TL;DR: Has a MOBA rather than FPS feel thanks to the time it takes to kill anything, but doesn’t work well thanks to too much visual noise, poor minimap, plus the FPS viewpoint combined with collision mechanics. As an FPS it’s too floaty and loose to feel satisfying, and strong emphasis on melee elements of the game leave a sour taste thanks to the 1st person view. Nice characterisation, just doesn’t work for me thanks to the game mechanics chosen by the developers.
Hey all, hope you’re enjoying the Open Beta and trying out this new game. I wish it no ill will (quite the opposite) but I’ve come to the conclusion for myself that it’s just not got what it needs to be a game that is going to be enjoyed universally.
I’m relatively new to MOBA style games, but I am a veteran of FPS games including tactical/strategic FPS games; it was the latter that I was really coming to Battleborn expecting to get my enjoyment, yet it unfortunately fails to really scratch the right itch in either department. My perspective is largely from Multiplayer play, I don’t really have much quarrel with the campaign side of the game but that was never going to be the reason anyone sticks with this game.
I’m sure some people are saying “It’s not a MOBA” or similar, but the reality is that it’s pretty damn close, close enough to draw comparison and those comparisons aren’t too favourable.
It’s clear from playing that you need a good rounded team structure to win, same as in any MOBA, but the game right now doesn’t give you enough information as a beginner as to how to make that rounded out team that covers defense and offense well. While the descriptions of the characters abilities are useful, they are perhaps too specific to the point of being confusing for people starting out.
The same elements seem to exist as any other MOBA out there, lanes that take the main route for AI minions with side routes or jungle type routes that allow you to outflank an enemy. This is all reasonable until you realise that the minimap is really quite poor in providing situational awareness of the map, and the FPS view is inherently flawed when it comes to understanding your surroundings.
Were this game a third person shooter I could understand it working a whole lot better, but it’s not. The FPS nature creates pure chaos in game. You can’t see enough of your surroundings, especially when throwing in the sheer amount of visual noise that builds up as the game progresses, and then if you get caught out (like, say, by a Rath sneaking up on you and getting some combo play in) then your retreat is all too often blocked by sharp edges on the map, or more commonly minions or other players… all things you just don’t know are there when having to focus on your aim as per any FPS would, and not having the ability to see behind you as you would in a top down or 3rd person view.
Fighting close ranged characters as a ranged character too? This is a VERY weird situation to be in, if someone gets in close to you the whole nature of this FPS view means that you can very easily get lost in the chaos going on in front of you. A game that seems to put the benefit on a team that secures kills shouldn’t make it so hard for someone to make simple decisions about how to try and get away from or counter a melee range character.
And so it is really quite disorientating and chaotic to the point of being a mess as a MOBA style game, but even the FPS elements don’t really work all that well either. Playing Oscar Mike, possibly one of the most FPS typical characters in the game, firing his weapon is so much work to actually use. The kickback, the “softness” of how it feels to shoot, it all amounts to not really being a satisfying FPS experience. This is replicated across other characters with ranged attacks, the feeling is not one of aim and fire, but aim and hope and wonder if you’re actually doing anything.
And then there is the movement… sprinting is clunky (I assume it’s a bug that if I use push to sprint that it doesn’t stop sprinting), jumping feels all kinds of wrong. Why is everything so floaty?
There is plenty to like or even love about the game, the visual style, the characterisations, it’s clearly not a bad game in and of itself… but it’s just not enjoyable for the likes of me either unfortunately.
Thanks for the opportunity to try it out, I might look in on it in the future if there’s ever a free weekend and some of these core mechanics decisions have been revisited and improved so that the game doesn’t feel so sludgy to play. For those enjoying it and loving it, good on you, I don’t feel you’re wrong to like Battleborn but I do think there are things that can make people not like Battleborn too.