Meta-Review: Battleborn (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

BattlebornI feel bad for Battleborn. For a game that is coming from such a great pedigree (the same studio that gave us Borderlands), this game should be a proclamation by Gearbox that they are an industry leader. Instead, however, from its very first appearance, it had the air of a studio playing catch-up on an already popular concept: The Hero Shooter/MOBA. We have so many of these types of games coming out this year that Battleborn was unable from the start to find its own identity. It sure didn’t have the fanfare of a game like Blizzard’s Overwatch, that much is certain. And yet, underneath it all, it appears to be a very capable multiplayer focused FPS. Here are what the reviewers had to say:

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Hardcore GamerBattleborn has done what I would have previously thought was impossible: it has kept me interested in its multiplayer. I typically grow bored with adversarial multiplayer after about an hour or two, yet I have spent so much time with this title already and want to keep going. That there are a couple of less than stellar design choices when it comes to the campaign is easily forgiven. There is so much to do, perks to unlock and skins to find, that it will be a long time before this one is sacrificed from my hard drive. (4.5/5)

IGN: The cast of Battleborn is fantastic; I’ve enjoyed exploring the ins and outs of characters like the steampunk sniper Marquis and fungal healer Miko, and every time I play I’m focused on earning further access to the unique roster. However, there’s no interesting story for them to take part in, and a lack of interesting stages and multiplayer modes inspiring me to power through the slow unlocking process. I’ll return to the half of the campaign that doesn’t feel unfair and repetitive and enjoy two thirds of the scant multiplayer modes, but I can’t help but feel Battleborn still has a lot of room to grow. (7.1/10)

Game Spot: Battleborn’s strong Saturday morning cartoon vibes might actually be the game’s single most defining aspect. Outside of that consistent, permeating voice, the game feels like an elaborate patchwork of ideas that compete for attention without necessarily adding much to the experience. The combat is frantic and tense, but often feels samey and superficial. The in-match leveling works wonderfully in the campaign, but can become problematic in multiplayer. The varied cast of heroes adds longevity, but the game still feels relatively content light. With so many moving parts that never quite gel, I found plenty of things to love but just as much to feel confused by and ambivalent about. (7/10)

Destructoid: I’m not sold on Battleborn‘s commitment to the MOBA genre but there’s something fun there underneath all of it. I’ll probably hop on occasionally to play Capture throughout its lifetime while the bulk of my efforts are spent on more polished shooters. (6/10)

Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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