Trailer Tuesdays: Battleborn

Fresh off the Borderlands wagon, developers at Gearbox have put forth an entirely new IP which hopes to both retain their old audience and bring in new faces. This IP is Battleborn! The exclamation point seems necessary because it should be exciting. I should want to play this, but I’m just not… quite there yet. This could, of course, end up being similar to my reaction to the Borderlands pre-sequel; in which I start out unimpressed with the game, but slowly end up getting hyped for its release despite myself. Or this hype train could take a turn at “could have been better” station; only time can really tell.

For now, however, we have the facts. Most important of which is this: Battleborn is not a MOBA (“multiplayer online battle arena”—think League of Legends or DOTA).

Or, Gearbox is really, really insistent to make sure everyone knows it’s not a MOBA. This begs the question, then: if this game isn’t a MOBA, what is it? After reading up on it, I’m not entirely sure myself. The claim is that Battleborn is a first person shooter that takes RPG elements and gives it objective based gameplay and unique characters to play with. Or a first person shooter with lots of different genres mushed into one melting pot of a game. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but it really doesn’t give the audience a lot to go off of. In fact, it gives the audience almost too much in every other way. When a game is marketed as having lots of innovative mechanics or a new way of looking at a specific genre, it sets the game up for a lot of high expectations. I’ve been burned by Peter Molyneux and the Fable series one too many times, but the sweet summer children of the next gaming generation may not have entered the jaded stage of their gaming lives yet. I’d hate for this to be the game that does it.

What else do we know about this game? There are a variety of characters that the player can choose from, all offering different play-styles: from ranged to melee. (I don’t know why there are melee characters in a first person shooter, just go with it.) Additionally, there are large objectives that the group—of up to five players—must work together to bring down while being pushed against by various other obstacles, like smaller enemies.

Hello, non-stereotypically gorgeous female character. I think I'm gonna like you.

Hello, non-stereotypically gorgeous female character. I think I’m gonna like you.

…Yeah, okay. You can dress it up however you want, Gearbox, but this is a MOBA. Perhaps a more tactical approach to a MOBA, but a MOBA nonetheless. I think this is why I’m so ‘take it or leave it’ about games like Battleborn and EA’s Dawngate. I can’t fault the companies for trying to set their games apart from the other slew of MOBAs that are coming out—or the ones that are already massively popular—but going so far as to try to deny the genre you’re clearly in makes me wonder: who are you trying to kid? Hopefully not your audience, because we’re not quite that dumb.

Yet what Battleborn does have going for it is a really great art style and a bunch of cool-looking characters with, okay, skills and play styles that sound kind of fun. Maybe in the future I’ll get a clearer view on why Gearbox is so adamant on branding the game as a FPS instead of a MOBA (hopefully via tons of gameplay footage), but for now I’m going to keep a wary on eye on this one.

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About Tsunderin

Greetings and salutations! Feel free to just call me Rin—we’re all friends here, or nemeses who just haven’t gotten to know each other well enough. I’m a video game lover from the womb to the tomb, and Bioware enthusiast until the day they stop making games with amazing characters that I cry over. And while I don’t partake as often as I used to, don’t be surprised to find me poking around an anime or manga every once in a while either. A personal interest for me is characterization in media and how women in particular have been portrayed, are being portrayed, and will be portrayed in the future. I’m not going to mince words about my opinion either.