Game Informer's Harsh yet Honest Review

Reviews can’t predict if you personally will like a thing or not. I personally don’t like most Marvel movies, despite everybody praising them. Avengers was a total bore to me and Deadpool’s humor just makes me cringe. Meanwhile I highly enjoy DC movies and I’m not afraid to stand with my view on them. Different people, different tastes. Only thing that is not okay is to bash things just because people don’t like it. I hate all the negativity that hits DC and Battleborn. I’d never write negative reviews or feedback if they would be solely based on my personal preferences. Living by "if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all"
This is also why I don’t agree with this guy’s review for the bigger part, because you can clearly see his personal preferences and expectations shine through (I for one really enjoy the dialogues and personalities of the characters) also he seems to forget that BB is MOBA-esque and drop in play just can’t exist in PvP. PvE is a whole other story, but I don’t see it as necessary nor desirable. I’d be pissed if somebody just dropped in right before the mission is finished and still would get exp and loot.

Overall this review (and please forgive me for saying the big bad word) reeks of somebody who would enjoy games like Overwatch more. I think this review was another unnecessary rather negative drop on the sea of negativity about Battleborn.


Nuh-uh… my Mellka. :wink:


That’s true, opinions are just a single person’s perspective. Yet as a moderator on these forums, you also know that allot of the players have similar opinions, and they all didn’t come from this review. I posted this because it echoes what many have said here. Which has translated into fewer players over time. That should be concerning to anyone who enjoys this game.

I don’t agree with everything in the review, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t make some valid points. It was an honest review without being unnecessarily cruel. As a fan, I know it’s hard to accept harsh criticism of something you enjoy / love, but ignoring obvious flaws and shared sentiment won’t help make the game better.


Seeing this Game Informer Review reminded me that Battleborn was actually on the cover of Game Informer back in August of 2014 and the story was done by Tim Turi, who left GI some time in March of this year. This is unfortunate because it would have been nice to see a “full circle” review comparing what Tim saw in development to the final product.

Matt Miller’s review honestly reads like someone who didn’t play the game outside of maybe 2 hours. The tone is contradictory as well in that he says things like:

I enjoy Gearbox’s work on games like Borderlands


Endless wave-based defend and escort objectives crop up in virtually every mission, which is boring at first and excruciating by the end. Combat balance is all over the place, with long stretches of overly simplistic fights, followed by sudden escalations into crushing difficulty.

This is exactly what Borderlands does, so to say one was enjoyable and the other was not seems a bit off.

I will say that looking at the GI cover story from 2014, Battleborn looked very different than what we have today. The maps appear to have been larger and the max character level was 20. The initial plan was to have more of a PvE focus in some of the games, more than what is currently in Incursion or Meltdown. Spider Sentry units appeared to be more prevalent.

Character abilities seem to have changed drastically too.

Oscar Mike had both a frag and a “pulse grenade” which could take out shields.

Thorn’s ultimate actually summoned a scalewolf, similar to Lycan from Dota 2.

Reyna’s ult used to be a teleport that brought her to any ally on the map.

Pheobe’s ult was some type of riposte that hit with all of her swords.

Finally, the story was supposed to be much more in depth. To quote Randy Varnell:

One of the really early campaign motivations for creating the factions was Game of Thrones.
There are a lot of reasons for these groups in the kingdom to fight and struggle. Some of it’s for resources, some of it’s personal, and everybody seems to be ignoring the big threat up north that’s about to plow over the realm. We got to imagine in the future upcoming ideas of Martin’s, they’re going to have to learn to put aside some of those differences and deal with that common threat. Thinking about that has been some really great inspiration.

I think everyone would agree that the story during the campaign doesn’t really come together all that clearly, unless you take the time to acquire character lore. There might even be more campaign information in the 2014 article than the actual game.

I would be interesting to know why certain things changed during development. The biggest for me are the larger maps with more minions, and level 20 being the old cap during a game.


As somebody else already stated the story they did when the game was on the cover was a different person doing the story. As you said all reviews are opinions and he does make some decent points in there they might want to look at to get the “casual” gamer interested.

You can’t play this game for two hours and make an in depth review on it. There are some games you kind of can due to gameplay mechanics and what not, this isn’t one of those games. If you only played a couple of games maybe you didn’t find a character that really resonates with you yet, for me that’s the biggest part of the game is the characters and the mechanics you have to use to be good with each of them.

I probably sound like a fan boy who will defend this game no matter what and I’m not trying to sound like that. I get this game has issues, they need to work on figuring out how to properly nerf things that are OP, the matchmaking(while better lately for me) was a huge problem at release and still is for some people, trying to find a way to properly balance pve and pvp. There are problems but for me none of this is game breaking and im still having a blast with it. My one major problem I had on here I posted about it, got a response from GBX rather quickly and now its fixed.

He clearly did not actually learn to play the game.

" Little beyond a ticking health bar communicates that you’re damaging a foe"

What an X mark and a hitting noise isn’t good enough for you? I mean that’s the standard across every game in existence for hitting someone. What do you want? Little text that says “you’re damaging X”

“it’s hard to tell where the damage is coming from”

Again you get a red mark indicating and your screen moves from impact. Again the standard for every multiplayer game everywhere. Honestly at this point I don’t imagine he put much time into the multiplayer before actually writing this or he’s just not used to collecting knowledge using first person in a moba setting.

