Mano A MOBA: Gearbox’s Battleborn E3 Trailer

A nicely staged screenshot.

I’d forgotten that Borderlands chaps Gearbox were making a MOBA-tinged FPS too. They are, a new trailer for Battleborn [official site] reminds me, though I wonder whether their recent silence on the game has reflected a rethinking of things. The 14 minutes of gameplay they showed last September looked a bit dull, with hordes of enemies lining up to plink away with harmless guns.

Now they’re back with a handful more details on co-op and competitive multiplayer and singleplayer and a snappy pop music trailer ahead of its release this winter (and showing at E3).

Gearbox explain that its campaign will be playable on your lonesome or with up to four chums, while competitive play will be 5v5 across three modes. If one of those modes doesn’t at least resemble yer classic three-lane MOBA dealio, I’ll spit on your hat.

It’ll have 25 characters to choose from, which is a small amount for a MOBA but a lot for an FPS. Marketing materials place it under the loathsome genre of “hero shooter” but it’s an FPS-RPG with active skills and levelling and… I’m sure you get the picture.

If you don’t, this trailer probably won’t help much because it’s all quick clips and snappy edits. It’s also the game’s E3 trailer, so posting this now may give me five minutes of peace and quiet that I’ll desperately need in – oh god – two weeks.

[Disclosure: I used to work with several people who now work at Gearbox. I still think Borderlands is boring.]


  1. Phenomen says:

    So it’s more like TF2 \ Overwatch \ Monday Night Combat \ Smite rather than DOTA2 \ LoL

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    “I’d forgotten that Borderlands chaps Gearbox were making a MOBA-tinged FPS”

    And I’ve already forgotten again.

  3. ggggggggggg says:

    i was ready to get offended by the concept of a gearbox moba fps but instead i was distracted by the way that backing audio track sounds like someone baby talking over fart noises

    • slerbal says:

      Oh! Now you’ve pointed it out, it really does :D

    • wahwah says:

      I was more distracted by what the song is about, odd choice for a video game trailer

    • ironhorse says:

      Heyyy.. Alt J is amazing.. but it definitely does not belong with this video game (or any, that i can think of)

  4. iainl says:

    So, are any of these DOTA-But games going to be more successful than the Minecraft-Buts are looking, or indeed the WoW-Buts were? Because those of us not playing DOTA or LoL aren’t showing a -lot- of interest in trying these instead.

    • Xzi says:

      Well I’ll refute that point by saying that I am more interested in the idea of MOBAs as shooters rather than top-down single-unit strategy games. I’m also more interested in Gigantic than I am in Battleborn or Overwatch, but I’ll give all three a try when possible.

      DOTA 2 has a lot of unnecessary baggage from the Warcraft 3 engine because Valve decided to play it extremely safe in order to please the existing fan base. LoL, OTOH, took that same formula and simplified it for players, but also didn’t really add anything new or innovative. There’s plenty of room for improvement/innovation within the genre, so let’s hope one of these games makes things more interesting and enjoyable.

      • Xocrates says:

        It helps that the DOTA-Buts have a large genre crossover. We’ve had Top Down, Third Person, FPS, and even 2D Platformer. I doubt any will compete will LoL/DOTA any time soon, but it does mean it’s a more varied and healthy landscape than the MMO and survival sandboxes.

      • Vin_Howard says:

        MOBA’s play much better with an rts interface then with a fps interface; the rts is where the genre is at home (the very idea is an rts where you control only a single unit), and every attempt at turning it into an fps has felt more gimmicky then anything.

        Also, I wonder what is this “baggage” you speak of…

  5. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    Pretty sure these guys were absolutely gutted when Blizzard announce Overwatch.

    • Xzi says:

      I wouldn’t say so. The co-op campaign will be a nice selling point, and I don’t think Overwatch or Gigantic are doing that. Also, we need to see some PvP gameplay before making any sort of judgment…what we’ve seen of Overwatch’s has been unimpressive and cluttered.

      • Rizlar says:

        The design work in this looks miles ahead of Overwatch as well! The Borderlands games were certainly never lacking in character.

      • ironhorse says:

        Hear, hear!
        Looks loads more “readable” than that OverClutterWatch mess

  6. Darth Gangrel says:

    The person to the left looks like he’s saying “Go away, there’s no (mush)room for you here!”

  7. KevinLew says:

    If this is supposed to be a MOBA, then it’s the weirdest MOBA that I’ve ever seen. The co-op gameplay mode released last year showed no lanes, no creeps (other than the enemies), very few towers, no shop or items to purchase, and destroying a throne isn’t the final objective. If anything, the game has numerous parallels with Destiny, as it’s a FPS game with some light RPG elements. I should point out that Destiny (or any MMO for that matter) also features skills with a cooldown timer.

  8. vahnn says:

    “I still think Borderlands is boring.”

    AMEN! I never understood all the fuss with those games. They got so damn boring after about 8 hours… I know some guys who have over 1000 hours in BL1 and approaching that number with 2. HOW?!