After racking up millions of sales with their Borderlands games, Gearbox Software have focused their talent into another first-person shooter: Battleborn.
Like Borderlands, Battleborn looks set to be a distinctive action-packed experience boasting plenty of diverse characters, humour, and balls-to-the-wall shooting. Set for release in May, Battleborn has a community of fans waiting to dive in, eager to see if Gearbox can match (or exceed) Borderlands’ quality.
There’s a lot to be excited for here – but what should you be looking forward to most?
A Massive Roster Of Characters
With more than 25 characters available (some right out of the box, others waiting to be unlocked) players will have plenty of separate personalities to sink their teeth into.
These warriors (the Battleborn themselves) have their own unique style and abilities: everyone has one weapon; a specific ‘talent’; two skills; an ‘ultimate’ skill; and a passive ability. This gives players a huge amount to experiment with and ultimately master, adding to the game’s longevity.
Every Battleborn belongs to a specific faction: Jennerit; LLC; Peacekeepers; Rogues; and Eldrid. All characters will also be split into their own categories, depending on their style and skills.
Attackers are more aggressive, and plough into battle with impressive strength and moves. Defenders are able to take damage on behalf of their allies, while Support can heal and generate shields, to keep themselves and their team safe.
Gearbox has also confirmed that a further five Battleborn will be available for download after release, free of charge.
Blast Through The Story Mode Solo Or Co-Op
Games like Destiny and The Division have allowed players to complete campaign missions solo or with friends, and Battleborn takes a similar approach.
Up to five players can take part in Story Mode levels, with eight missions altogether. These tell the tale of the quest to save the universe’s last star from destruction, a situation that unites fighters of all races and backgrounds.
Each of these missions will be unique, with its own visual-style and atmosphere: in The Algorithm, for example, players have to take down a powerful AI that has gone rogue (while a Spider King is also said to appear); meanwhile, over in Void’s Edge, players have to halt an invasion on a sleek ice-planet.
Like Borderlands, imagination and creativity oozes from every aspect, with characters, settings, and weaponry all clearly designed to give players an unforgettable experience. Hopefully, the Story Mode will love up to its promise and deliver the goods – Borderlands showed Gearbox is more than capable.
Extensive, Innovative Progression Systems
A good progression system adds welcome depth to any game, and Battleborn goes one step further
than most action-shooter titles.
Players will have multiple progression systems here, which build up during both Story and Competitive Multiplayer.
The first of these is Helix. In each episode of gameplay, every new level-up gives players the chance to boost their character’s personal roster of powers and abilities (to a maximum of level 10) – at the start of a new level or mission, though, the Helix resets. What does this mean? That players can augment their Battleborn to suit the specific situation unfolding – boosting their abilities to stand the best chance of victory.
The next progression system is the Character Rank. As you spend time playing as each character, they rank up (to a maximum of 15), and unlike the Helix boosts your characters’ rank continues to rise without resetting. As ranks climb, Mutations are unlocked: these open up the potential for additional augmentations on the Helix – so, the more time you put in, the better your characters’ performance will be.
Last but not least, the Command Rank rewards players with new characters, gear, and more as you play through Story Mode and Competitive missions (only against other players, though – bot-matches bring no XP). This is a progression system seen in plenty of other games, but the addition of two others as well makes for an innovative structure in an FPS game.
Customizable Characters To Build Unique Battleborn
In most FPS games, customizing loadouts are par for the course, but character models generally remain the same throughout. In Battleborn, though, Gearbox Software is giving players plenty of choice to refine their characters’ looks.
While a huge range of different skins and taunts (always fun to provoke other players) are up for grabs through unlocking, Gearbox will release additional pieces as DLC after the game’s launch. Now, anyone concerned they’ll miss out on fresh gameplay content by not paying for downloads need not worry – the skins are purely cosmetic, designed just to make characters look unique for a more satisfying multiplayer experience.
Build Offensive And Defensive Structures On The Fly
During Story and Multiplayer modes, players can build structures to even the odds and give themselves some much-needed firepower or healing.
By collecting Shards (collectibles scattered throughout stages), players can purchase Buildables at specific points. These include: automatic turrets, which attack enemies at will; healing stations, which regenerate health for all allies on a specific team; accelerators, which give players’ speeds a boost; and super minions, which are a more powerful version of standard minions (these robots are on-hand to help players during combat).
This helps to give teams a temporary advantage as needed, ensuring those on the losing side have a chance to grab a victory even when the odds are against them.
With its elements of humour, bright visuals popping with colour, and sci-fi-fantasy setting, Battleborn appears to have a feel of the mighty Timesplitters. This is no bad thing, given how much fun that series was, but the deep progression and variety of customization options is sure to make Battleborn a unique experience.
What are you most excited for in Battleborn? Let us know!