However I agree with the campaign stuff. Just simply: Campaign needs to be an intense 1 and done, come back in a couple a months play through again. When you expect something to be a form of grinding it will never be good. When you force players to repeatedly run through parts you don’t remember the good moments you remember whats hard and whats not. I do feel they need more mission to fill out the plot line because he clearly didn’t pay attention enough.

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The full content of the review makes it pretty clear that the reviewer played more than 2 hours, even if it was a different person then the initial cover story. The game was advertised as a solo, co-op, and PvP game. Not a PvP game that had co-op missions that could be done solo. (Yes, there is a difference)

The vision initially presented, intentionally tried to appeal to many types of gamers, not just hardcore PvP enthusiasts. Though the changes made from the original presentation to it’s current iteration show that they shifted focus, it doesn’t change the disappointment felt by so many. That is why the player base is shrinking, and the price was cut in half. If they keep repeating the same actions that lead to this situation, they’re not going to get different results.

You may not agree with his review (which is expected of any review), but dismissing him outright is foolish. Because his may just be one opinion, but he isn’t the only one with that opinion.


Well if you’ve read my posts, it might come as a little odd that I have a tiny bit more sympathy for our reviewer friend here. While I disagree with a lot, I think I get why this happened and will continue to happen to our game:

It’s strange.

It’s awkward.

It has these odd rough edges that people don’t understand.

It’s got a strong art style.

It’s got unique gameplay elements.

It has some of the more seizure inducing graphical flourishes that I’ve seen in a while.

In short, it’s difficult to benchmark, because what do you compare it to?

Should it have the campaign length of a FPS or an RPG (4-8 hours vs 40-80 hours?)

Should the PVP be designed with MOBA levels of sound-design/force feedback, or something more akin to a AAA shooter? (Where impactful and “meaty” weapon noises are the norm).

Should they prioritize fidelity in their leveling system, or allow for drop-in play?

The questions go on and go, and even for a professional reviewer trying her best, it’s not obvious how many of them should be answered.

What most people do is say something like, “If you want to have elements from all these genres, you should do each them equally well.” Which might be unrealistic, but isn’t necessarily unfair.

While I love zone defense and escort missions as much as the next guy, I hope the DLC has a bit more variety. I also hope they do something to improve the Lore and how it’s delivered to us in-game.

I think that if this reviewer had poured a few dozen more hours into the experience, they wouldn’t have made some of the statements they did, but I understand how someone without the time we have invested could feel this way.


Now I want a Snickers


most of his complaints came from not liking the core gameplay mechanics, which I’m sure some agree with him, but not everybody is going to like the mechanics of every game. If someone doesn’t like the core mechanics there’s basically nothing the devs could have done different to change that persons mind about the game.

That would be like me reviewing gears of war. I didn’t like the basic mechanics of that game or the way it felt alot of the time. Does that mean I’m wrong? No its personal opinion even though if I was to review it I wouldn’t give it the score most believe it deserves because of that one thing. I’m not saying his review doesn’t have some good points about the storyline needing to be more clear, but even if the storyline was as good as the last of us he still wouldn’t have enjoyed his time playing because he didn’t like the way the game felt while playing it.

I think many players share that sentiment and originally that’s what it looked like they were going to do. Somewhere between then and now that seems to have changed. Honestly, I just don’t think they had enough time to deliver their full vision, so they put what they could together and this was what it became.


That’s a valid point. Personally, I expected the combat to feel more like Borderlands. Though they have similarities, it just doesn’t feel as refined to me, but I’m adaptable so I adjusted. Yet, aspects of the combat continue to be a thorn in the side of many players. It’s not as bad when you use ranged characters, but melee can be less forgiving. It hard to keep track of what’s going on when you’re in the middle of a major skirmish and explosion & ability effects are endlessly flooding your view.

There’s allot of room for improvement, and many people don’t have the patience to wait for it to get better when they’re having issues now.


Just wanted to say: you’re one of the most impressively reasonable posters in this community. Reading your posts genuinely has a soothing effect!


Fully agree! I even imagine a he/she has a friendly voice when I read those :smile:

Back to topic:
Everyone has a perspective. A review is one perspective. This single perspective is not right or wrong, but it is wrong to assume everyone else shares this perspective/opinion. A bad review has the same value as a good one, in the end what matters is your own review.

From everything I just read through out this thread, these words hold most virtue. The first part has become so prevalent since the introduction of Alani. Playing a melee class getting bounced around all over the place, tossed and turned, slowed, blinded and knocked back lacks any great feeling of game play. I will stick to ranged, if and when I do play again.

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Yeah, its really a bit much… After 3 missions with Phoebe I´ve to rest my eyes a bit. If I play longer melee I get a headache >.<

“A slick animated intro”

Hahahahahano. That was the first sign this review shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Most of is nonsense complaints like not liking the humor and complaining about bread and butter mechanics. Saying its tedious?! Has this guy ever played Overwatch?!

Methinks he just wasn’t bribed enough.

I agree playing a melee character in this game can be a pain…didnt they add an option to tone down the visual effects? I could be wrong but if they did it could help melee characters.

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They added effect adjustments for PC but not Consoles.

O ok I knew I seen something about that. Just didn’t really look into to much