Battleborn: PS4 Beta Preview
Released by Gearbox and 2K Games
There's something inherently meshed about Battleborn.
The new shooter from the stable that brought you Borderlands has a distinctive feel of that game about it as well as an old scrolling shooter from the long gone arcade days.
With over 2 million taking part in this open beta, 2K Games's first person shooter is already popular, and based on the strength of its BETA, it will be as popular when the game drops.
Meshing Borderlands' cartoony ethic with Gauntlet's co-operative play, the shooter is manic, fun and requires a degree of sensibility as you try to achieve your aims. Mixing guns, swords and magic proves to be a fertile mix for the game and an ease of play helps immensely too.
Essentially, the story is all about a band of heroes trying to stop the last star from being overcome by bad guys - and it's up to you and a team of 3 others to try and save the day. Sounds familiar in many ways, but swathed in the Gearbox Software aesthetic, the game's colourful cartoony vibe is evident from the get go - and is all the more welcoming because of it.
The majority of my time was spent in the multiplayer, story-driven PvE elements - and there lies the most fun and equally the most challenging. Choosing to either play offline or with a team online, the game's a blast from beginning to end. Collecting throughout the game gives you the chance to upgrade as you go, but given the action is so frenetic, allocating powers during skirmishes was not the easiest to achieve and while ultimately, it helps pay the price for the player, it can also bring death as nothing really pauses around you as it kicks in.
In a way, it's perhaps a shame that it's a FPS, because the graphic work done on the rest of the characters is just beautifully rendered. From the slender Marquis to the mushroom Japanese stylings of Miko, these are characters which cry out for screen time.
If anything, Battleborn does feel like an evolution of Borderlands with its patented stylings and its way of registering hits, and it's perhaps a shame that visually it doesn't strike out on its own path. But given its eminent playability and its sandbox scope for chaos, it's pretty much guaranteed that come May 3rd, this will be a big big hit.