The winner? Gamers.
It’s a rare state of affairs when the gaming industry has two large titles so similar in nature and style released so closely together. At this point in the games’ launch, Overwatch is the current favorite, popular enough to find itself in limited stock in many locations. Battleborn, however, has not enjoyed as much success as its competition. We’ve reviewed both games here at BitCultures, giving Overwatch a 92% and Battleborn an 87%. In other words, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed both games for a variety of reasons.
Personally, I enjoy Battleborn a bit more than Overwatch. But don’t get me wrong – I game with Overwatch as much as Battleborn. It’s just that Battleborn offers me the game that I want: a competitive FPS multiplayer designed to emulate a MOBA-esque experience coupled with an entertaining co-operative mode that plays as a campaign of sorts. Each hero in Battleborn levels up independently outside of combat (you get level experience at the end of each stage/match), and these work toward special abilities, skins, and taunts. What Battleborn gives me is a reason to play.
Now Overwatch is an excellent game, too. I have a lot of fun with the frenetic pace of the game and the ability to strategize a match based on what the other team is employing. The brief matches shift as quickly as characters change, and you have to be able to identify and adjust your own personal game (as well as your team) as needed. I think this is particularly why I’ll continue to play Overwatch, the constant chess matches in every single game. Unfortunately, outside of the fierce competition and joy of victory, Overwatch doesn’t give its gamers any reason to continue (as far as I can tell). Sure, there are unlockables for each character (quite a few, actually), but they’re all things I don’t care about. Yes, I will like to unlock the character skins and introductory poses, but I will definitely not be concerned with the spray icons, or even the voice options. Still, these can be purchased via in game currency or through opening a box (which can be purchased with cash).
But the reasons why I like or dislike aspects of both of these games aren’t the reason I’m writing this feature. BitCultures and I really love both of these title because they’re games made for the gamer. Both Gearbox and Blizzard took the FPS formula and its stale ingredients and tossed it all straight into the trash. Instead, both Gearbox and Blizzard created a sort of “first of their kind” type of games. Sure, they’re both not totally original, and these designs have been seen before (and Battleborn’s co-op is just like Borderlands but with MOBA elements), but in my jaded eyes, these games are exactly what gamers needed.
To this point, I haven’t seen the traditional flinging of insults (see Call of Duty and Battlefield) toward Overwatch and Battleborn from fans of each respective game. Sure, I guarantee it happens, but it’s not as laced with vitriol as most nor is it as prevalent. In fact, Gearbox and Blizzard had some fun with each other upon the announcement that Overwatch would drop a few weeks after Battleborn and have its beta during Battleborn’s release. And that’s what the game industry is about – fun. Yes, I’ll preach continuously about making a case for games as art, but when it comes down to it, games sell based on playability and fun factor. As a gamer and lover of fine arts, I admit that, even if a game is ‘beautiful’, if it’s unplayable, it’s unplayable.
Which directs me back to my initial point and serves as a solid penultimate sentiment. Regardless of which game you choose, or if you choose both (or neither), you’ll find yourself privy to excellent gameplay, fresh ideas, and hours upon hours of fun. Few times in my extensive memory of gaming can I think of an occurrence where gamers were given the choice of playing two similar but unique titles that maintained such a high level of hype with little baggage and excellent gameplay. And in concluding this brief feature, I want to encourage gamers to continue the air of positivity following these games; and if you’ve heard negativity toward either game, research or rent for yourself and decide.
It’s good to be a gamer.