Battleborn: A Hands-on ‘Incursion’ Experience

A few weeks ago we had the chance to get a lengthy hands-on session with the upcoming first-person shooter/MOBA Battleborn. Incursion is one of the already revealed PVP modes in which 2 teams of 5 battle it out to destroy the other teams base before they can destroy yours.

To break it down, Incursion is about leading a team of minions in order break down the enemies team’s Sentry shield. Once this has been broken down the aim is to work with your team to deal as much damage as possible until all Sentrys have been defeated. BB1With 25 different characters whom all have quite different skill-sets and weaponry arsenals, each matchup is set to be different and crazier than the last. Battleborn’s biggest strength lies in the variety of characters in its roster. For instance, Kelvin is a melee-based character who needs to be extremely close to his enemies in order to deal a great amount of damage. Another memorable character is Miko, who is a mushroom based character who’s main ability is that she can heal her team, which is something that’s much-needed in such an intense rapid-fire model. However, my favourite character of all was Marquis, who was labelled as a sniper character, a title he lived up to fully. As Marquis, I was able to stay at quite a distance and attack my enemies without taking a great amount of damage. I was quite comfortable at top of the leaderboard whilst playing as him.

This led to one of my greatest concerns with Battleborn and it’s overly large character roster. For a game like Battleborn, balancing is an essential part of the experience that plays a large role in the long run, and whilst it’s great that every game and character combination is different, it completely changes the balance of the game, with certain characters having clear and sometimes even major advantages over others in certain modes. However, I remain hopeful that Gearbox is actively taking feedback into account and making the necessary changes as we near the game’s release.BB2At the beginning of every match, players have the ability of adding to their helix which is essentially levelling up. This brings forward challenge of being able to choose 1 of 2 skills to enhance a certain aspect of that characters arsenal. Whether it be increasing the length of a certain powerup or affecting the damage of a shot. Your choice of skill-set adds another aspect to the game and further changes how each character can be used in battle.

The art-style and general humour of Battleborn is unapologetically Gearbox. The visuals are incredibly stylised and almost cel-shaded which in my opinion adds a certain charm to the game and gives it a certain character that will appeal to a wide variety of people. The humour in the game won’t be for everyone. Characters are charamastic and will yell out obscenities constantly which add to the personality of the game, but can get repetitive. BB3Whilst this all sounds straight forward and familiar, Battleborn and in particular Incursion is unlike anything else that i’ve played in recent memory. It’s absolutely insane from start to finish which will take some getting used to. I definitely had a great time but felt overwhelmed at times by the sheer amount of customisation to take in whilst trying to keep on-top of killing minions, enemy characters as well as collecting shards and ultimately trying to kill the Sentry. I imagine that certain gamers will become fixed in mastering every character and I already tell that there will be certain gamers that will be happy to play this game for months on end figuring out every possible combination.