e3 2015

Battleborn’s Story Mode Is More Like Borderlands Than You Think

by Ben Reeves on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:36 AM

If you’ve played Borderlands then you know that Gearbox loves to blend genres. Its newest IP Battleborn continues that tradition by combining shooter gameplay with RPG and fighting game elements while mashing up popular tropes from ‘80s cartoons, Star Wars, and even Guardians of the Galaxy. We’ve seen a bit of Battleborn’s various multiplayer modes, but at E3 we got our first taste of the game’s dedicated story mode, and it seems like fans of Borderlands will have a few reasons to play Battleborn. We’re not going to count them, but that’s more than two.

Battleborn features 24 characters in total, and should have a few characters for everyone. Some characters use swords, some are four-armed mages, some are space marines, and some are sentient mushrooms. The game features the classic Gearbox humor that fans have come to love and adore.

The main story is about the last star in the universe, and we’re not talking about Tom Hanks. We’re talking about a giant ball of gas - no, not Jonah Hill. We’re talking about a celestial body – no, we already told you we’re not talking about Tom Hanks.

Every character in the game comes from a different arena of pop culture, but they’re all working to ensure that the last star in the universe doesn’t explode. The story mode can be played with up to five players and will feature a variety of different mission types. We ran through one mission that had us beating back groups of enemies and then protecting and upgrading a walking mech before escorting it across a map and then battling a boss. The missions and levels are all being designed by the same team that worked on the first two Borderlands games.

I played as Boldur, and giant dwarf-like creature who was a close-range fighter. Boldur has a shield that can be used to block incoming attack if you want to be a baby about it. Thankfully, he also has a dash move that’s good for knocking enemies off their feet for a few second. I felt like I was an integral part of my team, and my teammates often looked up to me for support, taking shelter under my protective, powerful wings. While Boldur is mostly a close range fighter, he does have an axe throw that does a good deal of damage, but has a cool down. His ultimate special increases his axe damage and can heal him depending on his upgrade path.

Like all the characters in Battleborn, Boldur has an upgrade path and I speedily worked by way up it during this mission of the game. However, these levels reset after each mission, which creates a fun escalation for each level. However, Gearbox has promised that there will be a kind of loot system and upgrade system that would persist throughout the story mode as well as the other multiplayer modes.

I only got to play one round of Battleborn, but it was pretty fun, and fans of Borderlands should keep their eyes on this game. For more information about Battleborn check out our earlier preview.