Mo’ MOBAs: Gearbox Announce Battleborn


Hello everyone, and welcome to another exciting episode of “It’s A MOBA But…”! Today’s mystery game is Battleborn! It’s coming from that Borderlands gang Gearbox Software, and certainly not to be confused with Bethesda’s BattleCry, From Software’s Bloodborne, or Battlezone. Now we’re all settled, our first round is, as ever, Name That Twist! So, is Battleborn’s twist:

a) destructible voxel terrain,
b) a first-person view,
or c) it’s a roguelike?

If you guessed b, a first-person view, congratulations! You’re going home with a fabulous Jet Ski!

I’m being a little fair unfair. Battleborn also has a co-op campaign. That’s unusual for a MOBA. It doesn’t seem to be free-to-play either. The announcement is a big exclusive for Game Informer, who basically say it’s a first-person MOBA with characters from all sorts of wacky worlds who fight against each other in 5v5 or together in 5-player co-op. They’re saving more details for their month (month!) of exclusive stuff.

Here’s the cinematic announcement trailer:

If you want to hear more about the game, you can scrape small details from this video with Gearbox talking heads. “We took it upon ourselves to see if we could be creative again in the way that we had been back for Borderlands 1,” says one. Welp. However, it does show game writer Aaron Linde doing some top fake-writing for the camera.


  1. FurryLippedSquid says:


    • onsamyj says:


    • Pazguato says:

      ““We took it upon ourselves to see if we could be creative again” O_O


      • Lemming says:

        I think they’d be rather surprised to hear the answer to that is ‘nope’. It’s like a The Onion article.

        This whole thing looks like it was designed by focus-group, which is the polar opposite of creative.

        • Terragot says:

          Yeah, the way they talk about the thing, it’s as if they genuinely think they’ve invented the MOBA.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Well, at least they know their marketing-speak.

    • secuda says:

      Every time i hear about Moba i think that, must be the least exiting genre to work with if you want to call it a Moba?

  2. DiamondDog says:

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I like the fact that even such videos exist.

    • SpoiledToast says:

      I didn’t watch the trailer for the game but I watched this all the way through for some reason.

  3. hanneswall says:

    Oh, Battlezone. How I miss thee.

  4. Fenix says:

    I was expecting at least Gearbox to try a new artstyle, instead of defaulting to the cartoony fantasy that Dota 2 inherited from Warcraft III DotA and almost every other game in this genre (including LoL) copied.

    Demigod was kinda sucky and had the worst multiplayer service in the history of ever, but I respected it because it at least tried a new fucking look

    • Pazguato says:

      Agreed. It’s their way to be “creative”, I guess.

      • The Random One says:

        It’s so creative I can’t tell if it’s derivative from other SAUSAGE’s as you said or if it’s derivative from Borderlands.

  5. ZIGS says:

    Were they going for the most generic fantasy art style ever? If so, they fucking nailed it

  6. HiFiHair says:

    The hottest thing to happen to arena shooters since Blue Streak.

  7. wavedash says:

    Aww man, not YET ANOTHER first-person MOBA with a co-op campaign…

    Wait, there haven’t ever been any first-person MOBAs of note? So people are just disappointed because this article uses the term “MOBA” at some point? Color me surprised.

    • RedViv says:

      But it’s still generic fantasy! Just look at these boring old tropes like Bowler-Wearing Gentlecyborg, Count CyberBloodsword, Tinyhead Meatmountain DeMinigun, and Lady LopsideMohawk McPunk-Gunsling.

      • The Random One says:

        To be honest, Tinyhead Meatmountain DeMinigun is pretty much a basic video game staple. See, Heavy Weapons Guy, everyone in Loadout, every annoying enemy in coop FPS’s that needs to be shot for twenty minutes to die (except for Borderlands, where everyone needs to be shot for twenty minutes to die).

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Except that Mr Meatmountain’s head is much smaller than many other Meatmountain men’s heads. It’s so awkwardly proportioned that it’s beyond ridiculous, beyond parody. It just looks odd, weird and misplaced.

        • Bull0 says:

          Heavy Weapons Guy, Darth Obvious, Generic bow-wielding elf #482.

    • Tacroy says:

      It think they called it “titanfall”

    • Wurzel says:

      Smite is 3rd person but over-the-shoulder, so that’s the closest there’s been so far.

