Battleborn Open Beta Early Impressions

     Hey everyone! I've had a lot of people in the shop ask me my thoughts on "Battleborn", the upcoming unique MOBA shooter by Gearbox Software. The Open Beta went live on April 8th on PS4, and April 13th for other platforms, and I have clocked an enormous amount of time into the game. Currently, I'm doing my best to devour Dark Souls 3 in all of it's majesty, but Battleborn is definitely a game that deserves attention.

    Battleborn is firing on all cylinders, sporting a really dynamic co-op experience in the form of episodic missions, a multiplayer mode with quite a few game types and, last but not least, some of the craziest characters I've seen in a long time. The game is like a weird and extremely unique combination of League of Legends and Borderlands, falling somewhere on the spectrum near games like Monday Night Combat and Team Fortress  As of right now, there are 25 characters to choose from, although many need to be unlocked by leveling up, or simply completing specific challenges. Each of these characters plays completely different from the next and bring a level of goofiness and badassery that only Gearbox could provide. My current favorite characters to play are Rath, Miko and Shayne & Aurox.

     Verod Rath, a sith-esque swordsman, utilizes 3 red energy swords and specializes in assassination. Simply put, Rath does close quarters damage...and ALOT of it. To top it off, Rath's voice actor is none other than Christopher Sabat (Vegeta from DBZ), and listening to Rath trash talk his way through the battle is hilarious. My next favorite, Miko, the "combat botanist" is a kunai slinging mushroom man from a fungal colony. Quite possibly the most effective healer in the game as of right now, Miko provides a high level of support to his team, but is also capable of holding his own in a fair fight. Last but not least is Shayne & Aurox. Shayne is a 16 year old, boomerang slinging teenage girl. Oh and she also has an omnidimensional horror at her side, named Aurox. One of the most unique characters I've played so far, Shayne & Aurox play like a front line brawler. Fearsome together but still capable when apart, Shayne & Aurox are incredible at displacing enemies and pushing lanes. There are many more characters to choose from, like a mech-piloting penguin, a robot butler who's cane doubles as a sniper rifle, a heavily armored bird and even a luchador wrestler with metal arms. There's something here for everybody, and thanks to Gearbox's "Helix System", each character can be leveled up in unique ways.

     So my best summary is; Battleborn is a completely chaotic shooter, with multiple game types and even a co-op episodic story mode. Utilizing Gearbox Software's infamous flavor of humor, the game's strongest point, in my opinion, is it's characters. Obviously, a studio like Gearbox is extremely capable of making a mechanically sound game, and sure enough the guns work, the explosions happen and it all feels good. The game still has a few kinks to work out, but is to be expected in a Beta. I have spent upwards of 15 minutes in matchmaking randomly, even when the lobby is full of players. There are also some small balance issues, with a few characters running rampant. But hey, that's what a beta is for, amirite?! Overall, Battleborn is a game I'm keeping my eye on. I'm slightly nervous about Gearbox's choice to release Battleborn so close to Blizzard's "Overwatch", but there is a distinction. Battleborn is very objective based, in all of it's game modes, plus Battleborn is sporting a really unique Story experience, if that is your jam. The Beta ends on April 18th, so come on in and check it out. I'd LOVE to get some games going with a group of people. We have the Beta available right here in LAN Mob! 

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