Battleborn’s First 14 Minute Video Has All The Genres

I briefly dismissed Battleborn as a console game that didn’t belong on these pages, before realising, no, wait, that’s Bloodborne. Battleborn is instead Gearbox’s multiplayer first-person shooter that takes easy co-op and a cartoon-y world reminiscent of Borderlands’ and combines it with lessons from e-sports, MOBAs and MMOs. They call it a “hero-shooter”, but what the heck does that even mean.

There’s fourteen-minutes of the game in action below, which does a better job of explaining what it really is.

Gosh, it’s colourful, isn’t it? Obviously Gearbox learned the power of a good, cartoon-ish art style after Borderlands, but I don’t think I realised how many pinks and purples Battleborn was going to have. I think my interest in the game – admittedly small to begin with – doubled at the sight of it all. Also I like that the circling spaceship looks like a metallic fish.

I am unsold on the combat, though. You know what I hate? Waves of things. Even small enemies seem to soak up lots of bullets before falling, and none of the various special attacks seem to connect with their targets in a meaningful way.

Of course, if you’re still confused about what Battleborn is, as always you can turn to this tweet by Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford.

Battleborn is: FPS; hobby-grade coop campaign; genre-blended, multi-mode competitive e-sports; meta-growth, choice + epic Battleborn Heroes!

— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) July 8, 2014


  1. The Dark One says:

    It’s a good thing it’s All The Genres, because that name is frighteningly generic.

    e: the tracking was painfully slow, but I guess that’s to be expected for a shooter being demoed with a controller.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    He’s a card.

  3. Phasma Felis says:

    So how much much fun is Montana the Meat Mountain Muscle Man? He looks like he should be fun. Is he fun?

  4. melnificent says:

    Looks like borderlands without the black outline.

  5. lowprices says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Randy.

    EDIT: Cynicism aside, this looks like it’s from the Gearbox that made Borderlands, rather than the Gearbox that put out Duke Nukem Forever and Alien: Colonial Marines, so I’ll be keeping an eye on it, at least.

    • welverin says:

      When Graham mention going to Randy to find out what it is, I immediately thought ‘Yeah, Randy Pitchford can be trusted.’

      Gearbox makes good games, but after the last few years you have to worry about if they actually make a game themselves or farmed it out.

  6. Shadowcat says:

    About time we got to shoot all those damned heroes.

  7. honuk says:

    “ok boys, I’m looking at these numbers here, and, well–we need to take the game we make, and then also make it a moba. it’ll be great. I’m a visionary.”

  8. Keymonk says:

    Zero impact behind the shooting it seems. I am not fond of this. Hope it’ll get better later on.

    • shinkshank says:

      Not if Gearbox is making it, it ain’t. They are incapable of making a good shooter game. The only reason their one non-hated game is Borderlands is, I assume, people like the artstyle, characters and RPG elements enough that they’re willing to ignore the extremely monotonous gameplay of pouring different colors of damage into bullet sponge enemies.

      • welverin says:

        Umm, only non-hated game? Do you know what games they’ve actually made? By that I mean actually developed themselves?

        The hated games I suspect you refer to they didn’t actually develop. DNF they acquired from someone else and pushed out the door and A:CM they farmed out to another developer. Mind you I still hold them responsible for that, but ti’s not representative of their skills as a developer.

        So if Battleborn is actually developed by them I have no doubt it will at least be a solid game.

        • shinkshank says:

          Fine, fair enough, I will not count ACM or DNF as games that they have actually made.

          They DID make Borderlands, however. And if I’m going to be using Borderlands 1 and2 as the best quality of FPS gameplay they can muster, I am not going to expect a lot out of this one.

  9. Wret says:

    I thought a an FPS MOBA might be neat but it looks like they took the MOBA part too literally.

    Yes I see the pre-alpha work in progress thing. I just, doesn’t it look like you could just as easily play it from the typical top down perspective?

  10. Noxman says:

    Ugh, I hope their enthusiasm is born of having made a video-game, an amazing achievement no matter what. But nevertheless their excitement just doesn’t translate to what’s happening in those game chunks. The way they talk smacks of generic ‘attempting to imply absolutely incredible things without actually referencing actual game mechanics in the hope of making it sound stupendous without *technically* mis-leading people’.

    Personally I like immersion even in multiplayer games and the whole MOBA thing of having tons of heroes all who look like they’re from different universes, and then attempt to justify it with lore, is frustrating. I would rather they just went “It’s the future! This is a competitive simulation sport” or some rubbish like that.

    All of that is aside from the ‘totally unique art-style like really guys no one has ever done this’ schtick. Also having this kind of gameplay in first person seems irritating, you have to cut down the amount of abilities to make it manageable thus losing variety, I was always frustrated at Borderlands’ whole ‘here have one ability for the entire game’ but as an FPS they can’t give you eight without turning the game into a mess.

