Further to our hands-on preview of one of Battleborn’s PVP mode ‘Incursion’ a few weeks ago, we also got to try a few episodes of the main story mode.
The two story missions that I got to try were titled The Renegade and The Void’s Edge. Both felt extremely different, yet familiar. In the first mission, I was placed in a team of five trying to free Caldarius from prison. An interesting thing to note is that we couldn’t play as Caldarius before freeing him in this mission. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out with other characters in following episodes. The bulk of this first mission was spent using teamwork to defeat hordes of enemies in order to protect a three generators. We failed this mission the first time around which meant that we had to start from the beginning. This immediately strikes me as a game that doesn’t mess around. Preserving lives is extremely important and working as a balanced team is necessary in order to succeed.
The second mission was The Void’s Edge in which the pace was completely switched up. The most memorable part of this mission was the final boss fight in which you were placed against a Varelsi boss. This felt like an old-school boss fight for many reasons. It was incredibly challenging, even with a team of five and observing the bosses attack patterns and finding out the key to his weakness was the way to victory. As a team we had to lower the Conservator’s shields in order to deal a great deal of damage. Once in a while it would launch a black hole of sorts in which you had to destroy the supporting shield units in order to stop this attack from defeating every enemy in your team. We managed to finally defeat the boss with literally one person left alive which was incredibly satisfying. Upon release, Battleborn will have nine missions that act as anime-styled episodes. Before each episode, you’ll be able to watch an incredibly stylised cutscene which is uniquely and obviously created by the extremely talented team at Gearbox.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get an overall feel for how the narrative would play out. Gearbox are known for their ability to create brilliant universe and characters. The characters definitely ooze personality and style but I can imagine that having 25 different characters will present many opportunities and challenges within a episodic narrative. I get the feeling that this could be make or break for Battleborn’s longevity. Also present in Battleborn’s story mode is it’s unique Helix system. This allows players to 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.
As with the Incursion PVP mode, there was always a ton of stuff going on in the Story modes. It was often hard to keep track of exactly what was happening with the amount of colours and flashes happening on screen. It felt chaotic in a very Gearbox way so fans will know what to expect. I must say that I found it distracting at times. There’s never a dull moment, but i’m not sure that’s a good thing.
It has now been revealed that gamers will be able to try Battleborn when the Open Beta begins on PS4 on April 8th. You’ll be able to play through two full story mode episodes as well as duking it out in two competitive multiple modes. You’ll be able to play solo or alongside 5 players. You’ll also be able to play split screen with friends/family on the couch.
Battleborn is available on May 3rd for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
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