Battleborn – Borderlands fans should read this

BattlebornGearbox Software has been continuing to let out character previews, trailers, and interviews about their upcoming title Battleborn. I continue to find myself excited but apprehensive about the title given my affinity for Borderlands and because the game is treading into new waters. A recent interview furthers my belief that this game will feel very much like a MOBA and in many ways refutes some of those who disagreed with me about Battleborn having MOBA influences. Randy Pitchford directly credits Defense of the Ancients and other MOBA games for inspiring the way they have designed Battleborn. He even made a point to say the differences from the classic overhead view to a first person shooter is just a matter of the conduit whereby you interact with the game changing. I do think, however, much of what he said in a recent interview with Verge furthers my concern for hardcore Borderlands fans rejecting and criticizing Battleborn for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading

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LawBreakers – MOBA Shooters a new norm

LawBreakersGears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has unveiled a new game, LawBreakers, that will be a free-to-play multiplayer shooter. LawBreakers will be the first release from the new studio Boss Key, and it’s being described as a, “five-on-five, team-based shooter where law enforcement squares off against criminals”. In a similar vein to what we have seen from Overwatch, Battleborn, and Gigantic, it has clear MOBA influences with a dynamic cast of characters to choose from. There are some things in the gameplay trailer that have me excited, but given how many other titles are falling into this new category I have some concerns. Continue reading

Why MOBA’s are important

gigantic gameIf you haven’t been paying attention you may have missed the fact that MOBA’s, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, have become insanely popular. Games like League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm, and Defense of the Ancients pull in massive player bases as well as huge viewership on Twitch. Up to this point it has not been a genre or game type that has managed to get any traction on consoles, but that is about to change. Smite recently launched a closed and open beta on Xbox One, and it seems to be doing very well. There are also titles on the horizon like Gigantic, an Xbox One exclusive, and Battleborn, which hasn’t really promoted itself as a MOBA, but clearly has setup it’s characters and multiplayer around the MOBA format. So why is this game type important? Continue reading

Matchmaking needs to change

titanfallIf you are a gamer familiar with PVP games, and especially shooters, you are probably accustomed to dealing with matchmaking. Regardless of the title, genre, or franchise, matchmaking is the way players are matched in lobbies or servers to play against each other. Most gamers unanimously agree that dedicated servers are a ground level expectation for a more consistent game experience. However, even with more reliable connections there are problems that can plague and ruin the online experience, turning new or veteran players away. There are a variety of ways I think they can improve the player experience, beyond just making lag less of a problem. Continue reading

Randy Pitchford: Risk is the path forward for video games

BattlebornAs a huge fan of the Borderlands franchise I’ve been consistently impressed by Gearbox’s president Randy Pitchford. His attitude and approach to games has brought one of the most creative takes on an RPG to the forefront of the gaming industry. And with Borderlands the Handsome Edition around the corner for next-gen consoles, the innovative title Battleborn on the horizon, and the already anticipated Borderlands 3, he has carved out a good portion of the gaming community with a significant fan base. Recently he said something that earned him even more of my respect. When talking about the future of gaming and how it needs to continue to adapt and change he said, Continue reading