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 game.

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Name: Rath
Faction: The Jennerit Empire
Rath 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.

Primary Weapon: Katanas
Rath 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.

Ultimate Ability:

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...