    On another personal note, no matter what I do don’t bloody suddenly switch the camera to third person for CooOOooOOooOOool effects. It may look good for an E3 demo but it’s horrible to actually play with.

  11. Lakshmi says:

    I need more co-op games in my life, but I’m not sure this is one of them. Then again, I’m still not sure what it is.

    • Ryuuga says:

      Yeah, gimme some fun co-op, FPS for preference! Even better, with loot! Grand prize for suggestions that do not contain the words “border” or “lands”. Or the word “borderlands”.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Oh gimme that grand prize, I’m all over this!

        Doom 2 + the “DoomRLA” mod, which adds masses of different weapons, mostly inspired by the separate game Doom: The Roguelike, as well as a weapon mod/customization system, a new system for armour and boots, four character classes, and (optionally) a bunch of new enemies.
        If you want to go even more RPG, it’s also built for compatibility with the DoomRPG mod, which does exactly what it says on the tin, although while it’s fun, it really does a number on the balance and can make things feel wayyyy too easy.
        Play it on the awesome fanmade map-pack of your choice, or if you prefer, go download the Oblige level maker and play it on a set of randomly generated levels.
        All this gives you something resembling Doom2’s amazingly satisfying co-op, with enough shiny loot to keep you and your buddies squabbling over the prizes for days.
        It’s like Doom meets Borderl–ah…
        I’ll just leave, shall I?

        • Ryuuga says:

          Oooooh, interesting! This for sure sounds like something to look into! As for awesome fanmade map-packs, would you have any suggestions there?

          *hands over grand prize, amid cheering and applause*

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Give Defiance a go if you have buddies to play with. It’s really quite fun and lots of different guns to pick up and experiment with. Not strictly an FPS but plays very similar to one.

  12. Ryuuga says:

    Hmmmmyeah, unfortunately this doesn’t look very promising. MOBAs are not for me, and “hobby-grade coop campaign” sounds like repeating the same mission in slightly different backdrops a lot. The mission shown in the video positively reeks of that. Change a few art assets and move a house or two, call it a different planet, and have players repeat it again and again. Not that repeating content can’t ever be fun, raiding in WoW was engaging at least in parts, if not forever. This seems to have none of the depth required for that, though.

    Oh well. Maybe this game will change dramatically and entirely from this pre-alpha?

  13. SlyDave says:

    I’d love to see the game in action, but the game is being obscured by massive gun models that take up half the screenspace! – coming to a console near you soon ™ ?

  14. Jason Moyer says:

    Looks like Borderlands but boring and with annoying view-switching. And MOBA gameplay instead of Diablo-like gameplay. Ew.

  15. DanMan says:

    Gearbox… meh…

  16. RARARA says:

    You mixed up Bloodborne with Battleborne, and I mixed up Battleborne with the other MOBA Battlecry.

    Videogames, gentlemen.

  17. Thrippy says:

    “Combat is the crucible wherein true knowledge of self is born, Y’ALL.” – Combat Girl

    I just had to Google ‘hobby-grade.’ Clever buzzword repurposing that doesn’t distract from the puzzlement as to why there so many FPS/TPS MOBA efforts in the pipe when Super Monday Night Combat failed to reach a mainstream audience. I guess the mega publishers involved (2K, Microsoft, Activision, EA) afford better bankruptcy protection for developers than what Uber had. But it’s like there’s a corporate battle on to win the hearts and minds of a… smallish fan base?

    On the upside, I just got into OMDU yesterday. Weee. Hopefully not too many spaghetti dinners in Robot’s future.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Well Smite seems to be doing well and also I think these companies have “console MOBA” on their minds. You couldn’t play DOTA or LoL without a mouse. Something like Smite however (or this, they are clearly playing it with a controller as you can see “L” and “R” prompts on the screen), could work on a console as well as a PC.
      Managing to become the premier console MOBA and hook in DOTA style numbers is no doubt an appealing concept for publishers.

  18. Wytefang says:

    Looks ghastly. Trying to cram too much into one game usually fails quite miserably. Well that and I have a strict “No Gearbox games” policy, since nearly all their stuff is over-rated badly.

  19. DuncanIdah0 says:

    I’m waiting for the day when developers stop wasting time trying to create ridiculous back stories and lore just to justify an action game. The stories don’t make any sense, contradict themselves, import to no one and really add nothing to the enjoyment of playing the games.

    Really, I don’t think I could say all the nonsense these guys tell at the beginning of the video with a straight face.

  20. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    It’s in the distant future where there is only one star left in existence. Still a shirtless guy with a ribbon of machine gun ammo wrapped around him though. They obviously like their 80s action movies in the year 5 trillion.