If there’s one thing that Gearbox Software knows how to do it’s make an FPS, it’s in their blood. So with Battleborn they’re continuing their penchant for guns, and after my hands-on it appears chock full of their best qualities.
Set in a time when the stars of the universe are dying, there remains only one for people to gather around. As a result, all life in the universe now resides in the same place, occupying just a handful of planets. In typical good-versus-bad fashion, it’s all on you to keep it from being destroyed.
First and foremost, Battleborn obviously takes a lot of inspiration from Borderlands. Its characters, style and gunplay all pay homage to their already-established series. Even many of the characters look incredibly similar, some near-identical. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise though, given it’s probably the same art team. Anyway…
Despite its similarities, Battleborn is very much its own thing. There are a whopping 25 characters to play as, plus the levelling up system is lightning quick, only lasting once per mission or multiplayer round. When you consider Borderland’s measly handful of characters, alongside a painfully slow levelling up system, this is quite a refreshing take.
Through the use of its Helix upgrade system, players will be able to max out their characters quickly and experience all they have to offer in one match, which is handy when there are 25 people to play as. Once a mission is reset, so is the level, which means that all players are level pegging and no player is more powerful/advanced than another.
It’s a very different approach, given that in order to reach the full potential of anyone single person in Borderlands, you firstly had to sink at least fifty hours in. From my short play through it already seems as though Battleborn will be a lot more accessible, and that’s a good thing.
The fact I could level up so quick caught me off guard, but I was extremely happy to be gaining XP quickly, mining through my upgrades on the go. I’m already excited to get back in and play every character available. In terms of gameplay its very much like Borderlands, but with added steroids. Akin to Borderlands, you’re constantly bombarded with colourful characters and wacky fights, as the world operates on a permanent high. It’s great fun and I look forward to playing online with friends, come release.
I’m intrigued by Gearbox Software’s new approach, particularly with the devil may care attitude towards levelling up and gaining power. Their reimagined concept for shooters makes perfect sense, especially with the grind-fest of Borderlands. I guess I’m just concerned about not having one character to call my own, having 25 almost makes them feel disposable.
Battleborn will release on February 9th 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.