Battleborn campaign preview: mechanical madness

Battleborn's roster is set at a keen 25 heroes and Shacknews recently had a chance to check out a few more of them, as well as a new piece of the game's campaign.

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It's been a couple of months since 2K Games and Gearbox Software first introduced the gaming world to the Battleborn campaign, where players can select any of 25 heroes and team them up for an adventure to save the last star in the universe from the clutches of Lothar Rendain. The opening minutes of Battleborn have been front and center since first revealed at E3 2015, but now it's time to take a look at a new area of the campaign, one that sees the heroes dealing with a malfunctioning character.

Shacknews recently had a chance to try out another of the campaign's stages. This one saw Kleese sending out the Battleborn heroes to deal with a malfunctioning AI called ISIC. Playing similarly to the previous one at E3, the idea of this stage was to move forward and deal with any waves of enemies that ISIC sent out. While the enemies were mostly the same grunts and brutes that inhabited the first stage, these new mechanical foes also had some tricks up their sleeves. Some of them would attack with explosives and others would activate shields, which meant they could only be harmed from above.

The stage came to a head when ISIC sent out a big, bad boss at the Battleborn heroes. A boss called… Geoff. A massive spider creature came down in the open tundra, declaring himself to be the Spider King. He was the "King of all Spiders," he crowed, until ISIC corrected him that his name was Geoff. That led into a multi-stage boss battle, in which players not only needed to fend off Geoff's attacks, but also weaken him by hitting another part of the stage and activating the Halon System. Once the switches were flipped, Geoff was weakened, allowing the Heroes to attack. Even in a weakened state, though, Geoff was an extremely tough foe, sending out exploding minions to kamikaze themselves before launching missiles that napalmed entire sections of the stage, as well as area-of-effect lightning attacks. All the while, he'd quip that he was the king of the spiders!

In addition to a new campaign level, it was time to meet some new Battleborn heroes. The new faces included:

  • ISIC - Yes, this is the same ISIC that was keeping the Battleborn heroes on their toes in this particular campaign level. But once that level's finished, this mechanical menace is thoroughly debugged and ready to use his deadly skills for the forces of good. He's actually the only one of the Battleborn characters with Overcharge, a passive that allows him to charge his attacks for heavier damage. Plasma Dash will have ISIC charge towards a target, while Rotating Wards will protect ISIC with protective wards. His Omega Strike Ultimate ability will replace his basic attacks with turrets that deal heavier damage.
  • Ambra - A support character that was raised by a group of priestesses called the Silent Sisters, Ambra and her people were betrayed by Rendain. She now places her allegiance with the Battleborn, using her Solar Wind and Sunspot abilities to simultaneously damage enemies and heal allies. Her Ultimate ability, called Extinction Event, allows her to call down a massive meteor from the skies.
  • Mellka - This character was raised as part of the Eldrid special commandos, known as the Vigilant. She's a quick fighter, able to use her Spike to damage and also launch herself into the air. Her Claw Lunge is a fast melee attack, while her Ultimate ability, Blade Launcher, unleashes a barrage of Venom-laced blades. Not only will they damage targets, they'll also lower defenses for Mellka's other attacks.
  • Reyna - Reyna Valeria is a native to the Solus system, recognized as "The Valkyrie." This rogue can mark any enemy with the Priority Target, keeping tabs on them and dealing bonus damage for a brief period. She can protect allies with her Shield Booster ability, a concept that's expanded by her Ultimate, the Photonic Ward. This move creates a large enemy dome that keeps out enemy attacks.
  • Benedict - This winged warrior enters the battle with a permanent scar on his wing, but he can still fly on a limited basis using his Liftoff ability. That hasn't affected his ego, as he enters the battlefield with a hard-hitting rocket launcher. The Hawkeye attack will hit a target with a rocket, which deals damage and marks it for three seconds, allowing subsequent rockets to home right in. Boomsday, Benedict's Ultimate ability, will have players guide a massive missile towards any hapless target, which will eat 500 damage once this bad boy explodes in their faces.

It won't be long before players can get a taste of Battleborn for themselves. The closed beta is set to begin on October 29. But there's more to Battleborn than its campaign, as 2K and Gearbox also revealed the game's competitive multiplayer for the first time. Come back to Shacknews in just a couple of minutes to see exactly how that aspect of Battleborn is coming along.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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