Battleborn is the new franchise of Gearbox Software. After completing Borderlands 2 a new team was formed. Everything they had learned from creating the Borderlands games, they could put to use with Battleborn. Just like with the Borderlands franchise Gearbox once again wants to push themselves and create a whole new genre. By blending different game types they are aiming for the ultimate Hero Shooter. Battleborn is the reason why Gearbox Software didn’t jump to Borderlands 3.
Battleborn features several game modes one is a 5-player co-op campaign and the other is a 5vs5 multiplayer component. The multiplayer features different modes, one of them having some MOBA components to it. Gearbox Software is known for mixing genres, they did it with Brothers in Arms, Borderlands, and now Battleborn.
Battleborn is a hero shooter, you still play like any other FPS (First Person Shooter), although there are some melee characters. Battleborn isn’t like other MOBAs with 3 lanes or something like that. You aren’t taking down turrets to get inside the enemy base. Those elements have been updated to fit the FPS genre.
Battleborn is set in the distant future. The galaxy is falling apart. As the stars and planets are dying all species that are capable of space travel gather around the last remaining star. With all these different entities in one place, they all want something to say about how they need to proceed. One wants to save the planet while the other says they need to let fate run its course.
These are just the opinions of 2 of the factions, Battleborn currently has 5 different factions that want to control the outcome of Solus. You can imagine that this situation will create some stress and conflict.
Soon they will discover that they have to put their differences aside because a greater evil is threatening their existence. A dark foe known as the Valersi is behind the destruction of the universe and the Battleborn have to team up in order to save Solus.
Battleborn is a hero shooter. Where Borderlands’ main feature was 87 bazillion guns, there were only 6 vault hunters in the game. With the game Battleborn, Gearbox Software focuses on the heroes and there are a lot. As said earlier there are 5 factions in Battleborn:
- Jennerit Empire
- Last Light Consortium
These factions will have several heroes to choose from, each in their own class and with unique abilities. These classes are Assault, Defender & Support. There is a debate going on about if you have to play with fixed classes. We do know there is a Rock/Paper/Scissors balance mechanic in place, so there is always a way to counter your opponents. Gearbox will create a giant roster of playable characters for Battleborn.
During the Pax South 2015 Panel, they showed a slide containing 30 slots. The development team also stated that it takes up to 100 man weeks to create a single character. Yup, that’s a lot!
In contrast with Borderlands where your character levels up slowly, your Battleborn hero will level up real fast during the course of these 30-minute battles. Your character will reach its final skill at level 10. Giving each hero its own special abilities making him/her unique on the battlefield.
You get to pick one upgrade for each time you level up. When accessing the Helix Skill Tree the player gets presented the choice between 2 skills. Each of these skills grants the player access to new abilities or upgrades. For example, do you want your frags that do more damage or do you want to have a bigger blast radius? Do you want a quicker cooldown for your chaingun or do you want to shoot bullets that do burn damage? These choices affect your playstyle and therefore the gameplay of your hero.
At the end of a match, the player will lose all these upgrades and has to start fresh again at level 1 in the next session. As stated before leveling up goes quite swiftly and will reach your final skill really fast giving you the ability to try out different skills each time. Don’t worry not all is lost there is some element of continuous progress in Battleborn. This way you won’t lose all the effort you put into your character. What this means is currently unknown, although Creative Director Randy Varnell told us that there is something in the works.
Another hot topic that still needs to be revealed is loot. Battleborn will feature a loot mechanic but details are still missing. As loot isn’t the main goal of this game like Borderlands I don’t think there will be massive loot drops. During the first gameplay footage of the cooperative campaign, you could see players pick up ‘shards’. This is a type of currency and one of the things you can do with is, spend it on building turrets on the battlefield. These can help you in time of need or help you dominate during an online match. I did write a blog post where I speculated about the possibility that Battleborn would feature crafting mechanics.
UPDATE: At Gamescom Gearbox showed off the new loot system check out my Hands-on review of the Gear.