Home Gaming Here’s what we think of the Battleborn beta

Here’s what we think of the Battleborn beta

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Battleborn! It’s a great big new franchise for Gearbox and 2K; a hero shooter with MOBA-sensibilities that’s coming at a time seemingly flooded with games that look and play in a similar way. Battleborn will have to do something exceptional to stand out. Does it?

Here’s what Gavin thinks:

The latest 2K and Gearbox game entered its open beta this weekend and I have to admit that I wasn’t excited for this game. I’ve been to two behind closed doors events for the game so far and each time the game just felt boring. But that was many months ago so I downloaded the beta anyway and entered the world of Battleborn this weekend.

The beta contains both a versus mode and a story mode that you can play through, I haven’t even clicked on the story mode yet but I’ve managed to complete 19 games which normally last around 25 minutes so that’s (grabs calculator) around 8 hours of game time. Obviously not enough to fully understand the game but enough to give my feelings on how it’s going.

When I first entered the world as Montana, the hulking bullet sponge with a mini gun, I was completely confused. People were running all over the place and the game was talking about minions and mercenaries and there were turrets everywhere.  It was weird but after a bit of concentrating I figured it out.. you need to escort your minions through the map so that they can attack the enemy sentry. You can build turrets by spending shards that you collect and you can hire mercenaries by killing them… LOGIC.

So first game down I entered the world again as Rath, a weird dude with Jedi samurai swords or something.

Now unlike Montana you can’t sit back and attack as Rath is a melee character so you really need to get into the mix and swing wildly… I found random button mashing to be the best option while waiting for my powers (every character has 3) to charge and then randomly hit them as well. Rath isn’t my type of character…

So the next game I loaded up Oscar Mike.

Oscar Mike is your standard assault character and comes equipped with a machine gun, grenades and a stealth ability. He’s a middle distance guy who worked well for me and I finally felt I had a full understanding of the game. Running around, killing the enemy Battleborn and escorting my minions while farming the shards. I was addicted and was having a ton of fun.

That is until around 3 hours later when the gloss wore off, the game is fun but it is definitely missing something. It feels incredibly shallow and even changing characters and trying different things couldn’t shake the feeling that the game is simply Spawn –> Attack –> Die –> Repeat…

It’s not an incredibly good-looking game and while the humour in the game reminds me a lot of that other Gearbox title, Borderlands, it isn’t enough to keep me engaged in this very simplistic shooter. Maybe I’m missing something but after 8 hours I really have no desire to get back into the game and will definitely not be shelling out R1000 ($60) for something that reminds me of a free to play game.

There are things like loot chests, gear load outs and enhanced abilities to unlock but really.. who cares? I know I don’t. Not only do I not think Battleborn will do well but I’m even worried it will do that badly that it could take Gearbox down with them. This game is a huge investment from 2K and Gearbox and unless it does something drastic to change it, I just can’t see it taking the gaming world by storm.

Let me know how you found the beta over the weekend.. are you going to be playing more this week?

Here’s what Darryn thinks:

Right, Battleborn then. It’s uh…a game. One that I’m utterly uninterested in after spending a weekend with it, much like your parents are when forced to do some sort of couples counselling. On the surface, Battleborn has everything going for it: A cast of characters who shine, gameplay that looks interesting and even some single-player action to jump into. Exciting stuff, right?

Yeah, about that. Listen, there’s nothing inherently bad about Battleborn. But for all its bluster, catchy YouTube videos describing a universe under siege from Twilight fandom run amok and a gigantic cast of characters, it doesn’t exactly stand out. Frankly, it’s boring. And that’s because underneath all those shooter mechanics and skillsets, it’s a MOBA. A genre which I don’t exactly enjoy.

