Battleborn goes Free to Play (Kinda). In Other News: Battleborn is Still a Thing

I’ve never played Battleborn. Like with pretty much everyone, i went with Overwatch as my multiplayer shooter of choice when the two games were coming out. While i don’t regret that decision, i am some what saddened by the bum wrap Battleborn has gotten. Other than the fact the two are both hero shooters, the two don’t seem to have much else in common, with Battleborn taking much more inspiration from the MOBA genre than Overwatch ever did. I think, had the public been kinder, there was more than enough space for both games. Sadly that just wasn’t in the cards, and Battleborn swiftly faded into obscurity.

But you know what, bless Gearboxes little hearts, becuase they are doing everything they can to fight that. While part of that was a cringy attempt to jump on the Overwatch porn train, their newest idea isn’t so bad: go free to play. The problem is everything they don’t tell you in the trailer. They make it clear that only the multiplayer is free (as if anyone cares about the games story or lore), but you can play as much as you want. However, unless you spend money you are limited to a roster of 6 of the games 30 heros a week. From what i understand, this is something a lot of MOBA’s do, but what bothers me is the fact they didn’t state this in the trailer. I might not have had to do a whole lot of digging to find this information out, but it was still more than necessary.

Once more, i’ve never played Battleborn so this is pure speculation on my part but here’s my issue. If you get good enough at Overwatch (which i very much am not) you soon learn that there are checks and balances for each character. I really enjoy playing at Junkrat, but he’s more or less useless against Pharah as she’s often out of my reach. A (good) Widowmaker player can easily deal with Pharah however. And so on, and so on. If that’s true for Battleborn, by restricting the player roster for free players, you’re putting them at a disadvantage as they can’t take full advantage of those checks and balances. And if this is true for Battleborn, this attempt at going free to play will soon become an exorcises in the worst kinds of psychological bullying these kinds of games are known for. I’m not against Devs making money off their work, but this looks to me like a half measure with too much potential to go the wrong way. While it may piss off the….three?…people that actually bought Battleborne, maybe a better way forward would have been to simply go fully free to play. To be fair, i have no idea if the game has the kind of infrastructure to support that kind of change (i.e., is their anything worth spending money on? loot boxes, cosmetics, that kind of thing?). But for right now i’m interested to see where this goes, if it goes any where.



Law Breakers goes into Closed Beta This Month

Hey, look! Some actual gaming news that’s worth talking about. That’s rare. Okay, enough jokes. March 16-19, right after PAX, Lawbreakers  will be entering into a closed beta. Ever since i fell in love with Overwatch and heard this was its gory, M-Rated sister i’ve been interested in getting my hands on it. Granted that may not be until the player base dies down to just the overly dedicated and the game becomes inaccessible to new players due to poverty and a lack of free time. But hey, what matters is that i’ll always have overwatch to go back too once i’m inevitably driven off, right? But for those of you with some free time (please leave a comment telling me what that’s like), you can sign up for the open beta HERE . And for those of you with money, email me for my address, i take cash and checks.

DOOM 2016 Documentary

Doom is probably my favorite game from this year. I had gotten it a few months after it was released and to my great surprise it still managed to live up to every bit of hype and acclaim it had received. Knowing what little i did going in about the games troubled development made that feet even more impressive. However, i don’t think i really appreciated just how good the game was and how poorly it could have gone until i watched Danny O’Dwyer’s three part documentary on the game. O’Dwyer’s work was some of my favorites when he was working at GameSpot, and i hope that his new youtube channel Noclip allows him to continue. For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s the documentary he did on Doom 2016. Enjoy and consider giving O’Dwyer a follow.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Free Trial

According to this Forbes article, Infinite Warfare has sold 50% less that the previous installment of the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 3. With that in mind it’s no surprise that Activision is going to do something big to try and bluster sales. Enter the Infinite Warfare Free trial; nearly a week long event where players can test out all of the games modes for free. So, if you’re unsure about getting another call of duty, this is your chance to test the waters.

Overwatch: Sombra Introduction and Back Story

If you’re like me you probably spend way too much time playing Overwatch. And if you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten to the point where you’re not playing as your main much these days to spice up the game a bit more.  Well, as if they knew we might be getting just a little tired of the game, Blizzard finally announces their newest cast member: Sombra. Personally i’m really excited for this one as she looks right up my ally. While Ana is the only support character i’ll play as, i don’t often play support so her arrival didn’t impact the game too much for me. Sombra looks like a character i may be putting quite a few hours into.

Personally i’m really looking forward to playing with that teleporter. As much as i like Tracer as a character and would like to be good with her, more often than not her blink confuses me and it takes to long for me to readjust myself. This seems like, by using a similar but toned down effect, will be as fun to use while negating that internal confusion. The only thing that worries me is her hacking ability. I think it’s a cool idea, but i have to wonder what the cooldown/duration of effect will have to be to make it both not overpowered and still worth using. I’m sure Blizzard has this down to a science by now but until i get my hands on the character it’s still a matter of concern. Like, i’m all for being able to bring down an opponent Reinhardts shied, but if that’s only going to last a second or two, i may as well just shoot at him. But if it lasts too long, the character is too over powered. And then, what about hacking health packs? It’s a cool idea being able to take away resources from the opposing team, but that needs to be balanced perfectly to not feel cheap.

Overall though, yeah, i’m excited. I wish they had added when the character will be live for players, but i’m going to play the hell out of her once she’s available.

Doom First 18 Minutes and Impressions

You want to know my favorite part of this video is? The fact that the game play starts about 40 seconds into the video. As much as i believe in the power of video game story telling, some days you just want to hit start and begin killing stuff, context and cutscenes be damned. And if you’re like me and that’s something you miss, looks like Doom’s got you covered. Once the action starts there’s hardly a break from it in the 18 minute video, and early review impressions lead me to think that’s not going to be any different in the rest of the game. This could easily become tedious, but the game play looks fun and there is sure to be more variety as the game goes on. So long as more demons and more guns are introduced at a steady enough pace, i can’t see myself complaining that the game is “only” about killing demons.

I’m looking forward to this one. Not only does the game play look fun as hell and a far cry from most other shooter released today, but the game almost feel made with me in mind: you killing demons, an agent of superstition, with tools made my mankind’s intellect on freaking Mars. The only eay this could be any more my thing is if DoomGuy was instead a hot lesbian scientist and the end boss was god himself.