Gearbox Software may be readying Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for release this October, but today the developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive Software announced a brand new IP in the works, entitled Battleborn. "If Borderlands 2 is a shooter-looter, Battleborn is a hero-shooter," said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. "As a genre-fused, hobby-grade, co-operative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe, Battleborn is the most ambitious video game that Gearbox has ever created."
Battleborn will feature numerous heroes, called battleborn, teaming up to stop the evil Varelsi from destroying the last star in a dying universe. The game will feature a five-player cooperative campaign, as well as several ten-player competitive multiplayer matches. According to Game Informer, which has the first look at the game with its August Cover Reveal, the competitive multiplayer mode they got to play, called Incursion, played like a first-person MOBA. "Rival battleborn hunt one another in lush jungles and arid deserts while robotic NPC minions wage an ongoing tug-of-war. Players start on a level playing field at the beginning of each match, progressing along a streamlined skill path up to level 20 filled with customizable abilities that unlock a variety of different play styles."
What seems to have Game Informer staff most excited is how different each battleborn plays, which definitely fits with the MOBA feel. A lumbering space marine plays a lot different than a nimble archer, which plays a lot different than a steampunk, rifle-wielding assassin, which plays a lot different than a Zelda-inspired, sword-wielding princess. Battleborn seems to not only be melding FPS and MOBA gameplay, but also mixing shooter and MMORPG archetypes to create what is shaping up to be some truly unique PvP action. Gearbox used some pure magic to merge FPS and Action-RPG loot mechanics into the wonderful Borderlands franchise. Can the Texas developer work its magic again to merge FPS and MOBA? It certainly sounds promising and the reveal trailer, while CGI, certainly looks pretty badass.
Battleborn is thankfully new-gen only, coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is planned to release during Take-Two's fiscal year 2016, which ends March 31, 2016. The press release claims it's already available for pre-order, which implies this is not free-to-play like typical MOBAs, but I cannot seem to actually find it up for pre-order anywhere as of the time of this writing, so I cannot provide you with pricing information.