Everyone, I would just like to keep a side note briefly before getting started. I am not going to be doing reviews often. I find that there are enough outlets doing reviews that you probably do not need mine. That is totally cool with me. However, for some games that I find really intriguing, I might do an average gamer review, where I (an average gamer) check out games in precise detail and give my opinions on whether the average consumer should also be giving it a try. I am not funded by any publishing company, I am not a big reviewer. I am not a professional at this sort of thing. Perhaps all of those previous things make me qualified to give my insight on video games because I am literally just like you.
Battleborn on the PC
Another thing to get out of the way: this review pertains to the PC version. I pretty much exclusively game on my desktop computer because 1) I bought and upgraded a whole rig that cost me quite a bit of money and 2) it is quite explicitly the best medium to experience games on because of the graphic and frame rate capabilities.
I want to refrain from using the word “graphics” here since it hardly says much to talk about graphics. Most every game runs on high resolution and the textures are typically nice. But since this is Gearbox Software that made Battleborn, also the creators of epic artsy games like Borderlands 1, 2, and Pre-Sequel, I figured their art style is worth mentioning in this review.
Battleborn steps away from the good old cel-shaded formula of Borderlands past, and exchanges it with a rather cute, cartoon style. The characters are weird people and are drawn to be so. There is an overly large guy, a mushroom character, and a swordsman, just to clarify what I mean by cartoony.
The environments are really colorful as well. Plants, turrets, and the ground all make up the wonderful scenery and it keeps the game livid sometimes just because of all the bright colors. There is not a dull bone in Gearbox’s dev team.
There are a load of characters in the game. I can’t be bothered to count how many but I remember hearing somewhere that it launched with roughly 25 to unlock and play as. That is a good number to start and I hear that Gearbox will be releasing new characters for free in DLC pacakges.
The starting characters are enough of a variety to keep you wanting more. You start off with different types of people to be. You can be the hunk of muscle that is Montana, who has an extremely large frame but also deals a ton of damage with his machine gun and ground smash. He reminds of the Heavy from Team Fortress 2. You can kick back as a sniper if that is your game, with Marquis, who also reminds me of the Sniper from TF2. Other support characters include Miko, a medic, or Rath, who is a slashing-type initiator.
The character diversity is good and I love the different ways you can customize them too, giving even more power to the player to choose their own playstyle. Customization of characters go from cosmetic items in the main menu, or in-game when you are choosing what kind of perks you want (eg. would you rather have a larger radius for your slowing orb as Marquis or do you want a stronger slowing effect?)
The game works like this: in the main mode, two teams go at each other, trying to take the other team’s sentries down. These sentries are protected by the likes of turrets, minions, and of course the opposing characters. It is a 5 on 5 brawl and much like a MOBA game like League of Legends, minions, lane management, and in game upgrades make a difference to winning the fight. In essence, the game is a first person MOBA game with lots of character upgrades and chaotic firefights.
Other modes exist too, like Capture the Objective. I usually just play the main lane management game, though. I also wish they had more game modes rather than just three. The game does tend to get stale and playing on PC does not help since I have a wealth of other games I could be playing online. Still, Battleborn is truly a fun game that has lots of fun factors in it.
The game ran incredibly well in the first weeks of launch. I expected a lot of players to be bumping up the servers and making the game lag, given the history of 2K’s faulty online server work with games like NBA 2k16 and their sports games. If you are unaware, those games always launch with server issues.
One thing that does still bother me is the matchmaking. It would take up to 5 or 10 minutes just to get a game going. Sometimes, I get paired up with really low level players and we are up against a team of experienced Battleborn veterans. There have been widespread complaints about it and there are news that Gearbox is working on it. Still, it is a huge issue.
Other than these things, the game does run smoothly. Inside the game, I am running with a smooth 70 frames per average, never dipping much due to the online connection. For a game that looks this vibrant, it is good that the whole gameplay is smooth.
I am not going to put a score on the game because I don’t think that is what helps average consumers like you and I decide what game to purchase. So instead I will leave you with my final verdict:
The game has a lot of enjoyment to be had. There have been several sales on PC that drop the price of the game significantly compared to its $60 launch and it has only been a month (as of now). I expect to be filling more than 100 hours of game time inside of Gearbox’s multiplayer title. The game runs really smooth but matchmaking is terrible and I hope GBS fixes it soon. If you like frantic combat alongside a very unique design with a mix up in MOBAs, Battleborn is a great game.