There is no doubt in almost anyone’s mind that Overwatch is an immensely popular MOBA game. Blizzard Entertainment handled Overwatch majestically with a solid marketing campaign and overall a great game. But, around the same time Overwatch was being created Gearbox Software was developing Battleborn. Currently known as the bastard step-cousin of Overwatch, Battleborn has not enjoyed the same level of appreciation as the former. But, while the games share a similar type of gameplay (incorporating First Person Shooter elements into a MOBA); are they truly as similar as the gaming community in general has stated?
While at a distance both games look interchangeable being very colorful shooters with a diverse character list to choose from, the games are actually very different. Overwatch for example is a multiplayer only game, Battleborn has a story mode which can be played with your friends. Meanwhile Overwatch is often compared to Team Fortress in terms of gameplay (with a very high focus on PVP), whereas Battleborn is more often considered an FPS version of DOTA and LOL. Battleborn also has a major focus on minions where they are actively present in almost every mode of combat. Another key difference is the heroes; Overwatch comes out with all of your heroes unlocked. While Battleborn has character unlocks through various challenges. Yet, there are more differences in the game than simply in the design.
Character progression in Overwatch is practically non-existent. For Battleborn it features a system which while it doesn’t translate from one match to another, does allow your hero to level up in a single battle. Gearbox’s humor is also very much present in Battleborn, unlike in Overwatch which is slightly more reserved in this regard. One point of contention though, has been the use of micro transactions in Battleborn unlike in Overwatch.
Yes, you heard that correctly Battleborn has micro transactions for skins and taunts (which are arguably pointless). Gearbox has also offered a season pass for battleborn, but it comes with some scenarios and is also probably not worth the money (20 dollars). Tack this on to the fact that Battleborn cost more than Overwatch and it puts into perspective Gearbox’s nasty tactic of milking their players for money (see Borderlands 2). Yet, this doesn’t really detract from the game itself and only speaks of the developers themselves. For the sake of brevity, however let’s break it down.
|Presentation||Cartoony FPS with a diverse character roster.||Cartoony FPS with a diverse character roster.|
|Gameplay comparison||Closer to DOTA.||Closer to Team Fortress.|
|Genre||MOBA focused FPS||Team based PVP FPS|
|Campaign modes||Includes single-player and multiplayer modes.||Strictly multiplayer.|
|Game modes||Variety of games modes which mix of PVE and PVP with an emphasis on minions.||Focuses on PVP with a variety of game modes.|
|Characters||Unlocked through gameplay and challenges.||Unlocked from the start.|
|Character progression||Players level up in a match utilizing in game currency.||Players level up to unlock cosmetic changes.|
|Tone||Gearbox’s signature humor is present in the game||Humor is toned down and character interaction allows for a lot more depth and development.|
|Micro transactions||Has micro transactions and a season pass which are a point of contention amongst the player base.||No micro transactions at this moment!|
As many would note the differences are much clearer when written on paper. These two games while easily comparable from a distance are very different. Aside from presentation and the FPS style of gameplay they are as different as apples and oranges. But, there are more problems than the ones simply presented in this article. The PC port of Battleborn has several issues which Overwatch does not. Battleborn also went on a 75% sale very soon after its release which scorned many of the players who paid full price. Perhaps it is time that Battleborn went Free-to-play as that seems to have brought much success to games like Counter Strike and Team Fortress themselves. But, that is a topic for another day.
Until then, the best way to determine what game would suit your needs is to play it at a friend’s house. You could also watch videos on YouTube to help you make an informed decision. Don’t simply fall to the hype as both of these games are very deserving of praise. Sadly, the hype might have taken over and Battleborn may end up relegated to the depths of the bargain bin.