SDCC 2015: BattleBorn takes over Petco Park with hands-on demos and Laser Tag


San Diego Comic-Con takes over more than just the San Diego Convention center, it envelopes the entire city including the San Diego Padres home stadium, Petco Park. As I explored around Comic-Con on my free time, I eventually ended up here and it was full of different companies and various attractions; however, the one that had taken over a majority of the space was none other than Gearbox to showcase their upcoming IP Battleborn.

The statue (above) was only a small part of their Petco Park takeover. They also had a giant section blocked off where they had created an indoor laser tag arena for two teams to battle it out for supremacy. They even gathered a group of Borderlands cosplayers to duke it out and figure out who was the most badass. Now unlike most laser tag arenas where there are multiple target points, in order to speed up the process and make the event as available to the public as possible, you’re only hit box was on your gun itself.


By far the main attraction though was the ability to get some hands-on time with the Battleborn game, and while it was available to play at prior events, this was my first time getting my hands on it. The demo at Petco Park had all 10 of the 25 previously announced Battleborn heroes available to select. I spent a moment looking over each of them and instantly gravitated to the one bow-wielding character, Thorn. Now for those out there who have yet to play Battleborn, it is the next co-op FPS/RPG game from Gearbox Software, and it feels very familiar to the company’s juggernaut predecessor Borderlands. However that familiar feeling is where most of the comparisons end. Every character handles differently including their movement style, attack animations, and ability usage, and that should be expected in this day of gaming. A bigger tank character like Oscar Mike should not move and be as nimble as my archer Thorn.


Each character has 3 usable abilities that you acquire from the Helix upgrade system, and these abilities will be upgraded with perks throughout the mission as you level up. For Thorn these varied from being able to launch more arrows with my Multi-shot ability Volley, or being able to use her blight field to either curse enemies or buff herself. And this is just the beginning of upgrades for your selected Battleborn. The catch is that these abilities will reset for every competitive match or single player mission, just like they would in a MOBA. This allows you to alter your strategies every battle and choose which bonuses/traits will benefit you most for your current situation. Now there will also be perks and traits that will strengthen your character between matches on your main profile and character profile, so the more you play with your favorite character, the more powerful they will become.


The first objective of the demo was for our squad to reach a specific control room while mowing down all resistance along the way. Once we arrived at the checkpoint, a giant 4-legged Wolf sentry, for us to escort, was air dropped in with explosives to destroy a target at our final destination. Now Battleborn is unlike most games when it comes to dreaded escort missions. This massive Walker came with options for upgrades, provided you have enough gold shards to purchase them. These upgrades ranged from temporary shields, turrets, and even a recovery field to heal allies while protecting the giant metal beast.


Upon reaching the gate, the walker is attacked by hordes of enemies, and it was up to us to defend against the relentless waves of enemies. The arena came equipped with auto-turrets that you could purchase and even upgrade if you had enough gold to do so. After a few waves in a typical fashion, a big baddie shows up, forcing us to focus our main attention to the new threat. After a few minutes of us unloading everything at the boss, it eventually fell and we were treated to a short cutscene of us accomplishing our objective.

Overall I enjoyed my time with Battleborn and while it obviously shares a lot similarities with Borderlands, it manages to set itself apart with a much broader cast of characters each with their unique look, weapons, play styles, and personalities. My only complaint was that when my attacks would connect with targets, I never felt that oomph that is gratifying to the feel. Then again this is still in development, so there is plenty of time for them to fix that tiny complaint.

Check out the footage below to see each of the characters in action, so you an start debating with your friends about who will be the best.

Battleborn is scheduled for release this winter for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Facebook Comments