Borderland developer gearbox is going to release a hero-versus-hero FPS called Battleborn. In the game, gearbox takes the design style from Borderland to create characters. The gameplay is similar to a MOBA game, but has some differences. The developer said Battleborn is more like a fighting game, like Street Fighters, with a number of characters and actions. So, what is Battleborn exactly? You can take a look our interview with Battleborn dev team to find the answer.
Q: What makes Battleborn attractive to fans of Borderlands and MOBA?
A: The game features 4 different ways for players to play. It has a campaign of story that you can play by yourself or with your friends. And it has three competitive modes. In those modes there are something that are similar to MOBAs, but not exactly the same. We have one called Incursion, which has some of the similar elements that MOBAs have, where you are looking to assault the other team’s base. And you have to assault special points on the map so there is some give and take. And we have one called Devastation, which is a capture-and-hold style map. And we have another called Meltdown where you are escorting your minions to be recycled and there's a score based on how many you recycle versus how many the opponent team does. Of course you are fighting against each other during the whole time as you escorting your minions.
We like to think of the game also more like a fighting game, like Street Fighters, with a number of characters and actions. You will be able to choose from 25 characters in the game.
Q: Will the heroes that are progressed in story mode be able to use in PvP matches?
A: Yes. There are 3 ways to level up. You level up per match or chapter in the story that you are playing. You have up-to 10 choices you can make as you level up in the game. You can level up your character no matter which mode you play in and you'll always be able to level up that character in all modes. And we have commander rank with which you can level up across all characters.
And you will earn currency in the game and then spend on different things. One of the things you can do is to upgrade your Helix so you can customize some of the choices in Helix and in things you doing meta game outside of the match. And then you can have your own version of Helix when you play the match. So your character won't play as somebody else's character for a lot of reasons.
Q: Compared with MOBA, Battleborn's first-person camera view just allows you to see what's in front of you. Does this make teamwork and tactics simpler for players?
A: I don't know that I would describe it simpler — maybe from that standpoint of situational awareness of what's exactly happening around you or behind you. But when it comes to what's happening in the map or the amount of strategy that you and your team have, that I think it's just as complex, deep and interesting as any of the MOBAs when we are in those modes that feel like MOBA. But because we have between story and 3 other modes, we have such diverse type of gameplay. Also there is a mini map that gives you the view of the whole battlefield, and anything that the players in your team can see.
Q: The characters in this game are visually stylish and fascinating. We are really interested in where did you get the inspiration from?
A: One of our art directors Scott Kester is a big fan of Street Fighter and games like that. He looked a lot at even the toys like Transformers that you kind of want them fight each other when you are a kid — the idea is kind of from that. Everybody thinks up really cool ideas at work. So we have a concept everyday, and a lot of arties will try to do the drawing everyday. And we look at these and see which is the best one. Then our artist will take that idea from the visual standpoint and then try to make that into something gameplay.
Q: Will players be able to customize their characters' appearance and armors?
A: Yes, in fact one of the things you can do is spend the currency on different skins for your characters and there are a lot of ways to customize the look of your characters.
Does it exists in Battleborn such logic of new players should play story mode first and then PvP modes when they are familiar with the game?
I think it depends on what that kind of player usually plays. If it's someone who really likes competitive games, he might be willing to just pick up the character and go play with other people competitively. But if it's someone who really wants to get to know the characters first before they go fight with others, maybe they will play the campaign story first. I think that it depends on players’ choice.
Also, we have the characters like Oscar Mike and Montana and some of other characters that are much more like the typical shooter and a first-person competitive game. So that makes a very easy entry point for somebody who's new to feel comfortable in the game.
Q: About how much time do average players need to complete the story mode?
A: We don't know right now but it's going to be on par with other trip-A fast-paced shooters. It is not like the length of the game like Borderlands, where you can spend 30 to 60 hours just on one character. This game is about having very high energy, short matches, and so it would be on par with the other games that have very fast pace and short matches. With replayability, it always inspires players to try more in the map whether it's PvP or PvE. On the PvE side you are gonna see somebody else does something that you think is exciting. So you may want to come back and do that again. You can play through the campaign a number of times and it's interesting to see something that's a little different.
Q: Since Battleborn will be buy-to-play, are all the 25 characters available to everyone that has purchased the game?
A: Correct. Part of what you buy with the game is 25 characters.