Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Overwatch vs. Battleborn vs. Doom

I know I said I'd stop droning about Doom but.....it was hard to resist.

This is not a comprehensive review of any of these games, but rather some quick factoids for those looking for some raw comparison data on May's plague of shooters event going on RIGHT NOW. Here you go!

Premise: Every shooter needs an excuse, a reason if you will, to shoot stuff. Here they are:

Battleborn: a team of 25 battleborn superheroes in the future fight stuff. There may be a plot involving an evil empire. They all feel like the season four cast of an undisclosed Borderlands sequel.

Overwatch: a team of 22ish Overwatch dudes, all superheroes who got together to stop aliens, are now back together battling evil doppelgangers of themselves (or something). The game has a ton of lore that is so far mysteriously not supported in actual play.

Doom: you are Doomguy and you need to kill all the demons and blow up the evil corporation if possible, too.

Gimmick: these games each have a play gimmick (besides being fast-play FPSes)...here's what they are:

Battleborn: you play and level your dudes while unlocking more dudes, armor, and other stuff. You "micro-level" in the course of a scenario on a ladder of abilities.

Overwatch: you have dudes with preset stats but can change characters on the fly. You are really playing a MOBA blended in an unholy union with the FPS viewpoint.

Doom: you are playing a game from 1992, but with better graphics and the ability to look up and down.

Playing With Friends: every game should let you do this, and in 2016 a shooter which doesn't let you play split-screen is evil. How do they stack?

Battleborn: split-screen co-op! YEAH!!!! Also lots of online stuff.

Overwatch: lots of quick ways to find all your friends on the console who aren't playing the game, but no split-screen, and all missions are kinda sorta co-op with strangers.

Doom: no split-screen and no co-op, but you can find friends and kill them in multiplayer.

Playing With Yourself: even more important than playing with friends is the game's ability to play with yourself....

Battleborn: supports full solo gameplay in arenas and a complete 8 chapters of storyline missions! YEAH!!!! But they go kinda fast.

Overwatch: you can go co-op vs. AI bots and pretend those other guys you are playing with are also bots, but they might not respect you in the morning. (Truthfully, the MOBA elements of Overwatch were so noticeable I got kinda uncomfortable playing, as MOBAs have a strong rep for inducing the GIFT in people).

Doom: A full campaign that won't test your patience for several chapters, and the wonderful Snap Map mode where you can easily play other people's home-made levels. COOOL

Longevity: how long will these games last you? I have no idea, hut here's how long these are likely to last for me....

Battleborn: until you unlock all the characters and grow weary of the whole affair. If you are lucky this will happen before the DLC arrives.

Overwatch: I'm not sure. I haven't figured out what the point of the game is, beyond some fun missions. The long-term goal seems dependent on my inherent sense of competition, and I am not someone who feels competitive....I like goal-based objectives. So Overwatch's cosmetic loot boxes confuse me right now.

Doom: it will last until you finish the campaign +2-3 hours in Snap Map, and maybe an hour of painful abuse in multiplayer.

Style: you can go watch trailers and play videos to figure this out, but here's my interpetation:

Battleborn: slick, feels like a 3D graphic novel from the ninties, with a heavy does of Aeon Flux mixed in.

Overwatch: cartoon comic-book fun that makes me wish the time spent on this game had instead been focused on World of Warcraft II. Not as annoying as the trailers led me to believe.

Doom: Heavy metal LP cover meets modern space marine graphic design.

Assessment: my own assessment, so far! Overwatch deserves more follow-up, though....but it's only been out a few hours and already has me intrigued and stressed for all the wrong reasons.

Battleborn: it is a shooter, through and through, with some interesting implementation from other game types, such as tower defense and such. Each scenario feels like a mini campaign in its own right, and it has an evocative look. The quirky Borderlandsesque characters are generally fun but one would not be remiss in thinking Take2 was trying a bit....ah...too hard here.

Battleborn is a game I can play with my kid, which is also cool. Splits-creen for the win!!! I can't play Doom with him due to subject, and Overwatch seems like a bad fit due to the MOBA aspects, and lack of offline play or split-screen.

Overwatch: I have to spend more time to really say, but so far my favorite mode is the AI mission practice levels because holy shit I was getting ground up in the regular game. Despite that I kept getting "Play of the Moment" awards or something, which were odd, and I got a lot of up-votes from coplayers. I was ecstatic to get them....but also reticent to keep playing because I was really uncomfortable with the idea of being put up on display for judgement by my peers; I assume I suck, and if I don't suck, I assume the unwashed masses will turn on me rapidly if I fail to live up to lofty expectations even once. Future of Overwatch on my Xbox One uncertain!!!!

I'll tell you one thing, Overwatch needs a single player mode. How can Blizzard have so much lore and then show none if it in the actual game experience? They make Destiny look like freakin' Tolkien....!

Doom: See prior blog on Doom!!!!! I will say that I grew generally tired of this game before the end. But I figure I'll give it a break and then explore more Snap Maps.

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