      • Bull0 says:

        Monday Night Combat also did that. I don’t blame you for not remembering it, apparently the developers don’t either.

        • anon459 says:

          Super Monday Night Combat did that. The first MNC was actually first-person, and this game doesn’t look even half as innovative as MNC.

          To be fair though, MNC was more of a shooter with a MOBA-inspired gametype than an actual MOBA.

    • Stupoider says:

      Quake and Unreal tournament were multiplayer online battle arenas.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        As is any other FPS’ online component, essentially.

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    Body proportions are often incorrect in games, hands as big/wide as people’s bulging arms being the most common offender, but this one takes the cake. As the image caption states, the head on that beefy bro is beyond incorrect. Even if it’s supposed to be like that, if it’s their “style”, it still looks too incorrect or to quote kevin Spacey: link to

    • int says:

      Atrox selected!

      • Tei says:

        *puts-on hacker bodisuit* Lets go crater and farm some punks! *buffs everyone in sight with +120% speed*

    • The Random One says:

      (Gangrel Jr. walks in) “Daddy, daddy, I made a drawing of you!”

      “What the fuck is this shit! Some sort of stickman! My limbs are not that thin! My head is not that round! The eyes are way too round! And the neck muscles cannot move that way! You are a failure!” (Gangrel Sr. tears up his will in front of his infant son)

  9. rexx.sabotage says:

    With so many great games vying for my time, it’s games like these that I find the most refreshing,

    “Aahhh thank God, I don’t have to worry about playing this one!”

  10. Keyrock says:

    Well, that was pretty much the most generic thing I’ve seen today.

  11. Tei says:

    We don’t know anything yet, really.

    All I know if that I love borderlands and by extension the people that made it.

    I hope they don’t fall for the typical trap of a mee-to game where all game companies want to make a pacman clone and most of them suck.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      They also made Colonial Marines.

      • ZIGS says:

        They should’ve put that in the trailer: “From the makers of Aliens: Colonial Marines” :)

      • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

        They sort of didn’t though. They are certainly responsible for it, but techically it was made by another studio.

        They DID make DNF however…

        • The Sombrero Kid says:

          Actually it’s the other way round, with DNF they polished 3DRealms’ turd and with Colonial Marines they couldn’t be bothered finishing it so got a 3rd party in to polish that turd then when it came out, tried to claim it wasn’t them.

      • Bull0 says:

        And Opposing Force, a k a “The best thing in the half-life series”… but that was a very, very long time ago, and since then they’ve done two Borderlands games I didn’t like and not much else

        • P.Funk says:

          Am I the only one who remembers the first Brothers in Arms game?

  12. Moraven says:

    I have to urge to play some Savage 2 now.

    or some MNC.

  13. BooleanBob says:

    A first person MOBA? Didn’t we used to call that an FPS?

    • Bull0 says:

      An FPS where you sit in a small level while robotic, mindless enemies march at you in waves. AKA “A shit FPS”

      • Chuckleluck says:

        I’d say most of the people I play against in online FPSes are mindless and robotic. Ooh, now with waves!

    • P.Funk says:

      Its interesting really. They gutted the depth of most modern FPS games which wish they could be as awesome as TF2 was (last great multiplayer FPS thank you very much) and channeled all that depth into MOBAs.

  14. Walsh says:

    Gearbox should unannounce this and make something else instead.

    • Pazguato says:

      Good idea! I like the concept: unannounce :)

      It’s expected in march 2016. Wow, that would be a lot of savings. :)

    • slerbal says:

      I like the concept of a “De-Announcement”:

      PR “Cleaners” steal into RPS’ homes and remove all the press releases, delete the emails and login to wordpress and delete these articles, cleaning its very existence from collective memory and any who ask are just given a sad stare and a shake of the head before the cleaners chloroform the foolish and drag them away to a North Korean ‘realignment camp’.

