The lights are on
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.
Click on the image for a larger version
Name: ThornFaction: EldridThorn'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: BowThorn 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.
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...
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.