Battleborn tells the story of 25 heroes on a quest to stop the evil Rendain. On his quest to take over the galaxy, he has succeed in blowing up planets and stars to the point where there is only a single star left in the universe. These 25 heroes will need to unite in an effort to stop Rendain from eliminating the Universe from existence. Of course, destroying the Universe means Rendain will of course cease to exist himself, that doesn’t matter to him as it also means he won. It’s this sarcastic, off the cuff attitude that Gearbox is known for in its titles like Borderlands.
In our hands on with Battleborn earlier this month, we got to test out a number of its features, one of them being the gear and loot system.
Loot comes in three different packs in Battleborn; Common, Uncommon and Rare. Each pack earns you anywhere from one to three perks depending on the pack you choose to purchase with credits. For those of you worried about microtransactions ripping you off, these packs are all purchased with in-game credits that can be earned by simply playing the single player and multiplayer modes. How much you earn is based upon your performance in each match or single player level with no real money being spent anywhere.
During multiplayer, there are also standard packs which all contain one piece of loot and drop at random points throughout the match. In order to pick these up, you will have to run over them once they manifest themselves. They only last a bit of time before disappearing.
To redeem your packs or purchase new ones, enter the Command menu at the main screen. In it you will see all your unlocked loot perks as well the ability to purchase new packs and set your loadouts. Only one loadout is available initially and you will unlock more as you progress in the game. However, 2K did indicate that they have not yet finalized at which levels they will be unlocked. Each loadout will hold three loot perks and you’ll have to to choose them from the 24 you will be able to hold at anyone time. It’s important to note that all of these 24 loot perks remain constant throughout the game and are not unique for each character. Of course, you can sell perks back for credits to buy more advanced loot packs as well.
Each loot perk provides your character different benefits like increased cooldown time for powers, disabling enemy shields, etc. Other more advanced perks also have a tradeoff. For example, a perk providing more maximum hit points may also cause a small percentage decrease in overall defense. With this new implementation, the planning and use of specific pieces of loot will need to be altered to compliment each character’s ability in order to ensure the proper success in game. Some perks will be active immediately while others, and here’s the part that is new thanks to Battleborn, will need to be activated and earned based upon your gameplay within a match and your collection of shards.
Battleborn is not a game for camp-aholics thanks to this new system. In order to activate these perks, you’ll need to move about the map both killing enemies and earning shards. Simply hiding behind a wall trying to pick off enemies from a distance doesn’t earn you enough in time for it to make a difference and beneficially impact your gameplay.
It’s not a bad thing. The way 2K has instituted this new system sets all players on a level playing ground. Scattered around the maps you will see golden fragments encased in capsules or rocks depending on the map. Shooting these breaks them open and you earn the shards by walking over them. Once you earn enough shards to activate the given perk, simply press left on the d-pad and press either the button corresponding to that perk in order to activate it. It remains active for the duration of the match or level in single player campaign.
If you’re set up in loot perks, you can utilize your shards to assist your teammates in Battleborn as well. Within each multiplayer match are scattered build nodes that can be used to both help your team and act as a direct detriment to your opponent as they pass by them:
Support Node – Heals you and your teammates while damaging your opponents
Turret Node – Sentry turret fires at your enemies as they pass by its vicinity
Logistics Node – Increase your movement speed while also slowing your enemies
All of these nodes can be destroyed by the opposing team and will need to be protected. If destroyed, the enemy player has an option to use some of their earned shards to activate a node for their team. It’s a trade off as you will need to decide whether or not you wish to use your shards for a team node or your own perk. Of course, this is all dependent on how your team is doing at the time. If you are up by a couple hundred points in a game of Capture, which we will cover later, there’s no need for a node.
Battleborn is being built from the ground up with their loot perk system. From needing to activate each perk in a match to altering your loadout per character, Battleborn is not just your everyday shooter. Check out our hands-on impressions of Battleborn and stay tuned this week for more coverage.