Gearbox’s MOBA like first person shooter got potential but it also has some flaws; not enough story content or the multiplayer can be a mess. These flaws can be fixed but require time and some work.
Battleborn in one the most chaotic shooters I’ve ever played. And true to form it both frustrate and amaze me at the same time. The campaign hinges on a story propelled by forgettable NPCs flailing with nonstop jokes.
The multiplayer attempts to fuse genres, sometimes successful but also misses out sourly needed online staples. The entire package is led by a cast that constantly peak my curiosity due to in-match leveling system.
Each of Battleborn’s 2 dozen characters has a fun look to create an instant attraction but the variety of their abilities take applause in deeper. You begin every new excursion at level 1 and have to progress through 10 upgrade choices in the course of a single session with a twist that you have to choose the upgrade on the fly like in an MOBA.
One of the weirder characters I took the liking to, was the multi limb magician Orendi, while her magical skills are fun to use at level 1, I like to have amount of choices to bolster them. Would the up close nullify attack were better if it launched Orendi away from a potential counter attack or it immediately recharge her shield. Would her damaging shadow fire pillar cause more devastation with wider range or a 2nd less powerful pillar could be immediately deployed afterwards. The intensity of these choices really added to the excitement of fight.
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Battleborn’s campaign lives and dies by the quality of stages which are mostly repetitive with the exception of some stand out moments. Each of the eight levels are essentially continues ways of boss battles and/or base defense sequences. Using a currency you collect on each map, you also have to purchase turrets and bots to aid in your attack against giant max or base defense which adds interesting layer of resource management.
Some stages like the opening arctic base, a trap filled ruin where one wrong step means death, and the final frantic stage are kind of co-op experience I’d gladly return with friends to grind and unlock characters. However, others that require multiple back and forth runs to defend bases are not for me especially since a destroyed base means repeating the entire 40 minute level.
With a campaign that feels familiar and soulless, there’s a lot of imagination on display in 3 vs 3 PvP modes. ‘CAPTURE’ is a famous ‘Domination’ kind of mode, good for fast action. ‘INCURSION’ is a kind of short version of Battleborn’s story campaign that truly avoids overly long battles. ‘MELTDOWN’ is Battleborn’s well meaning but ultimately flawed mixture of MOBA and FPS.
The big issue is the Battleborn’s first person prospective, the action is too close and the map is overlay small to keep track of any nearby deployable enemy locations. Also I would like to see Battleborn’s unique heroes fight against each other in a simple mode like ‘Team Death Match’.
The Battleborn’s cast is fantastic; I’ve enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of different characters like Marquis, Miko, Orendi and every time I play, I’m focused on earning further access to unique roaster. I just wish there’d be more stages and multiplayer modes. I return the half of the campaign that doesn’t feel long and repetitive and I enjoy 2/3rd of the game’s multiplayer modes. But I can’t help to feel that Battleborn still has a lot of room to grow.