I like to play a game for a bit before I come to any conclusions about it. Battleborn has been out for a month, now, and Steam tells me I’ve played for 56 hours, so I feel I can have a valid opinion. Here’s my personal and very subjective view, probably of no interest to anyone else but I’ll waffle on anyway.
I bought BB just for the PvE, SP & co-op, and that’s how I’ll judge the game. First, lets get all the “controversies” out of the way, from a PvE perspective.
F2P. Find me a linear FPS, with BB’s production values and replayability, for free. Thought not.
Graphics. I like the art style and the visuals have never got too busy for me.
Marketing. I don’t know anything about marketing but I do know I had to put in a deal of effort to figure out what this game offered.
Buff/Nerf. PvE FPS gamers tend to play with what they’re given. Gal was fine before. Gal was fine after.
Skins. It’s a FPS. You never see your character model in game. I’ll care about skins when they affect gameplay.
Quitting. I play a lot of SP and I’m lucky to have a group of friends for co-op. Not a problem for me.
Price cut. Surely, every gamer knows you pay a premium to be an early adopter. If you want a bargain, wait.
Last, and, by far, least.
Overwatch. Irrelevant. No PvE.
So am I enjoying the game? I certainly am. I find any FPS that allows me to play with a number of different skill sets has good replayability. Although there’s only the eight missions, I find that the characters are so varied that they make each runthrough novel. But does that justify the price? I know hours played isn’t the definitive measure of how good a game is but it’s a darn good indicator. Looking at my Steam library, BB is already up there with other AAA linear shooters. I’m happy with its value for money.
A couple of things have really surprised and pleased me. I thought the gear system might just be an afterthought. In fact, it’s really important to your characters and I’ve had great fun agonizing over the best loadouts The other delight is the script. It makes me smile consistently.
If I have a problem, it’s with the story structures. Ask a traditional FPS gamer what they think of escort/defense/timed missions and you’ll get pretty negative answers! I realise the story missions “reflect” the PvP game but I’d have loved some more traditional maps like “The Algorithm”. I hope the DLCs have a few of the “just you, some guns & the entire population of Murder Town between you and where you need to be” (Yahtzee on “Painkiller”) variety
For the future, I still have the vast majority of characters to try out. But all PvE FPSs come to an end. I’ll give it a break, at some point, wait until all the DLCs are out and buy the season pass as a kind of “expansion pack”. Five new characters and five new maps to take them through, along with all the original characters and maps, will give me another significant wodge of gaming.
As for the future of Battleborn, I’ve no idea. From a hard-nosed, selfish point of view, I don’t care. The current PvE game isn’t going anywhere and GBX/2K are committed to the season pass. My interests are covered. But I do care. I think GBX have been brave enough to make an interesting and innovative PvP game. Something different from the current crop of multiplayer FPSs. I hope it’s recognized as such and gathers a big enough user base of cognoscenti to keep it going indefinitely. We’ll have to wait and see.