2588501-battleborn_001_thumb.jpg

Gearbox is going to spin a tale about how Battleborn is a hero shooter in the weeks before release. About how Battleborn is many genres, are magically glued together into one cohesive form that the world has never seen before. It really isn’t. It’s a MOBA from a first-person perspective, one of many new games that the entire industry becomes fixated on, just like how you couldn’t start any FPS in the early 2000s without a tutorial stage set on Normandy Beach while Axis forces machine-gunned your comrades down around you.

And I’m just not feeling that spark. That spark of genius that gave birth to Borderlands and saved Homeworld from oblivion. Look, Battleborn is going to have an audience. It’s going to have followers, a fan community and cosplayers at every convention. I don’t want it to fail. I want every game to be a winner, but it’s hard for me to get excited about a MOBA-shooter that looks like an Xbox 360 port and stretches any brief moment of enjoyment far further than necessary.

It’s by no means a bad game. But when you’re throwing down $60/R1000+ for a product that is still going to have the balls to sell you DLC in the side-menus, “alright” just doesn’t cut it.

Last Updated: April 11, 2016

37 Comments

  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    April 11, 2016 at 10:42

    What did you guys expect? It’s a FPS MOBA… A first person snoozer, a massively overrated boring affair. tee hee

    Reply

    • Kromas untamed

      April 11, 2016 at 10:45

      And yet Overwatch is really really fun.

      Reply

      • Gerhard Davids

        April 11, 2016 at 10:50

        Exactly. It’s all about what parts of a moba you decide to retain. Certain things just don’t speak well to an FPS. Overwatch got it right.

        Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        April 11, 2016 at 10:50

        Overwatch isn’t a MOBA though. Nor is it a $60 dollar game.

        Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        April 11, 2016 at 11:01

        Meh. That elf can GITS.

        Reply

  2. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    April 11, 2016 at 10:47

    Played the single player, snooze fest. Yet to check out the versus mode.

    Reply

    • Ir0nseraph

      April 11, 2016 at 10:50

      I have seen enough, and since MP isn’t my thing right now, it gets moved to the bargain bin on my list.

      Reply

    • Strawman Jim

      April 11, 2016 at 12:56

      Far too many bullet sponges in the single player – although I liked killing that robotic spider (called Geoff)

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        April 11, 2016 at 13:36

        LOL that was fun, I played as Marquis in the story, it was a slow death running around with a pistol

        Reply

  3. Ottokie

    April 11, 2016 at 10:55

    Too addicted to Hearthstone again to remember about the beta on PS4.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      April 11, 2016 at 11:02

      Plus it’s 8.3 Gigs big

      Reply

      • VampyreSquirrel

        April 11, 2016 at 11:31

        That’s small…

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          April 11, 2016 at 11:35

          For a Beta? I know nothing it seems

          Reply

          • VampyreSquirrel

            April 11, 2016 at 12:48

            Division beta was 28GB

  4. Strawman Jim

    April 11, 2016 at 11:09

    I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I found it as lacklustre and boring as Alison Rapp’s escort service website. I played about 10 hours over the weekend, and I’m definitely not going to pay R1000 for this game.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      April 11, 2016 at 12:52

      LOL Alison Rapp

      Reply

      • Strawman Jim

        April 11, 2016 at 12:55

        She’s even convinced her cuck of a husband (Jake Rapp) to sell his body too. It’s absolutely amazing.

        Reply

  5. Matthew Holliday

    April 11, 2016 at 11:33

    So two people who dont like mobas, reviewed a moba and didnt enjoy it?
    Totally didnt see that coming.

    That said, Im not exactly enthusiastic about the game.
    especially when you consider that, like Gavin pointed out, you have to pay for it, when there are already great free mobas out.

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      April 11, 2016 at 11:34

      This is definitely not a review… just a chat about our experience…

      Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        April 11, 2016 at 11:47

        well, i mostly amounts to the same thing.
        but fine, two people that dont enjoy the genre and didnt enjoy it.

        hijacking the rest of this to expand my own thoughts.
        personally dont think that FPS and MOBAs mix well. it takes the least appealing aspects of the genres and blends them together.
        you dont get the skill of FPS shooting or the item building and strategic element of mobas.
        the spells/action abilities detract from the FPS element and the FPS element detracts from the intricacy of the MOBA.
        Making it a lesser version of both the genres.

