Is Borderlands 3 on the way? Speaking at PAX West last week, legendary Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford stated that 90% of the Gearbox devs are “working on the thing I think most of you guys want us to be working on.”
I’d be willing to bet a large sum of money that this is Borderlands 3, as we have also seen a presentation that Gearbox have shown at GDC 2017 that shows a tech demo of the new engine that will power the game.
It’s not often that I’ll play a first-person shooter other than Halo. It’s even less often that it’s a re-imagining of a title that was first released on the Xbox 360. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition from People Can Fly is one such game.
Bulletstorm isn’t usually the type of title I’d pick up. Not because I don’t like first person shooters, more the fact that I’m not a massive fan of being led around by the nose. I’m much more of an exploration kind of shooter fan than scripted paths and direction. That being said, I went into Bulletstorm with an open mind, especially as I’d not played the initial Xbox 360 release from 2011. I was pleasantly surprised.
Taking place in the 26th Century, Bulletstorm sees you take the role of Grayson Hunt. Grayson is the leader of Dead Echo, a covert hit squad under the direct command of Star General Sarrano of the Confederation of Planets. Sarrano, unsurprisingly, uses Dead Echo to clean up some of his dirty work, and, learning this, Grayson and his team desert. They become Space Pirates and ten years on, encounter Sarrano’s cruiser, the Ulysses, ramming it over the planet Stygia. Your story is taken up from there on in.
Initially, you have a few tasks to perform to save the life of team member Ishi Sato. Ishi was critically wounded during the crash and has been repaired by the damaged ship’s medical systems using cybernetic and robotic components. The AI on this repair is rather aggressive, however, turning Ishi into something of a loose cannon. During the initial search for power, you find an Instinct Leash.
This device is an interactive energy whip and tactical points-scoring system. The more kills that Grayson performs, in the most creative manner, the more points that you will earn. More points equals more ammunition and weapon upgrades as you progress through the game.
The weapons that Grayson has access to range in type and effectiveness. The weapon select allows you to choose between the primary automatic rifle and two secondary weapons. Choosing wisely could mean the difference between progressing on to the next chapter, or dying a horrible death at the hands of the local hybrid-mutant population of nuclear-winter crazies. You have good selection of combat weapons to choose from. From a magnum-type pistol to an explosive tipped flail chain launcher, there should be fun for everyone in the loadouts.
The loadouts are accessed through the Instinct Leash communicating your kill-score to drop-kits. You can choose to upgrade the weapons in your arsenal and purchase more ammo, but in truth, you’ll probably max out your ammo as there are so many crazies around, you’ll be buried in spent casings.
Importantly, the weapons are fun to use. There’s nothing worse than finding out that the firepower at your disposal is drab and lifeless, or worse still, ineffective. The standard automatic rifle does feel slightly underpowered though, and you can find yourself emptying clip after clip into certain enemy types before you try something else. The Instinct Leash allows you to get creative too. You can use it to whip enemies from behind cover towards you or into hazards like giant spikes, electrical wires or hungry plants. This can rack up your points and can be a source of amusement as you whip them towards you and give them a hefty boot away while trying to take their head off with a well-placed bullet.
There are a number of local mutant types that will come at you without hesitation as well. There’s no sneaking around trying to avoid conflict in this one, its full-on, in your face violence here. Once these are out of the way, by whatever means you have at your disposal, hell, even kick them off a platform, they will drop something useful, like a small amount of ammo. You can even use the Instinct Leash to pick that up if you’re desperate.
As you make your way to specific locations throughout the ravaged city, using a pre-defined path, you will eventually come up against a heavier boss battle before progressing to the next Act or Chapter. These will sometimes involve a little more of the story being revealed or occasionally, will suggest something other than a professional relationship blooming between Grayson and Ishi. Odd.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition has had a graphics update by all accounts, although not having played the original, I wouldn’t be in a position to comment on the differences. It also provides the Overkill Campaign mode, granting immediate access to all of the available weapons as well as six new Echo maps. There is also a great Duke Nukem’s Bulletstorm Tour DLC available with voice clips from Jon St.John himself.
