I was privileged to get an invitation from 2K Games to join them at Gamescom 2015 for a presentation of their upcoming new franchise, Battleborn. After a warm welcome i got a presentation from the big man, Randy Pitchford, himself. After the presentation we got some hands on time with Battleborn and even talked with some of the Gearbox staff.
if you like Borderlands and you aren’t into Battleborn yet, IT’S TIME! – MentalMars
- Page 1 – Intro, Benedict & Mellka
- Page 2 – About Ambra & Reyna
- Page 3 – About Battleborn’s Loot
- Page 4 – Battleborn Hands on Impression
While still looking over at the Battleborn artwork hanging at the wall of the briefing room Randy started his presentation. This wasn’t the basic presentation that you got at the public booth. As he was telling how Gearbox Software is now making its third own ip, Battleborn (The others being Brothers in Arms and Borderlands). So he started with the story how the universe started collapsing and how all these different kinds of civilisations ended up around the last star called Solus. And that all these species have different opinions about how to move on, like save the star or just go out with a bang believing there is a afterlife. You could notice Randy was enthusiastic about the game and how he sometimes got sidetracked and started telling background information. For example who did the art direction for Battleborn. But before i get sidetracked let’s continue with the story…
So we got to the last star, leading this assault is the warlord, Lothar Rendain. Once part of the Jennerit Imperium but now he’s the leader of the Jennerit Empire. Rendain made a deal with the Varelsi, the evil entity that’s responsible for the darkening of the stars. By helping the Varelsi he will get to travel alongside of them to their dimension. As the other factions learn about this threat they managed to put their differences aside and team up against the evil.
After getting to know a bit about the story behind the game we were presented these four new Battleborn, Benedict, Mellka, Ambra & Reyna. As they loaded in the different heroes we got a quick overlook on what they could do. The fun part about this was that some of my predictions in my “Who is” articles are actually true. They are somewhat executed in a different way but i was right with some of the core elements.
Benedict – Peacekeeper
August Benedict Jr. is one of several surviving races of bird-like “Aviant” refugees. He swore allegiance to the Peacekeepers where he’s gained considerable notoriety for being a self-centered jerk that’s capable of astounding destruction with his rocket launcher. Double jumping, rocket jumping, and flying – Benedict’s good at all of them and he lets his teammates know it.
Yes Benedict has a rocket launcher and has flying capabilities. He has a real fun attitude of letting the other battleborn know how cool he is. I liked the way how Gearbox made use of his wings. One of the abilities is that Benedict can use his wings to get out of dangerous situations and his Helix skill tree let’s you customize this move. With Liftoff Benedict will jump into the air, you can choose to add a backjump to this moving you away from the danger. But if for example you are playing through the story mode (PvE) and a wave of enemies is swarming you, you can add some extra between you and the enemies adding some knock back to this move scattering your enemies. But if you are in a multiplayer scenario (PvP) you might want to add a slowing effect to your foes with this move as you are playing against other gamers. Slowing down opposing Battleborn also helps your buddies landing their shots. There is also a skill that will let you do a double jump and get even higher into the air. This way you can get more airtime if you are gliding through the air. Because if you hold down the jump button Benedict will spread his wings and soar through the sky.
Another ability of Benedict is to shoot guided rockets. He will slam his rocket launcher to get the thing going. This will shoot out a rocket that homes towards your opponent. Your helix skill tree will let you extend it’s homing duration, and you will be able to add extra rockets to each shot. By choosing the rights skill you can shoot 3 rockets instead of one. Other handy skills for your rockets are the level 3 skills. Do you choose to faster reload speed so you can shoot more rockets or do you choose for faster traveling rockets. So if you are good predicting where your opponent will be you want to fire as much rockets as you can. But if they are good in dodging your fire, you can speed up your rockets resulting in more hits.
Benedict ultimate ability let’s him shoot a guided missile, but instead of a homing device you are in control of the rocket. As you fire this baby a awesome HUD will appear and you will go in first person mode of the rocket. This let’s you pick down those baddies. Remember Benedict is a swift character but this powerful ability makes him a sitting duck. So don’t go on a excursion with your badass rocket because your character will be free target practice.
Mellka – Eldrid
A stealthy assassin, Mellka lost her parents at a young age before eventually earning her place among the Eldrid’s black op’s and intelligence bureau. Her life has been defined by a series of staggering losses, but her response to these losses was never despair – it was fury. She strikes quickly, disorienting foes with her nerve gas machine pistol and bio-glaive melee attacks.
Mellka kinda plays like Caldarius as i predicted. She had a mutated art and a pistol. This kinda plays like a Bioshock game, giving a left/right gameplay. In one hand you got your gun and in the other you got your magic attacks. BTW. The attachment underneath the barrel is the ammo clip. So i can stop speculating about that. One of Mellka’s abilities is a forward dash, the Claw Lunge, as she quickly moves forwards she can strike an opponent and deal great damage. Mellka’s Skill tree, the Helix, has some stacking capabilities like you might know from Borderlands. If you perform a certain action you gain a stack, the more stacks you gain the better a power gets boosted. Mellka has the capability the use venom. Poisoned enemies take more damage from melee attacks, including the Claw Lunge. So shoot a enemy with Venom then get in for the kill. Killing these poisoned enemies will play there role throughout Mellka’s Helix.