Described as a “hero shooter,” Battleborn mixes the first-person shooter mechanics that defined the Borderlands series with the overall structure of a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) like League of Legends.
The new Battleborn trailer is dripping with style and reminds us of the intro to Borderlands 2, which was worth watching every time you fired up the game, no matter how many times you’d seen it. The new trailer further shows off Battleborn’s character design and cartoon-like art style that reminds us a lot of the characters from Team Fortress 2.
Battleborn, being a MOBA mash-up, has been understood so far as a multiplayer-only game. A first-look event we attended in September mentioned only co-operative and competitive modes. 2K Games revealed today that there will be a single-player, story-based campaign in Battleborn, with the option for up to six players to tackle the story cooperatively.
There will be 25 different characters Battleborn players can choose from, and this is also in keeping with MOBA design. There will be three different competitive modes—Incursion, Devastation, and Meltdown—two of which are plays on standard MOBA. Incursion is the typical MOBA formula, where minions rush the opposing team’s base, and the heroes have to support them.
Meltdown plays with the formula a little. In this mode, the goal is for a team to protect its minions by escorting them to a location, rather than allowing minions to wipe themselves out by throwing themselves against the enemy’s defenses.
Gearbox is also playing with the MOBA formula with an accelerated leveling system that makes it easy for players to level up during a single mission or multiplayer match, which sounds like a strategy for encouraging players to experiment with all the different hero characters.
Single-player and multiplayer experience earned by a hero all goes into the same experience pool. Battleborn players who are less comfortable with competitive multiplayer will be able to rank up their heroes in story missions, such that they don’t step into multiplayer arenas too underpowered compared to players who stick mostly or even solely with multiplayer matches.
Illustration via 2K Games