Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Battleborn. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
Every time I stepped into a game of Battleborn I felt conflicted. The game is filled with remarkably creative characters, weapons and environments but sadly, it never really gives them anything worthwhile to do. Save for a few key moments, Battleborn feels like a mix of great ideas that never really materialize into great mechanics. Did I have fun with Battleborn? Sure, but I never escaped the feeling that the game felt incomplete in a lot of ways that will make you question whether or not Gearbox's latest is worth the full $60 price tag.
Battleborn is full of great ideas though. The game revolves around a group of waring factions trying to gain control of the last star but you'll be hard pressed to remember that during much of the game's eight loosely tied together missions. Save for a few standout moments, much of Battleborn's story content revolves around you running into a room, facing off with waves of brainless enemies while NPCs try their best to give context to what you're doing by chattering away in the corner. While some of the writing is genuinely funny this chatter becomes little more than background noise after long, especially on the stages that require multiple back and forth trips across the map, where one wrong move can have you start over.
It's perhaps unavoidable to discuss Battleborn without comparing it to Gearbox's other wildly successful shooter franchise; Bodrerlands. The world is creative enough, or rather the world has enough potential to be as creative as that of Borderlands but if you're expecting the same level of detail here as your last trip to Pandora, you're going to be disappointed. Battleborn reminded me more of a game like Destiny, with it's focus on multiplayer strikes and a thin level of story to try to keep it together. Yes, much like Bungie's space shooter, Battleborn is at it's best when you're playing with a group of likeminded friends, and you're all down to your last respawn and trying your best to achieve your mission goals. It's frantic, it's fun and it's great for trash talking.
Strangely enough, while some of Battleborn's best moments come from teaming up with the players to take on the game's eight missions, the competitive modes are some of the most disappointing aspects of the game. Like most of the game, there are some great ideas here, including some modes that haven't been seen in games like this before but on the other side of that, it's also missing key features like death match and team death match. The multiplayer modes are even more frantic than the rest of the game and somehow, even with the faster characters I never felt like the game or the characters were going fast enough to keep up with the action around me. I generally pretty bad at competitive shooters when I start playing them, but Battleborn punished me and took me a long time to really get the hang of.
This is really a shame though because Battleborn absolutely nails it's cast of characters. While most shooters like this features characters with different specialities and classes, they're still just "guy who shoots his gun really well" and "guy who shoots other gun really well, but also heals" but Battleborn is different in ever sense of the word. From the gym teacher esque, battling un toting Montanna to the polite steampunk sniper Marquis, I absolutely loved the characters that Gearbox created to inhabit this world and the thought of unlocking more of them really helped push me through some of the game's tougher moments. The downfall of this though is that I never felt like I got to learn as much about these characters as I wanted, I'm hoping to hear news of some sort of comic book or animated series (side note, the game also features a remarkably cool animated opening sequence that brings back memories of shows like Aeon Flux).
That's not to say that the characters don't change or evolve at all, in fact they do quickly. Like a MOBA, upgrades are chosen on the fly and in real time and have the potential to change up most battles rather quickly. Do you choose the buff that helps deal more damage or the one that helps heal your character as you play through, it's a question without any real answers and experimenting with how the game feels different with different characters and different augments feels great.I often second guessed myself when picking these augments but had a lot of fun seeing what the consequences were. This also goes a long way in helping you create a character that's your own and ensure that most experiences will feel different depending on who's at the helm of the characters and their choices.
Battleborn often feels like it's a game that still hasn't figured out just wants to be. There are times it flirts with greatness and even more times when it's frantic gameplay leads to fun moments but more often than not it's a game that feels like it's unable to connect the dots and complete many of it's thoughts into complete mechanics. I may not go back to play much more of Battleborn but I may read a comic about it;s world and fantastic characters.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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