The voice-acting in Bulletstorm is OK. It won’t win the game any awards and some of the dialogue is pretty cheesy, but it helps to keep the game, and more importantly the story, clipping along at a fair old pace, and there’s plenty to keep you entertained throughout. There are several hours of gameplay in the story alone and with multiplayer, Overkill and the Duke Nukem optional DLC, there’s enough to keep you seriously entertained for a long time to come. With all of that in mind, is there anything I don’t really like about Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition?
Well, I can’t help but feel that it’s all a bit samey. The mutants either come at you in some sort of suicidal frenzy or they hide and try to pick you off, making a swift Leashing inevitable. There’s little variation in the attacks or the way you end up defeating the hordes of nutters trying to end your existence. There’s no health indicator either. Take too much damage, and to be fair Grayson can take a lot, and the edges of your HUD turn red until you hide for a bit of time. This can be irritating of you’re in the middle of an important boss fight.
On the whole, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition lives up to the hype of the original release. The graphics are futuristically gory in a good way and most things are pretty well animated. The story keeps you engaged throughout and the voice-acting, while not Oscar-worthy, is good enough to get you through the cheesy dialogue. Save for repetitive waves of attacks and being led around a specific route to your goal, the game is well worth picking up to add to your collection.
Thanks to People Can Fly and Xbox for supporting TiX
The wait is over and the King is back as Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour launches digitally today at midnight (5pm PDT) for Xbox One and Windows PC. Containing new, never-before-seen content from the original development team, this game promises to have something for everyone, whether you’re a diehard retro gamer, or someone who has never picked up the title before (shame on you).
In addition to the original game, the original development team has got back together to create a bigger and bolder fifth episode called Alien World Order. Help Duke as he travels on his World Tour visiting eight completely new Cities including Moscow, Paris, Egypt, San Francisco and Amsterdam, doing what he does best, gunning down alien scum with style.
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour includes:
“Hail to the King, Baby!” – Complete, all-new episode containing eight brand new, classically-designed levels created by the original designers of Duke Nukem 3D, Allen Blum III and Richard “Levelord” Gray.
“Come Get Some!” – All-new original music composed by Lee Jackson, original author of Duke Nukem’s iconic theme “Grabbag” and sound designer for Duke Nukem 3D, along with new one-liners from the voice of Duke himself, Jon St. John.
“I’ve Got Balls of Steel!” – All-new behind-the-scenes commentary from the original development team, accessible in-game.
“I’m Lookin’ Good!” – Play the game using the original 1996 graphics engine or toggle in real time to play with the original content rendered at improved fidelity and frame rate using Gearbox’s all-new “True3D Rendering” mode.
“Ooh, That’s Gotta Hurt!” – Duke it out online with up to eight players in Dukematch or team up in eight-player online co-op.
When asked about the up and coming release, Steve Gibson, head of Gearbox Publishing said;
We feel there isn’t a better way to celebrate 20 years of Duke Nukem 3D than to get the original team back together and provide this love letter to Duke fans. With all-new content built on top of what is undeniably one of the most iconic first-person shooters in gaming history, this is the ultimate Duke Nukem experience for both seasoned fans of the title and gamers from a new generation experiencing it for the first time.”
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour will be available digitally from midnight tonight (5pm PST) for the Xbox One and Windows PC at a price of £15.99. The game will also be available in disc format from October 18th. For further information about the game check out the Official Site here.
Earlier today 2K and Gearbox Software announced that Alani, the first of five new and free characters coming to Battleborn, will release on May 31st on Xbox One. If you’re a season pass holder then you get her added dot your roster a week earlier on the 24th. Alani is a member of the Eldrid faction who was raised as a healer but forced to be a warrior, and is all that remains of her order after Rendain’s Jennerit Imperium stole the oceans from her world. As a warrior from a planet with vast seas, Alani’s attacks and abilities revolve around her power to control water to dish out pain, or heal her fellow Battleborn.
Additionally, this weekend Gearbox and 2K are hosting a Battleborn double XP event, running from Friday 20th at 8am PDT to Wednesday 25th at 8am PDT, allowing players to earn twice the experience points from all story mode episodes and competitive multiplayer.