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          April 11, 2016 at 11:55

          well I’m a massive FPS fan so the game appealed to me from that side… but I agree with you that they just don’t mix well.

          Honestly a lot of the time I was thinking this game would play better from a top down perspective… which would then make it a cross between a MOBA and a tower defense game

          Reply

          • Matthew Holliday

            April 11, 2016 at 12:00

            MOBA version of crimson land >>

  6. Admiral Chief in New York

    April 11, 2016 at 11:46

    Battlewhatnow?…lol
    GG Geoff

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      April 11, 2016 at 12:52

      BattleBore

      Reply

      • Strawman Jim

        April 11, 2016 at 12:57

        BoringBroGaming

        Reply

  7. Strawman Jim

    April 11, 2016 at 12:58

    I might get Battleborn if the price was under R400 – so one day when it’s in a bargain bin somewhere.

    Reply

  8. shadus

    April 11, 2016 at 14:29

    So what you are telling me is that on the whole pay role of your website you couldn’t find a single person that enjoys mobas (which are by your own admission a popular genre). You know someone who at least understands the fundamentals of the genre and could compare where it does well or poorly to the other games in the genre. That’s sounds like a failure of staffing to me.

    Reply

    • EMA

      May 9, 2016 at 00:23

      Well, I for one will never hire someone who plays MOBAs. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because they bring a massive level of toxicity with them, wherever they go. And they usually smell like shit, and call everyone a ‘nigger’ every thirteen seconds. But hey, you’re right, I can’t imagine why anyone WOULDN’T want these people working for them.

      Reply

  9. ElNicko

    April 11, 2016 at 15:00

    I suppose a question for both Gavin and Darryn, on a scale of 1-10 how much did both of you enjoy Borderlands 1 & 2 ?
    Will be getting onto some beta action from Wednesday.

    Reply

  10. jojo geriatric

    April 11, 2016 at 17:09

    It had some interesting elements to it. The overall ‘feel’ to the game, animation and art style wise, is very childish, for lack of a better word. Reminds me of the early CG animated cartoons with the hokey graphics and rigid animation. Almost like they intended the retro CG animation style over the more fluid animation we see today.

    A huge flaw, and source of debate, is the fact the game punishes you for backing out of a match. Without warning. I changed my mind about playing a Online VS Match to play story mode. The game gave me the option to rejoin the match I left, or wait until it ended. Know this, I left the VS match before it even began.

    This a huge deal breaker for me. If I pay 60 bucks for a game, I want the freedom to change my mind. Not be put in timeout for 30 minutes.

    I was on the flip side to this issue also. While playing story mode, before the match began, Two players were disconnected, later through the match, the other two players dropped out. There are now four spaces in the mode I’m playing, but those four spaces are only reserved for the four who originally began the match with me. Borderlands had the fill the gaps feature, why is it so hard to implement here? This type of ‘punishment’ used to deter players from leaving a match, truly hurts all players involved with the match. They need to let players in queue fill in. And they need to let players freely choose to change their minds and play a different mode. period.

    Some players also want to develop a specific character and get use to a specific play style. It doesn’t give you an option to choose a character and find a match with that character. You are only able to choose a character after joining a match. And if someone else chooses that character first, well, you are out of luck. And don’t back out to find another game, See above^ Evolve didn’t receive a huge audience, but it had the option to choose a character before searching for a match to join.
    In a VS mode they don’t allow duplicate characters per team, but they do allow duplicate characters if they are on opposing teams? That seems backwards to me. However, they do allow identical characters while playing the story mode. I’ve seen three Orendi at once.

    I can’t get behind a game with hokey, out dated animation. Lack of field of view options. Or punish players in, and out of match, for backing out.

