What if the Sun was suddenly eaten? I'm sure that's a question that most of us have had on our minds at some point, but Battleborn
is perhaps the first video game to address this important issue. Okay, so it doesn't -- big deal. But it serves as your primary motivation. An elite and diverse team of special heroes, the Battleborn fight to protect the universe from the star-devouring Varelsi and their unlikely but powerful allies in the Jennerit Imperium, led by the treacherous Rendain.
Battleborn doesn't do a good job of establishing its world or its conflicts, and its story is generally poorly-written. If you're a fan of Gearbox's flagship franchise Borderlands, this might come as a shock to you. While Battleborn attempts to capture the metahumor and self-aware silliness of its older brother, it instead comes across as a poseur, desperately trying way too hard to get you to laugh. It's not all bad -- some lines will make you chuckle despite yourself -- but most of it is, and shamelessly so.
Imagine the likes of League of Legends or Dota 2, only in first person. That's Battleborn, a first-person multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). However, while most of the focus is wisely-centered on the online component, there is a sizable single player story component. It's a series of linear levels, each of which is set in a unique environment and is structured like a raid. You venture forth, destroying every enemy in sight and pausing every now and then to solve a simple puzzle or two and face off against bullet sponge bosses. It's serviceable (albeit moderately dull) on your own, but quite enjoyable if you've got some friends to tag along for the ride.
Online is where most of Battleborn's merits lie, and it's where it gets more right than wrong. It's definitely not for everyone; if you're looking for nonstop action with cover mechanics and bullets flying everywhere, this isn't the game for you. However, if it's something you've never played before, it just might be.
Three multiplayer modes pit opposing teams of Battleborn against each other. Capture is the first and most standard of mode offerings, charging the two teams with the capture and defense of specially designated points on the map. These points can be static or dynamic, which opens the door for some truly wild applications of Battleborn abilities. Incursion is a game of momentum that has both teams scrambling to establish dominance over the other team's territory. Meltdown sees groups of minions dispatched on a set path towards a grinder, where they are to be sacrificed. It's your team's job to protect your minions and destroy your enemy's minions.