Look, I didn’t know anything about Randy Pitchford and what a douche he was when I picked up Battleborn. I hadn’t seen the marketing where Battlebborn had tried to take on Overwatch in weird brand twitter beefs. I didn’t play and love Borderlands 1 and 2 and prequel in order to be super hyped for another BL game only to have it be some weird hybrid MOBA, FPS, Shooter...thing?
For this reason, I went in without any preconceptions or notions of what this game should be beyond my own, “Oh God. An FPS. I’m so bad at these” What I found though, was a surprisingly deep, sometimes humorous, jack of all trades, fun as hell, MOBA/DM/Capture/Lane Pushing/...thing.
It’s a weird game. I’ll accept it. It doesn’t actually allow itself to be classified as anything. There’s a story mode that you can play coop or with friends. It’s not going to win any awards or knock your socks off with lore, but it’s there. You can PvE to your heart’s content.
There are 25 different characters to choose from and 5 more DLC characters. All feel unique, all handle differently, all can be upgraded. All are voiced well. Sometimes, the humor falls flat. Sometimes it doesn’t. There are DLC packs to flesh out character backstories. Characters can be bought with real money or with in game currency obtained at a steady clip through playing sp and mp games.
There are loot mechanics. You can obtain loot from completing lore challenges, or working through the single player with friends and beating bosses. Loot gives you minor upgrades across different game modes. You can equip three pieces. Each piece has to be activated with shards. Shards are found scattered throughout singleplayer and multiplayer maps. Gear which gives greater advantages has higher shard costs preventing someone from equipping three gold tier gear and rampaging through a multiplayer game.
There are several different game modes. There’s the aforementioned singleplayer mode. You can play through the game’s eight story missions either alone or with friends. There so. many. different. multiplayer. modes. You have capture mode. You stand on a point and capture it. Enemy team tries to stop you from capturing it. Standard stuff. Next up there’s a lane pushing mode. You try to get your robots into the enemy recycling plant without them getting destroyed. You can buy sentry guns to place along the route, or health stations. It’s similar to a tower defense mode. As time goes on the route gets longer and more torturous. There’s a MOBA mode, where your goal is to defeat the enemy team’s giant robots. There are two on your path to victory. There were the DLC maps which had different mp objectives than the standard single player maps. The game added in different variants on the standard MP by having lower gravity, or mixing up how fast shields recharge/weapon damage did. All of the levels were well designed.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I never encountered a bug while playing the game. Monetization wasn’t marketed well, but it’s not bad. Originally you paid for the game, and then you could buy skins and heroes with real money. You could also unlock them via story missions and in game currency. Now the game is free to play (and dead), but you still pay for cosmetic stuff mostly. I think there might be an XP boost but there’s no real reason to buy it as that will just unlock lore challenges quicker. You aren’t awarded lootboxes. You don’t gamble on skins. Everything that is there can be purchased outright either with cash or in game currency.
I’m not going to say that Battleborn is GOTY material. It’s not. The story is half assed and not incredibly interesting. Singleplayer missions are ok once or twice but I never felt compelled to grind them for gear (even though they DID change the dialogue to make repeated playthroughs more interesting). The humor missed. A lot. It hit too sometimes. It was silly. But yeesh, a lot of it was pretty cringe, as the kids say. Graphically the game was stylized but pretty simplistic.
However, despite its shortcomings, the game was hamstrung out the gate because it was 1. not borderlands 3. 2. Shot itself in the foot by taking on Overwatch (even though they are VASTLY different games). 3. Randy Pitchford.
If you’re interested in trying out Battleborn, I’ve recently re-installed it and play it from time to time with my significant other (she actually picked up archery because she liked Thorn so much). We’re representing 10% of the total playerbase most of the time XD.
But if you’re tired of every game being a battle royale lootbox game, then maybe download it and give it a try. It’s fun enough to entertain and maybe we can get a game night going sometime.
What do you think? Was battleborn overrated, underrated? Do you think a sequel could work? Want to argue back in long form? Simply compose a post and tag it Tayclassic and watch it appear as if by battleborn magic on the front page! Anyone can do it, even you!