Battleborn is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. The game was released in 2016 and can be played on Microsoft Windows powered PCs as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. This game is a successful hybrid between the MOBA and first-person shooter genres, combining the best elements into one videogame.
Gameplay of Battleborn
The Battleborn gameplay was destined to catch the eye of prospective players and it appeal to members of two communities. Those who enjoy first-person shooters as well as multiplayer online battle arena fans appreciate its unique game mechanics. Players with this action from a first-person perspective, rather than the top down vantage point of classic MOBAs. As a result, they get immersed into the game atmosphere; the only downside is that it’s more difficult to keep track of everything happening on the battlefield.
In terms of strategy needed to outshine opposition,many of the tactics used in Battleborn are also common in multiplayer online battle arena games. For instance, the leveling system was maintained intact and all players start with low level heroes when the game begins. Differences arise when players destroy the enemy structures, kill NPCs and AI controlled creatures on the map.
The starting skills can be improved, and new abilities are unlocked as players level up their heroes. One of the things that help make the gameplay of Battleborn stand out from the crowd is in regard to the role assumed by heroes. Players can choose abilities from one of the three skill trees available and turn their characters into tanks, support and damage dealers. In traditional multiplayer online battle arena games, most heroes are predetermined to serve one of these roles.
There are plenty of different combinations available, as the Helix Tree allows for a great deal of flexibility in the decision-making process. Developers made sure that players who choose to play support or tank will have a lot of fun, just like their damage dealer counterparts. This is something that many MOBAs have tried to achieve but were largely unsuccessful. When players are given the incentive to play these roles, instead of being forced to pick support or tank, the community is friendlier.
The gameplay of Battleborn is defined by a rather steep learning curve, because of the mix of melee and ranged abilities. Some of the most potent damage dealers use magic and players frequently have to switch from first-person to third person perspective. This happens more often when characters cast spells or launch deadly attacks and the transition can be a bit overwhelming for beginners.
Battleborn Heroes and Abilities
Initially, there were only 25 heroes for players to choose from, but each of them was blessed with truly unique abilities. Developed for multiplayer, the game still pays a lot of attention to defining each hero and players can learn about the characters by reading a short narrative. The environment was well chosen and those who want to see how a fantasy realm looks in the distant future will enjoy this experience.
Battleborn characters hone powerful spells which can be used defensively or in an aggressive manner. They can inflict a lot of damage, heal teammates or protect the entire group from incoming attacks. Attacking computer-controlled opponents and other NPCs provides the best opportunity to try the third person experience. The combinations of defensive and offensive spells allow players to devise unique strategies. Incursion, Arena and Meltdown are the three game modes where they can be put to good use.
In the Battleborn universe players brace for the end of the universe, as the archenemy Varelsi prepares to destroy the Solus star. This is the backdrop for the story, yet in multiplayer the game unfolds in a very similar manner as most mainstream MOBAs. It benefits from the action-packed nature of first-person shooters, without lacking the depth of League of Legends and Dota 2. Because of the smaller roster of heroes, characters are more versatile and even support heroes can inflict a lot of damage.
Battleborn Multiplayer and eSports Potential
Gearbox Software took a leap of faith with Battleborn when they decided to create a hybrid between first-person shooters and MOBA. That’s because the game is more difficult to play in professional multiplayer and is not a real challenger for the most successful multiplayer online battle arenas. The mix of defensive and offensive abilities and the versatility of its heroes partially offset the smaller lineup of characters. To be truly competitive at an eSports level the game needs to provide pro players with more options.
The Battleborn multiplayer experience is completely different from what regular MOBA fans are used to and they need some time to adapt to the new reality. That’s why many can be under the impression that the learning curve is steep, when in fact they need to get familiar with the original game mechanics. In multiplayer, rushing objectives is a surefire way to fail, because players can only succeed if they have the support of the entire team. Teamplay is essential in both professional and casual games.
Popular and Critical Reception
Battleborn enjoyed critical acclaim for being a bold undertaking. Gearbox Software was under a lot of pressure to come up with a successful title after waiting for so long after their previous release. As multiplayer online battle arena games go, this is one of the most original, but also a very challenging title. Players were fascinated by the manner in which transition is made from first-person to third person perspective during action-packed battles.
Battleborn showed tremendous potential in becoming a major game in the eSports arena and was poised to take the industry leaders by storm. However, several years after its international release, the community of professional players only grew moderately. One of the reasons for its apparent lack of success is that the gameplay doesn’t accommodate large-scale tournaments. Even so, developers continue to invest massively in the game and keep it fresh and balanced through patches and updates.
Key Features of Battleborn
- Battleborn was the first game produced by Gearbox Software since the release of Borderlands.
- The game is a successful hybrid between first-person shooters and MOBAs.
- Team play is more important in eSports arena that in most multiplayer online battle arena games.
- Battleborn has several game modes and objective-based versions and a competitive multiplayer.
The Bottom Line
Battleborn challenged the establishment and the general assumption that developers would have to walk down the traveled paths to be successful. Gearbox Software took its time with this release and the result was a game that brilliantly combines first-person shooter with MOBA elements. The game looks great and performs well on PCs and consoles alike, while emphasizing the importance of gameplay in casual and professional games. Battleborn has a competitive multiplayer and is appreciated as an eSport, even though it trails behind leaders in the multiplayer online battle arena genre.