Battleborn’s Biggest Problem Is Overwatch

Battleborn’s Biggest Problem Is Overwatch

After spending over 20 hours with Battleborn, there’s one problem I just can’t help but dwell on. It’s nothing to do with the game’s mechanics or content. In all fairness, it’s not even anything the game does wrong, it’s purely down to its release date.

I’ve enjoyed blasting through hours of Meltdown and Incursion. Giggles have been had, awesome team performances achieved. But at the back of my mind, I can’t help but overlook one thing. Overwatch is so close to release. Surely I’m not alone? I know I’m not alone, most Battleborn team chat is filled with discussion of Overwatch.

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Gearbox’s latest release has plenty of quality to boast. The sheer range in heroes is brilliant, every single on of them plays differently. Adjusting approaches based on enemy composition is a subtle, but hugely satisfying, element of the game. Learning the ins and outs of each hero promises reward, not just in the form of titles and skins either.

When playing as part of a fluid team, Battleborn flourishes. Every game is unpredictable, providing so many different experiences. Last minute wins, dominations that turn into defeat, neck and neck battles. Battleborn has them all. With all that being said, one eye is clearly fixed on Overwatch, releasing at the end of this month.

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There’s not many games on the market that play so smoothly. Overwatch purrs with confidences, it oozes style and charisma. The way each hero fits into the game’s meta is hugely impressive, even more so considering some of the mechanics at play. Tracer’s time bending, Lucio’s active supporting, it’s all so slick.

I can’t help but feel slightly sorry for Battleborn. For all the good things the game offers, it has always been firmly in the shadow of Blizzard’s newest IP. Gearbox couldn’t even catch a break during their release window. Overwatch’s open Beta has stole the limelight.

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Odd as it may sound, Battleborn’s biggest problem is Overwatch, even if they aren’t trying to do the same thing. It feels more like a nice filler, a distraction more than a long term interest. There’s a few minor things that niggle away in the way Battleborn performs. While Overwatch looks, sounds and plays great, Battleborn can’t boast the same. Muddy textures and poor optimization allow that longing for Overwatch so much easier to fall into.

Gearbox deserve credit for creating a decent game, even if it feels like a warm up act to Overwatch.

 

Sean Halliday


6 Comments

  1. Tim Larkin
    May 6, 2016, 4:58 am

    I have not played Battleborn, but it’s fair to say that I don’t want to play Battleborn. Everything I have seen is ugly. Bad character design (skinny gold automaton? a wrestler with human chest and robot arms?). Bad colors (All 16 million are in full use?). No hot babes (a woman on steriods with a mohawk?) Ugly UI (Green and yellow menus with hideous fonts?) Odd alien planet (no historical precedent is always bad).

    Overwatch is the exact opposite of Battleborn. Great characters (cool guys, and hot babes). Familiar world (based on real architecture past or present.) “Slick” is correct about the presentation. I have played it on Xbox One (the weakest hardware), and it runs 60 fps with a fast UI.

    I don’t know if it means anything, but Twitch stats for tonight were 1,000 players on Battleborn and 32,000 players on Overwatch.

    • Sean Halliday
      May 10, 2016, 9:56 pm

      Twitch stats do reflect a online game’s state fairly well. As for Battleborn, i enjoy it but i feel like it’s been given a really tough spot. The marketing does nothing to tell people what the game is. In fact, the marketing almost misleads people into thinking it’s like Borderlands…and it’s really not. I honestly would not be shocked to see it drop into free-to-play on PC after a year.

      Overwatch is typically Blizzard. Smart design, great direction and confidence.

  2. William Scheufele
    May 6, 2016, 5:19 am

    Overwatch is a shell of a moba honestly the most horrible moba I have ever played

    • Sean Halliday
      May 9, 2016, 7:55 pm

      It’s not a Moba, it’s more akin to Team Fortress 2 if anything

  3. Jason
    June 2, 2016, 12:53 am

    Personally, I’ve not been impressed with Overwatch at all. I think the only reason its beating Battleborn out is because Blizzard had a much larger advertising budget. Battleborn actually has a lot more depth and content to it. I personally like it quite a bit.

    • Sean Halliday
      June 2, 2016, 1:56 am

      They’re both hugely different, which is why i think Battleborn’s marketing was messy. They didn’t really get Battleborn was, it was all so muddled and focused on the characters. I still play Battleborn, i enjoy the moba/shooter hybrid…and Toby

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