This week we're taking a look at just a few of the unique playable characters in Gearbox's new cooperative and competitive shooter, Battleborn. On Monday, we revealed the newcomer-friendly space marine, Oscar Mike; the poison-kunai wielding mushroom healer, Miko; and the floating, telekinetic swordswoman, Phoebe. Today we've got three more characters for you to learn about, and they're just as eclectic as the last bunch. Thorn is a slim and agile elf-like warrior who's deadly with a bow; Montana is a mountainous, Gatling-gun-wielding soldier with a zeal for battle; and Reyna is a tough rogue commander who sports some powerful support abilities. Read on to learn about each character's unique weapons and abilities, and for more of our hands-on impressions of the game.

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Name: Thorn
Faction: Eldrid
Thorn's tall, thin frame makes her the most agile playable character we saw during our visit to Gearbox. The elf-like warrior was one of the first Eldrid settlers to land on Ekkunar, Solus' most hospitable planet, and she has thus lived most of her life beyond her faction's control. Thorn frequently clashes with the Eldrid's passive adoration of nature and is more than willing to defend her new home world – luckily, she packs a number of deadly abilities to help with her cause. Thorn can also jump much higher than other characters, but her speed and agility come at a cost; unlike the other characters we saw, Thorn doesn't have a shield.

Primary Weapon: Bow
Thorn can't fire as quickly as her gun-toting colleagues, but her arrows deal a punishing amount of damage. Players draw back her bow by pressing in the right trigger; releasing the button fires the arrow, but you can also charge the projectile for greater damage the longer you hold in the button. Holding the left trigger will zoom in slightly, making it easier to target distant enemies – though you'll still have to correct for speed and gravity.


Volley – Thorn's Volley ability simultaneously unleashes five arrows in a horizontal spread, all of which deal extra damage. This can come in handy if you're having trouble hitting a foe or have the opportunity to shoot multiple enemies at a time. However, Volley is even more useful in close quarters. A point-blank shot will land all of the arrows on a single target, which can be fatal depending on the enemy and your upgrade choices; Thorn can add an additional four arrows over the course of leveling up.

Blight – What good would an elf-like creature be without at least a few magic powers? Activating Blight creates a mystical symbol on the ground that damages enemies and slows down their rate of movement, giving Thorn time to run away or charge up another arrow.

Dark Curse – Thorn's passive ability gives her arrows dark energy that causes extra damage to enemies. It also curses them, which factors into her ultimate ability.

Ultimate Ability:

Apex Predator – By far Thorn's coolest ability, Apex Predator summons a scalewolf, a ghostly beast that mauls the targeted enemy. Thorn can increase the duration of the attack by cursing the enemy first with her arrows.

Hands-on Impressions:
Thorn was the second character I played as, and I had more difficulty taking down foes in head-to-head encounters than I did playing as Oscar Mike. However, I instantly fell in love with how fast and nimble she is; I could easily outrun my foes and jump to high ledges that other characters couldn't reach. Thorn is more vulnerable than other characters in part because she lacks a shield. However, about halfway through the match, I transitioned from prey to predator, thanks to Thorn's upgrades. I still had to choose my targets wisely and avoid big shootouts, but I was more than happy to stalk my enemies from the trees, thump them with a volley of high-damage arrows, and then disappear back into the wilderness. I definitely plan to spend more time playing as Thorn when Battleborn comes out.

Coming Up Next: A soldier that's as big as the state he's named after...