Two massive first-person shooters are close to their respective release dates in May. Battleborn arrives first on XBOX One, PS4 and PC on May 3, whereas DOOM will follow suit on May 13. Both of these highly anticipated titles held open betas last weekend, both of which were fairly divisive.
But which online shooter demonstrated the most promise? Have Gearbox Software created something that can surpass the success of the Borderlands franchise? Have id Software returned on top form and created the reboot that every DOOM fan has pined for? Let's take a look!
Which Beta Held The Most Promise Before The Release Date Of These FPS'?
Battleborn will be a unique product when it lands early next month. As we see more and more developers and publishers pushing for entries into the MOBA scene, this online shooter aims to capitalize on this new craze, while combining it with the conventions of the first-person shooter.
It boasts an exuberant art style, a dynamic range of heroes and an interesting take on competitive online gameplay. Gearbox Software haven't made a competitive multiplayer shooter in almost a decade; Battleborn aims to be their heralded return. But another aspect of this game that Gearbox's Randy Pitchford wishes to promote, is how it fixes one of Borderlands' greatest issues:
“The growth progression in Borderlands is such that you don't really get to realize the most fun version of any given character until you've invested about 40 or 50 hours into playing Borderlands,” said Pitchford. “So there's this weird thing that happened in the design of Borderlands, which is if you're playing the game and you're liking your character, and you progress some amount, you have this really shitty decision that starts to nag at you.”
Battleborn addresses this issue from the beginning. Every character in this title is completely unique and the second the match begins you become acquainted with their style, form of movement and upgrades. The skill tree that grows during each match will take some time to become familiar with and master, but this level of depth can only be seen as a strength for Gearbox.
While Gearbox have been reluctant to compare Battleborn with the MOBA genre, the roots are there. I'm in no way familiar with these types of games and the aspect of Battleborn that could be compared with MOBAs turned me off it a bit. But the beta had promise. I wasn't blown away by anything I witnessed, but then it took me a long time to adjust to Borderlands. So, while I wasn't convinced by Battleborn's beta, I'm cautiously optimistic for its release date. Perhaps it'll surprise me. What did you think of it?
Having recently played Devil Daggers, an exceptional indie title on Steam that perfectly recaptures the glory of classic first-person shooters, I was excited to see how id Software would modify the original Doom formula. This has been a divisive beta for sure, and after a few hours with DOOM it's clear to see why.
There's sadly nothing impressive about DOOM's beta. The movement speed, while fast, and health pick ups doesn't help differentiate this FPS enough from any other competitive online shooter. The damage we cause pops up in arbitrary numbers, there are pick ups, scoreboards, killstreak rewards, a voice over, players bomb around the map shooting wildly at their enemies and none of it feels particularly innovative, engaging or refined.
DOOM doesn't feel like it should. If this is to be the successor of the shooter popularized the FPS genre, then I'm disappointed that it hasn't offered anything to separate it from the likes of Call Of Duty or Halo. The game feels a lot more like Unreal Torunament rather than Doom, and while playing as a demonic monster is a bit of fun, this shooter felt far too average during the time I spent with it in the beta. It's by no means a bad game, but it isn't exactly great either.
Perhaps DOOM will succeed in the singleplayer department, where it will offer us a tremendous campaign filled with all the guns we can carry and tons of hellish demons to annihilate. But if it's anything like the beta, I can't see myself getting too excited about id Software's follow up to the disappointing Rage.