We’ll see you on the battlefield, fellow Battleborn.
Part MOBA, part FPS, Part RPG; Battleborn certainly throws a lot of mechanics into its frantic action, drenched in humour and cartoon style. It’s a mixture that doesn’t quite come together in the end but the striking aesthetic and those few moments of solid cohesion are thoroughly impressive enough to make up for the shortcomings.
If you’re at all familiar with the Borderlands series, then you’ll feel very much at home with Battleborn’s aesthetic and humour. The cartoon visuals are bright, over the top and splendidly detailed; meanwhile, the meme heavy humour is thick with laugh out loud moments and superbly delivered lines from its voice cast. It’s an impressive presentation, and despite the strong similarities to Borderlands, it manages to eke out an identity for itself thanks to a wide range of unique characters.
25 characters are available for you and up to four allies to choose, allowing you to form a team of superbly different individuals in your quest to save the last remaining star from being extinguished by a mysterious evil over eight missions. Each character feels entirely different to use, possessing their own strengths, weaknesses, weapon sets and abilities, allowing you to find a character that best suits your playstyle. Moreover, the character’s unique personalities provide further incentive to experiment and try them all, giving you such chooses as a towering tank of a human with a minigun, to a samurai vampire, peculiar sorcerer, Viking warrior, and a whole lot more at differing levels of strangeness. It’s a tremendously entertaining and diverse cast that’s a pleasure to see in action, using their abilities and weapons to devastate their foes in visually intense ways.
However, all this action and the abundance of abilities certainly makes for a busy battlefield, with particle effects, colourful animations and projectiles, as well as damage numbers all filling the screen. At a bottle neck, such action can completely obscure your targets and allies, making it difficult and frustrating to deal damage effectively. This is especially evident in Battleborn’s competitive multiplayer modes.
Three competitive modes are on offer, all pitting two teams of five against each other in objective-based combat and area control. This is where Battleborn’s MOBA DNA comes out to play, with purchasable and upgradeable turrets strewn across the map, minions spawning and joining you in battle, more powerful beasts posed for recruiting for the team who gets to them first, and an emphasis on controlling the lanes of the maps to ensure your fragile minions can get to the objectives. It’s an interesting melding of FPS and MOBA that unfortunately doesn’t often work. The aforementioned visual overkill when two teams go at it compromises tactics, making targeting tricky for dealing damage or even healing team mates. Furthermore, the first-person view-point makes assessing the battlefield and its lanes difficult at a glance. It is, however, highly immersive, and if you manage to gel with your team it’s terrifically satisfying to score a victory. However, with 25 characters to choose from, finding a team that compliments each other is tricky. The characters fall in to MMO archetypes of tank, DPS, and healer, and balancing your team with at least one of each requires some pre-thought and communication that random players outside of your circle of friends will struggle to comprehend.
In fact, balance is an issues across the board. Not only is balancing your team an important factor, but some characters feel horrendously over powered. There’s often a trick to counter a powerful character, however, with so many character options available, and with each playing so differently, finding that counter is a chore. Moreover, each characters levels up in-match and can be enhanced with new abilities and modifications along two paths, with additional odd modifiers appearing as you gain more experience, providing a great set of options for customising, as well as resetting at the end of each match so not to permanently tie you down, but also adding an extra level of complexity in devising a counter.
The experience you earn works towards unlocking lore about each character, as well as new skins and taunts. Meanwhile, missions can also provide crates of loot – or you can purchase them as micro transactions – which offer items that buff your characters. These can then be activated in-game by spending the currency of shards, making for further customisation and variety. Indeed it’s an impressive wealth of options, but ones that make the balancing issues even more evident.
Indeed it’s the cooperative story missions that will keep you coming back, with their Titanfall-esque structuring allowing you to complete them in any order, and only offering shallow snippets of the story. The humour of NPC and your allies, along with copious amounts of characters to unlock and enhance through lore and skins, encourages replay brilliantly, as do the multiple difficult settings for those looking for more of a challenge. These missions alone can keep you entertained for 6-8 hours. Find a savvy team of players to join you in the competitive modes and you’ll find enjoyment their too, although the community appears to still be struggling with the finer tactics and strategies.
