Battleborn – A Review after ~30 minutes play 0.5/5

Battleborn!

First person multi-player shooter from Gearbox, the makers of the Borderlands series of games and now, along with Sony, the proud owners of £60 of my cash for a game I’m never going to play.

TL:DR – It’s not another Borderlands and it sucks royally for casual play.

The Good

For there are good things about Battleborn.  There’s a wide range of playable characters, even if how you get to them is just a tad arcane.  The graphics are excellent, top-notch Borderlands-esque stuff. And the comedy is still there.

And I’m out.  ‘Fraid it’s all downhill from here, folks.

The Bad

So…  The prologue, where you learn how to do stuff in-game, is entirely single-player.  And the only way for any given player to unlock specific characters to play in the game is to complete the prologue.  So everyone in the group has to go through the same prologue separately.

Split screen!  Ouch!  Think you need glasses?  You will if you want to read the in-game text in split screen mode.  Makes upgrading your character almost entirely random unless you get up and stand inches from the screen.  Oh, and the map’s on-screen the whole time in split-screen mode.

Infinite respawns!  Just like Borderlands, you get to respawn as often as you die in Battleborn, making it frustrating but ultimately do-able.  Oh, no, sorry.  Strike that, I meant the opposite.  You’ve a finite number of respawns in Battleborn before you’re dead and out of the game.  And if all of you die, you fail the mission and have to start again from scratch.  From. Scratch.  And this is even in the private story mode where no-one else can see what you’re doing.

Time restrictions.  Ah, the joy of pausing Borderlands mid boss-battle in order to take a breather, get a fresh cup of tea, go collect the kids from school, hang out the washing…  Leave the game paused long enough and the characters start making sarcastic comments.  Battleborn reckons it knows better.  Each connection to the game servers – because, yes, it has to be continually connected to the network to work – is only kept open for a finite amount of time.  So you can imagine just how much fun it is to race through to a final boss battle only to get timed out.  Well, I can only imagine as I’ve given up playing this PoS, and we died before getting anywhere near a boss battle.

Levelling up.  Ah, the thrill of deciding where to put that hard-earned skill point.  Which ability will make your character better at doing what you want it to do.  We all like doing that, so in Battleborn they’ve decided that every time you play, you get to level your character up from scratch!  Oh, and it’s an either/or choice as each time there’s only 2 choices.  Not that I can read what they are…  So yeah, you work hard on a mission, spend your points wisely, pick up some badass gear and then…  You get to lose it all and start again from scratch next time!  Hooray!

The cartoons…  Which you are forced to watch because they’re unskippable…  Hideous anime-style shite that has clearly been chosen because someone liked Battle of the Planets.

The story mode.  Doesn’t really exist.  It’s just missions strung together.  As far as I can tell from Prologue plus maybe 5 minutes of Mission 1.

To Sum Up

Battleborn is not a game for the casual gamer.  It is a game for people who have dedicated, ring-fenced, gaming time, 70″ or better TVs and lots of friends who also have dedicated, ring-fenced, gaming time and massive TVs.

And the worst part is Sony won’t refund a digital purchase once you’ve downloaded it.

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