The lights are on
In 2009, Gearbox's hit Borderlands set itself apart from
other action games by combining the fast-paced combat of first-person shooters,
the varied skills and progression of RPGs, and the endless loot of dungeon
crawlers into a new and unique experience. For Battleborn, the developer is
once again blending ideas and elements of a number of genres. We break down the
core components that simultaneously make Battleborn feel familiar and unique.
Competitive MatchesWhat It's Like: Ever
since the inception of team deathmatch, first-person shooters have been mixing
cooperative and competitive play. Battleborn's five-player team size encourages
and rewards groups who play together as a tight-knit squad, similar to shooter
series like Battlefield and Rainbow Six, as well as the multiplayer offerings
of the Left 4 Dead series. Battleborn's Incursion mode, which
we played during our visit to Gearbox, was structured similarly to MOBAs like
League of Legends and Dota 2, tasking players with taking down the opposing
team's base and a pair of A.I.-controlled mechs in between.
Why It's Different: While
MOBAs may be the easiest comparison point for the structure of Incursion mode, Battleborn
plays like a shooter through and through. The matches we played had more of a
tug-of-war feel than most competitive shooters, with both the scores (earned
from killing players, NPCs, and taking down the opposing team's massive spider
mechs) and map territory constantly oscillating between the two teams. The smaller
player count also makes matches feel more intimate than most shooters, while the
inclusion of NPCs (which we'll discuss later) ensures there isn't much
A Massive Roster Of Playable
CharactersWhat It's Like: Gearbox
likened the game's stable of playable characters to the fighting-game genre,
and the comparison is apt; each hero not only sports his or her own unique
abilities, but the wildly different themes and aesthetics of Battleborn's gang
of misfits reminded us more of a Marvel vs. Capcom or Mortal Kombat than a
shooter. MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 also have giant rosters of
disparate and unique characters, making it another obvious comparison point.
Why It's Different: Many
shooters like Battlefield and Team Fortress 2 feature different classes with
unique abilities, but they pale in comparison to Battleborn's extreme sense of
variety. The closest comparison would be Evolve, but unlike the
hunters in Turtle Rock's shooter, the characters in Battleborn aren't just
limited to guns; melee-focused characters like Rath
change up the feel of battles and team tactics even further. I played as five
of Battleborn's characters, and each felt satisfyingly different – Thorn
in particular felt like she was from a completely different kind of
first-person game, but still somehow meshes with Battleborn's world and
gameplay. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the wilder characters like Phoebe
and Caldarius in action, but on the whole, Battleborn's stable of unique heroes
is what distinguishes the game most from other shooters.
Coming Up Next: We break down Battleborn's leveling system and A.I.-controlled combatants...
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