Battleborn is a crazy and humorous FPS with great RPG and tower defence elements, and some interesting but not quite cohesive MOBA elements. It taps into what made the Borderlands games great and provides focused, cooperative multiplayer scenarios based on this same quality. The competitive side of things doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the experience, but give the community a little more time to suss it out, and Gearbox a little more time to balance the characters, and that too could entrain you for hours on end.
Gearbox Software and 2K have today released the Battleborn launch trailer showcasing the games 25 unique characters. Your mission to save the universe from the brink of extinction and you have just the right motley crew to help you.
Go solo or team up with 5 players co-op, or 2 players splitscreen in both the episodic story mode or the competitive multiplayer modes. For further information about Battleborn the game, then check out the official site here.
Battleborn is rated 16 by PEGI and launches on May 3, 2016 on Xbox One and PC.
In preparation for the up and coming release of Battleborn, Gearbox Software and 2K have released an awesome animated comic series. This series tells you the story behind the destruction of the second to last planet, Penarch. How the 25 playable heroes get together and Trevor Ghalt’s rise as leader of the Battleborn. All this takes place before the events of the game and leads us nicely to the start of the Battleborn episodic campaign.
Chapter 1:Running the Numbers
A few years and several hundred star veilings are enough to drive even the most loyal espionage agents to betrayal.
Chapter 2: The Rescue
The Varelsi invasion is becoming overwhelming but the United Peacekeeping Republics (UPR) will not leave their own man, clone, or avian behind.
Chapter 3:No More Heroics
With his back against the wall, UPR Commander Ghalt faces a difficult decision with universe-ending ramifications.
Battleborn is scheduled for release May 3, 2016 on Xbox One and PC.
To align with the up and coming Battleborn Beta, Gearbox Software and 2K have released the new Bootcamp trailer. The trailer stars Oscar Mike and ISIC who are filming a recruitment video to get you to join in the fight to save the last star, the Solus.
The Battleborn open Beta will be available to Xbox One and PC players on the 13th April, but if you want to find out exactly what’s included then check out our post here. In the meantime why dont you start getting ready as pre-loading is now available on all platforms.
Battleborn is rated 16 by PEGI and launches on May 3, 2016 on Xbox One and PC.
Gearbox Software and 2K have recently announced that Battleborn’s Open Beta will begin on April 13th on Xbox One and PC. The beta will not only give you access to two of the story episodes, Void’s Edge and The Algorithm but it will also give players a chance to try out two of the competitive 5 v 5 multiplayer modes, Incursion and Meltdown. For a glimpse of the story check out the trailer below.
So here is a quick summary of what you can expect from the beta:
Pre-load date for Xbox One – 12am UTC (5pm PST).
The open beta will run from April 13th at 5pm (10am PST) until April 18th at 2pm UTC (7am PST).
The Battleborn open beta will be available direct from the Xbox store, no code required.
Open to all regions.
Xbox Live Gold members will have access to all Story and Competitive Modes in the Open Beta. Xbox Live Silver members will be able to play private Story Mode episodes and private Competitive Modes, but will not have access to public matchmaking features.
STORY MODE: Go in solo or co-op with up to 5 players in two full Story Mode episodes: The Algorithm and Void’s Edge.’
COMPETITIVE MULTIPLAYER MODES: Challenge other players to duke it out in two Competitive Multiplayer modes: Incursion and Meltdown.
Party up with friends or search for random players to join you in Co-Op Story Mode episodes, split screen play, private custom matches and voice chat.
Start with 7 unlocked heroes and the rest will be unlocked as you rank up and complete objectives (25 in total)
PROGRESSION SYSTEM: Playing either Story Mode or Competitive Multiplayer Modes will earn you XP towards temporary Helix augmentations as well as persistent Command Rank and Character Rank levels.
What’s more there is no NDA so you can stream, record video, and play Battleborn to your badass heart’s content, I know we will be. For further information on the up and coming beta check out the official page here.
Battleborn is rated PEGI 16 and launches on May 3, 2016 on Xbox One and PC.