      Wow…that got dark quickly… *puts down next cup of coffee*…

      • Pazguato says:


      • Niko says:

        One day, an ordinary PR Cleaner discovers a scheduled for elimination press release that fascinates him a lot, and secretly takes it home. He starts digging further, and what he finds changes the course of his life irrevocably…

  15. pipman3000 says:

    imagine if you could cover up your entire head with one hand. some people have heads that look like a thumb but nobody else has a head the size of their own thumb

  16. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Ever since I heard of Dota I thought “Gearbox should make one of those, it’ll be the pinnacle of the genre” and now that day has come, if you haven’t played or didn’t like Dota, Demigod, Lol, Smite, Sins of the Dark Age, Infinite Crisis, Heroes of Newerth, Heroes of the Storm, Guardians of Middle Earth, Bloodline Champions, Dawngate or Heroes of Order and Chaos THIS IS THE GAME THAT WILL MAKE YOU LIKE OR PAY ATTENTION TO MOBAS. It is completely the same as all the others in all the ways that moba players love but also completely different in the ways that people who don’t play mobas don’t love. I for one will play it. After this game there will be no point in having any other moba installed.

    • Frank says:

      Could you be any vaguer? What the devs had to say in that video was hardly inspiring.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        Sarcasm detector.

        • Frank says:

          No, just negativity. It’s hard to say if a “Could you…?” can qualify as sarcastic, and the second sentence was honest.

          • Damn Rookie says:

            I believe FurryLippedSquid was suggesting that your sarcasm detector is broken, not that you were being sarcastic…

  17. Lars Westergren says:

    I kind of liked the environment, the character design of the dapper robot (you should sue them, Jim!) and the siècle des Lumières fencer. The swordsman was more meh, the gun berserker and the elf (hi “not-Drow Ranger”!) quite bad. And really, it’s like the era when 30% of new games announced were MMOs. No matter how many of them tanked and millions were wasted, companies just kept making more.

    “This is the X slayer”. Make a new X, don’t keep running with the pack for where the ball was a year ago.

  18. DanMan says:

    Look, we made another shooter. But we call it a MOBA, so we can look like we’re totally hardcore and creative at the same time!

  19. Big Murray says:

    Wake me when we get to “Battleface”.

    • Janichsan says:

      More suggestions:

  20. Jan Logan says:

    So … which companies will Gearbox blame for this game’s failure? (at least we now know what game they’ll steal money from to fund the next Borderlands game…)

  21. Blackcompany says:

    The real question now becomes: How much longer can AAA Gaming go on doing this before the collapse?

    • derbefrier says:

      A long time? People really seem to like mobas though this comment section might have you think otherwise but that’s the nature of comment sectionspeople mostly just bitch about stuff.

  22. Distec says:

    There are days when I can’t help but laugh at RPS readers’ constant disappointment in every announcement EVER. (Unless it’s some kickstarted RPG or whatever)

    But the general reaction in this case, and to MOBAs in general, is all too appropriate. Today’s quota has been well-earned.

  23. the_tristanator1 says:

    Looks pretty fun except for the generic art style and some typical characters.

  24. kwyjibo says:

    You can’t just put M83 as your trailer music, that’s just cheating. It makes even the most cynical free to play mobile facebook MOBA-farm seem nigh on religious.

  25. Dawngreeter says:

    I do think the saturation of Lane Pushers is getting a bit silly. This, however, has the potential to be the first Lane Pusher I play with my friends. A lot of them like Borderlands and they’ll probably like this take a lot more than the RTS-based ones. So… yeah. I’m weirdly optimistic about this title.

    • Alphus says:

      If you want a moba that isn’t RTS style there is already SMITE and Super Monday Night Combat. Both are 3rd person lane pushers with more of a shooter feel. And they are both free!

      • strangeloup says:

        I was under the impression that SMNC, good as it once was, is now pretty much dead.

        I’d be happy to be wrong, though.

        edit: SMNC, not SMAC. Got Alpha Centauri on the mind, evidently.

      • Dawngreeter says:

        Smite didn’t sit with me well. Can’t say why, it just felt “off”. Super Monday Night Combat… yeah, that seemed to have some potential. Tried to get a couple of friends together to try it, but it didn’t seem to work out. I guess no one was particularly drawn to it. I tried it solo a bit and it just didn’t seem to have any kind of staying power. Plus, it seems to be dead now, as strangeloup already pointed out.

        I guess in both of those cases, the FPS take didn’t feel very natural. Sort of like how FPS MMOs never feel like a proper FPS. I can’t tell if this will be any different, but I hope it will be.

  26. Neutrino says:

    Wow. That was gayer than MC Hammer’s spandex pantaloons.

  27. Felixader says:

    Gearbox should be forced by Court or Law to announce: “From the makers of Aliens: Colonial Marines” in every of their trailers.

  28. milton says:

    I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t cost me anything to be curious.