While they aren’t the same style of game, Battleborn and Overwatch will share/fight over, to some extent, a player-base.
Imagine a Venn diagram. One side has people that will only enjoy a FPS hero shooter (with a variety of melee characters too) with in-match character tweaking through a talent system and loot. That has an episodical, dungeonesque PVE campaign, as well as team and objective-based PVP in which some modes have aspects similar to MOBAS,
The other side will have people that will only enjoy a FPS hero shooter, with hich-octane, team and objective-based PVP with intricate maps more akin to an Arena Shooter.
Then, there are the people in the middle who would enjoy both, will play both, or only end up spending their money on one. I am one of these people in the middle. I bought both, and have played both (albeit Battleborn more as it’s been out longer).
While I enjoy jumping in for the faced paced, and relatively short matches in Overwatch, appreciating it’s high polish, as well as enjoying how they expand upon the game through other media such as their animation shorts…I find it hard to stay in for long. I find it just less endearing as Battleborn, and I’m aware that is completely subjective.
It might’ve been that I went from a couple of Battleborn-fueled weeks to jumping in to the tutorial in Overwatch, and found myself almost falling asleep. Who is this AI instructor? She certainly isn’t as endearing as Nova. This feeling continued as I jumped into matches. The environments are beautiful, the characters are well designed (though I love Battleborn’s style as well) but in game, the characters seem a little hollow. It’s like their dialogue is a little insipid, a little too generic, a little too safe. Maybe they will expand this more through their comics, and animation shorts; we’ll see. I find myself unable to play long benders like I’ve been able to with Battleborn.
So what about the future? Well, I’ll continue playing both, but I’m really hoping that Gearbox take this aspect which, for me, really sets it apart from other games, and runs with it in the DLC. I really hope they take the opportunity to flesh out more of the characters as they’ve done for the central cast. I really hope they make the addition missions something special with intricate final bosses (like Void’s Edge rather than The Experiment etc.) and different game mechanics in addition to ‘defend the point’ etc.
Now, I don’t believe Battleborn is automatically better. It has it’s problems, and it’s a different game. But if ongoing support is done well (optimisation improvements, the new PVP maps and modes, upcoming characters and character balancing, the implementation of ranked play, punishing/rewarding players etc.), I think I’ll continue to spend more time in Battleborn than Overwatch. For me, it’s more engaging, and I’m enjoying how it stands apart from just about everything else. I hope Gearbox can dedicate themselves to it, rather than it just being an great experiement.
And if I’ve learned anything from my time with Battleborn and Overwatch, it’s that Geabox better bloody well put Nova in a mechsuit for one of the upcoming character releases!
Have fun, whatever you play.
Edit: Changed click baity title