With just a few months before Battleborn's impending launch in May, Gearbox and 2K have revealed the final two characters of the game's 25-hero roster. We've got the full scoop on what you can expect from Battleborn's cantankerous science officer Kleese and the earnest luchadore with giant robot arms, El Dragón.
Faction: Last Light Consortium
Chosing to play as a frail, old doctor in an action game bursting with overpowered heroes may seem like a dubious choice, but Kleese's "tactical battle chair" helps even the odds. On the personality front, Kleese is kind of like a humorous mix of Professor X and a James Bond villain - he wants to help the Battleborn succeed in saving the final star in the universe, yet he can't help enjoy watching his teammates stumble from time to time. Kleese is the Battleborn's science officer, and barks a mix of instructions and insults at players during missions even when he's not on the ground.
Primary Weapon: Wrist
Kleese's wrist cannon allows the mad scientist to shoot glowing orbs of energy at foes, while his secondary shock taser attack helps deal with melee-focused enemies that get to close to his floating battle chair. Kleese's wrist cannon has a slow rate of fire, but one of the "mutation" upgrades to his skill tree can turn it into a continuous laser for additional damage.
Energy Rift – Kleese can deploy these stationary energy fields to the battlefield, which simultaneously replenish the shields of his fellow teammates while delivering a steady stream of damage to encroaching enemies, making them a helpful tool when engaged in standoffs against waves of enemies and tough bosses. The energy rifts can be upgrade in a variety of ways via Kleese's skill tree; examples include adding the ability to explode when they take damage (think of it as a deployable red barrel) or deploy multiple energy rifts at the same time.
Energy Mortar – Kleese's wrist cannon feels a little underpowered compared to the primary weapons of other characters, but his energy mortar packs a serious punch. The ability bombards a target with six mortars, which do bonus damage to shields. Energy mortars can be used effectively as an area-of-effect attack, or as a devastating barrage to a close-range foe.
Tactical Battle Chair – Kleese's battle chair hovers just above the ground, and can rocket down on enemies similar to Mario's butt-stomp attack. The battle chair also provides Kleese with a maximum shield bonus every level, and can buff the shields of his allies.
Black Hole – Kleese's ultimate ability allows him to create a black hole that draws in enemies and deals massive damage. Like his energy rifts, the black hole is deployed in a target location and can be a major advantage during standoffs with waves of enemies.
Kleese is a support class character, and as such is less effective in combat against multiple enemies compared to more offensive-minded heroes. Kleese's wrist cannon feels slow and wimpy compared to the other characters I played; I found myself relying on his energy mortar instead, while sticking to the outskirts of the map. However, Kleese does have value in the co-op campaign: his energy rifts and black hole attack make tackling waves of enemies easier for the team, even if he is hanging back and staying out of the thick of the action.
Name: El Dragón
Faction: Last Light Consortium
Humans and machines have a long history of war in Battleborn's lore, and even though the two sides have teamed up to save the last remaining star in the universe, that eternal conflict is still celebrated for entertainment in competitive battles. El Dragón was one of the most popular and successful human fighters in the sport, but a devastating loss ended with the musclebound luchadore getting both of his arms ripped off. Thankfully, El Dragón's comically oversized robot arms make him a force to be reckoned with in battle.
Primary Weapon: M-RBX
El Dragón is capable of doling out an endless combo of punches thanks to his overpowered arms, while his secondary clap attack can hit enemies from a short distance away. El Dragón can also perform a dropkick attack while sprinting - what else would you expect from a luchadore?
Clothesline – El Dragón's clothesline attack sends the wrestler blazing across the battlefield, smacking any enemy that gets in his way. This attack is vital for helping El Dragón close the distance between him and projectile-based enemies, and can be upgraded to stun enemies and leech their health via the character's skill tree.
Dragon Splash – Another powerful attack in El Dragón's repertoire, Dragon Splash causes the luchadore to launch into the air and come crashing down on a target area. The area-of-effect attack can also stun enemies caught in its wake, giving El Dragón time to unleash another flurry of punches.
Undisputed Champ – El Dragón's passive ability boosts the wrestler's melee damage by 3% every time he kills an enemy, up to a maximum of 30%. The bonus is cut in half if you die, but given El Dragón's beefy attacks, that shouldn't happen often.
En Fuego – El Dragón's ultimate ability causes the wrestler to unleash an explosive shockwave that blasts nearby opponents. En Fuego also augments his other abilities with new properties for a limited time after it is activated.
Kleese and El Dragón couldn't be more different in terms of play style. Whereas Kleese is better off avoiding big melees and keeping a distance, El Dragón thrives in the middle of battle. El Dragón's melee attacks take off big meaty chunks of his opponents' health bars, and his upgrades allow him to replenish his health while doling out the pain. I was concerned that his melee status would put him at a disadvantage when taking on gun-toting enemies, but his clap attack gives him a little range, and his clothesline ability is good for running down foes or getting out of trouble quickly. El Dragón is one the most frantic and fun characters I've gotten to play as, and is a solid addition to damage-focused teams.
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