The universe. It’s a pretty big freakin’ place, and if you try to imagine the scope and scale of it, you have to think that there must be millions or billions of different life forms. Battleborn is certainly buying into this theory, with its universe of varied influences.
What the heck is Battleborn?
In Battleborn, players take command of one of 25 characters, each with their own unique back-stories, and each belonging to one of five different organizations. These characters are all fighting against each other, and occasionally side-by-side against the evil Varelsi, for control of the universes last star: Solus.
Yes, that’s right, it’s the end of the universe, and it isn’t going to be a pretty sight. As can be expected, with the universe ending, we’re going to see a lot of different kinds of people with a lot of different aesthetics and stories. It’s clear that Battleborn is drawing from a lot of different influences, and it’s actually a real delight to see them all mish-mashed together fighting for the last sun in existence.
Sure, there’s an evil organization bent on destroying all life (or what’s left of it), but that doesn’t mean it has to be glum. See, what happens when you get a bunch of different people together, setting aside their differences for a common a good, is that this get-together threatens to turn into a party.
Wait, a party?
Well, maybe not a party, per se. After all, there’s still plenty of guns, swords, magic, and explosions in Battleborn, but it’s not so grim and dreary as the end of the universe might sound. Think more along the lines of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Think Guardians of the Galaxy. Think ridiculous, big-scale, hilarious space romp.
It’s got a sense of humor, and a great sense of fun, and in a world of grim and gritty space shooters, it’s refreshing to see one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The game is bright, it’s loud, and it’s ridiculous, and it’s got a huge, weird, cast of characters I want to spend more time with.
Hey wait a minute, what was that you said about different organizations?
Oh, right, each of the characters belongs to one of five different organizations in the universe. There’s the United Peacekeeping Republics, who are the only thing left resembling law enforcement, and then the LLC, formerly a part of the Peacekeepers, they have since left in pursuit of greater profits (as you can imagine, there’s some bad blood between those two groups).
There’s also the Eldrid, who are ancient, cosmic, magic users (think elves and dwarves – but in space!), the Jennerit Imperium, a group who has fought against and alongside the Varelsi, and remain one of the strongest military forces in (what’s left of) the universe. Lastly, the Rogues, the most mysterious faction of all, and native survivors in the Solus system. Yup, and each of the characters will have some affiliation with one of these five groups.
And all these different folks, including a robot vampire (who’s not really a vampire), a guy who’s a sentient mushroom (who’s entire race was wiped out by the aforementioned evil Varelsi), and a four armed mage assassin (who happens to be a fearsome alien lady), have learned to work together. Even despite all the lore and backstory and history behind all of them, they’re not just working together, but getting along? Well, that sounds like one optimistic apocalypse to me!
Yeah, as silly as that sounds, that’s the best way I can think of to describe Battleborn. Sure, it’s a game primarily focused on shooting robots and aliens in their stupid faceholes, but in a weird way it gives me a twinge of hope for humanity. Because if these 25 weirdos can learn to get along, maybe we can too. Or at least, if we can imagine that these 25 weirdos can learn to get along, maybe we can at least imagine ourselves all doing the same. Well, it’s a start at least.