsman some breathing room. The ability causes Rath
to cross his katanas, unleashing an energy projectile that travels a short
distance in front of him.
Genetic Syphon – This
vampiric ability allows Rath to absorb a percentage of the damage he deals to
his enemies, keeping him on his feet during frenzied battles.
Dreadwind – Rath's
powerful ultimate ability causes him to spin wildly for a few seconds, dealing
continual damage to anyone hit with his blades. Rath can still move while
performing Dreadwind, allowing him to pursue fleeing enemies.
Hands-on Impressions:As a melee fighter in a game full of gun-toting killers,
Rath might appear to be at a disadvantage. It didn't take much play time to
convince me otherwise; an opposing Rath caused abject terror whenever he was
spotted on the battlefield. His primary sword attacks can quickly whittle away
your health bar, and his Catalytic Smash and Crossblade abilities make him
dangerous from medium range as well. Rath is also one of the speedier
characters we saw, making him difficult to elude when he sets his sights on
you. His appropriately named Dreadwind ability is particularly deadly, but can
be countered by some characters – Montana's Lumberjack Dash let me put an
abrupt end to Rath's twirling attack and dish out some damage of my own. That
said, Rath should not be underestimated, and is a great choice for players who
aren't afraid to bring a sword to a gunfight.
Coming Up Next: The
most polite killer robot you'll ever meet...
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.