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Battleborn and Overwatch were released only three weeks apart, in May of 2016. It is obvious, understandable, and expected that everyone with a mouse, a keyboard, or a console controller is going to compare the two
At a glance, these two games really do seem to have a lot in common, and a comparison seems very much called for. After all, they are both action-packed, team-based, first-person shooters, which feature a large ensemble of characters, specific roles for their heroes (attack, defense, etc.), unique weapons, and a great affinity for cartoony graphics. Combined with the fact they were released 21 days apart? Yeah, the need to compare the two is understandable.
But, after you spend some time playing the two, you realize that there are many differences between them. So many, in fact, that it becomes somewhat difficult to compare them. Difficult, but not impossible. Here we go with our take on Overwatch vs Battleborn – First Person Shoot-out.
Gearbox vs Blizzard – Battle For Gaming Supremacy
Right off the bat, we see a clear difference. Battleborn has the option of a single player campaign, while Overwatch is limited to team vs team battles. This is meant to be a post which compares the two, so you will forgive me if we leave the single player campaign for another time.
Battleborn was developed by Gearbox, who have created games like Aliens: Colonial Marines, the Borderlands series, and titles from the Brothers in Arms series.
Overwatch was developed by Activision Blizzard, who are well-known for their Warcraft series, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearthstone.
Both companies are awesome in their own right, though Gearbox does have more experience with creating first-person shooters which suck you in, and immerse you in a fascinating world. Blizzard’s games, on the other hand, always seem to have a more refined look and feel to them, and that can make a big difference. For people who are familiar with Blizzard, Overwatch is par for the course.
Simplicity of Playability
One of the best things about Overwatch is its immediate playability. You just log in, choose a game, and get cracking. The four different game styles (assault, defense, hybrid, control) are easy to get into, and games are relatively quick and to the point. Simplicity is part of what makes this game so appealing, but for gamers who are looking for a deeper level, and for a longer, more drawn-out kind of experience, Overwatch may seem somewhat superficial.
Battleborn is more complex. It has more multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) elements in it than Overwatch does, and this can be an advantage or disadvantage. It all depends on what kind of game you are looking for, really. With Battleborn, there are level-ups within the game, kinds of gear which you can obtain, more objectives to complete, and other factors which definitely affect gameplay, in the long and short run.
The characters themselves are all pretty great. It is a colorful and imaginative bunch in both games, although in Battleborn they are notably zanier and goofier. Point is, these heroes can be cool to play with, and they remain awesome even after a few games have come and gone. Sure, some of them are archetypical, cookie-cutter versions of characters we have seen before, but many players – myself included – won’t consider that fact to be a deterrent, so long as the game retains its originality in other ways, and manages to deliver high-quality FUN. In that sense, it is probably Overwatch which has the upper hand, in my opinion.
As far as graphics are concerned, these two games differ in their approach to visual stimulation. I didn’t notice it at first, but once someone said that Overwatch feels like you are playing in a Pixar-generated world, I couldn’t un-see it. I still can’t. Blizzard took real-life locations, such as Japan, Russia, and the UK, and put their own spin on them. The result is very pleasing to the eye, and it is a wonderful world in which we will love to kick one another’s ass, until the cows come home. No matter what game mode you are in – the graphics look great, and the maps are awesome. Blizzard invested their time and energy into creating a lot of detail, without overloading the monitor. I definitely get that feeling throughout the game.
With Battleborn, Gearbox took the exaggerated designs and looks they had created in games like Borderlands, and intensified them. The maps, the characters, and the gear are all so wonderfully imaginative, and it is always fun to experience such weirdness in a MOBA-like setting. Well done, Gearbox! Unrealism is great, as far as I am concerned.
Game time is quicker with Overwatch. Games last typically up to 10 minutes, and even though some may run into overtime and sudden death, a single match won’t take up too much time. Battleborn matches are usually longer, lasting about 20 minutes, because there is a lot more going on during the match. Crystals and turrets and minions, oh my.
Gaming is so very subjective. Always has been. I feel it would be a disservice to Gearbox’ efforts to say it is not as good as Overwatch. But, I will say that overall, the one I am enjoying more – the one I keep coming back to for another ‘on the fly’ match – is Overwatch. I can’t get enough of it. If I have a spare half hour to kill, and I don’t want to get into something too deep, three Overwatch matches are a great option. You get in, you fight it out, you exit. Simple and easy.
Overwatche’s Developers at Blizzard are working on a competitive mode, which is bound to breathe even more life into this great game, and get a long-lasting fan base going. Those who want to get into Overwatch for the longer haul will be happy to know that updates are expected as early as July 2016. Jeff Kaplan, game director of Overwatch, has said that more content will be available, as time goes on, and that it will all be free of charge.
The Price To Pay To Get Your Game On
Let’s talk money. When it was released on May 4th, 2016, Battleborn‘s price was $60. Some argued that for a price tag of $60, the game should have the option of unlocking everything immediately. The loot and upgrade system of Battleborn operates a lot like its Gearbox software predecessor, Borderlands. A few weeks after the release, the price of Battleborn‘s Standard Edition dropped to around $50. There is also a Season’s Pass for $20, which provides the player with skins, taunts, and new story modes (single player). There is also the option of a Deluxe Edition for $75, which includes everything in the Season’s Pass, plus digital bonuses. There are different upgrades and bonuses that can be unlocked by playing, but the game also has content such as gear, mods, taunts, and other elements available through in-game micro-transactions.
Overwatch was released on May 24th, for the price of $40. The Standard Edition includes everything you need in order to fully play. All of the heroes are fully equipped, and any in-game micro-transactions which Overwatch offers pertain only to cosmetic upgrades, and do not affect actual game play.
Overwatch is available in a standard version, an Origins Edition, and a Collector’s Edition. The Origins version is priced at $60, and includes the full game, five origin skins (Overgrown Bastion, Blackwatch Reyes, Slipstream Tracer, Strike-Commander Morrison, and Security Chief Pharah), as well as five digital bonuses for use in other Blizzard games:
Diablo III (Mercy wings)
- StarCraft II (6 in-game portraits)
- World of Warcraft (Baby Winston pet)
- Hearthstone (card back)
- Heroes of the Storm (Tracer hero character)
In the case of both games, the developers have promised more content to follow the initial release. With Overwatch, the plan is for everything to remain free, except for the origin skins which come exclusively with the more expensive Origins Edition. As for Battleborn, the downloadable content seems to be all cosmetic for now, but there are many gamers who are already preparing Battleborn‘s funeral, saying that the multiplayer servers will be a ghost town a few months down the road, unless something drastic happens.
In all honesty, I have no idea where these two games are going. I can see how Overwatch will come out “victorious” , but only time will tell. People can (and do) speculate all they want, but we will all have to wait and see if Battleborn and Overwatch manage to make it, and become a mainstay of the hero shooter genre. Personally, I am rooting a little more for Overwatch. Oh, Mercy…
This is what the Cynical Brit on youtube has to say about Battleborn vs. Overwatch…