    Reply

  11. Joshua Pabelick

    April 11, 2016 at 18:45

    Im confused why you had two people who were against the game before even playing it comment here? I mean one guy says flat out he doesnt like these games and the other said out right he played for 8 hours….but didnt like it????? I think it’s a fun game similar to other moba games including skins, load outs, and items but also introduces the idea of leveling and “mutations” where the more you play as a character the more you are rewarded. The fact the story mode wasn’t commented on either is disappointing

    Reply

  12. Timothy Humbert

    April 12, 2016 at 23:43

    I guess I’m on the total opposite end of the spectrum here because I loved it. I only played the campaign, but that was enough for me. Couch co-op is incredible. Plus going into a level with 4 different Battleborns with the online co-op and taking out bosses together is an awesome experience.
    Not sure on the multiplayer vs mode (since I didn’t play it), but it sounds like Awesomenauts to me… And I have 1,800+ hours logged on that on my Steam account… I’d give it an 8 out of 10 from what I played. I can’t wait to get back in there and learn each person’s skillsets.

    Reply

  13. Garry Wade

    April 13, 2016 at 04:49

    No wonder this website is called Lazygamer, more like hatergamer.. y’all gave such a lazy excuse as to why the game is ‘boring'(or atleast the first guy did)…”the game is simply Spawn –> Attack –> Die –> Repeat…” First of all this isn’t necessarily true how about this?: Pick your interesting, unique character -> Set up a loadout -> Spawn -> Learn the gamemode you selected -> Learn the map -> Learn the mechanics of shards -> learn your character -> contribute by either killing or assisting -> maybe die( I’ve had tons and tons of no death games) -> respawn… You see what you did there with that childish deduction of the game? You can say what you said about ANY shooter, whether it be good or not, IMO this game is not boring unless: 1.YOU SUCK 2. You can’t find a niche character 3. You’re not playing with friends.

    Reply

    • EMA

      May 9, 2016 at 00:20

      So, basically.. this site is horrible because they don’t echo your opinion?

      How’s it feel, being the king of your own private world, where everyone who disagrees with you is Satan incarnate? How’s it feel to know that no matter what decision you make, you can never be wrong? It must be dreadfully boring… but, one day, you will leave that land and become an adult.

      Or don’t, I really don’t care; you Americans have shit taste, anyway.

      Reply

  14. Teddy 'O Ryan

    April 14, 2016 at 00:56

    after 30 minutes, i decided to uninstall the beta. looks fun maybe my 5 year old nephew would like it.

    Reply

  15. disqus_GOTHZbVHu7

    April 16, 2016 at 21:06

    Tried the story and mp. Hated everything about it. Between this and Doom, well ive never uninstalled games so quickly.

    Reply

  16. Maddyk

    May 7, 2016 at 12:47

    So I loved Borderlands, for sure. I knew this game was NOT Borderlands, and I noticed all the small details they put in to make sure it wasn’t just another rehash. However, I played the game with a friend in hope for a another good, not online, co-op game. In the beta at least, there was this debilitating bar taking up a quarter of the screen with our objectives and map; when you’re already splitting the screen, this makes it impossible to relax and enjoy the game as you struggle to see; other co-op games managed to not have this problem, and it’s already been done well in their other games. I also felt the difficulty in co-op was out of proportion, particularly after playing by myself. Despite the fact we were taking advantage of the game dynamic of pair a healer with a fighter or a fighter with a stealther etc. we struggled to beat the bosses. Many features of the game were simply left unclear; the credits and the shards I picked up, I had no idea what I was doing. In fact, it took me quite a while to realise the crates weren’t scenery and had to be shot at, which is frustrating.

    In regards to co-op gaming, it’s a no from me. Many characters aren’t strong enough to hold their own, many things were left unclear to me, and I feel the enemies were repetitive and numerous, but without personality too; why were they fighting me? What was the hierarchy? I’m dissappointed.

    Reply

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