Overwatch vs. Battleborn
May has been good to those who love video games. We’ve gotten a stellar expansion to Fallout 4, and the finale to Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series. But there are two games released over the past few weeks that were lined up to go head to head: Overwatch and Battleborn.
These two first-person action games are vying for the attention of anyone looking to scratch their itchy trigger finger. Seeing as how they both provide fast-paced gameplay, it can be difficult for some to make a choice between the two. Do you go with Blizzard’s brand new class shooter? Or, do you try something different and jump into Gearbox’s first-person MOBA?
Deciding which is better for you may take a bit of thought. Allow us to help you with that.
MOBA vs FPS
Both Overwatch and Battleborn are played in first-person. The major difference is that Overwatch is most definitely a first-person shooter first and foremost. Battleborn does have shooting in it, but it also has melee focused characters and leans more towards the MOBA side of action. It’s only a slight difference on the surface, but it actually stands out once you get a chance to play each game.
Both have classes of characters, but Overwatch provides more of a Team Fortress style of play. Balancing out your team to better take objectives and defend against opponents is a big deal here. Team play will spell the difference between victory and defeat, with fast-paced gun battles taking place everywhere on the map. There is a huge meta game at play as players are always looking for the perfect counter, adding a lot more depth than something like, say, Call of Duty. Abilities are locked in, allowing players to focus on learning the ropes and getting better with multiple heroes as opposed to leveling up individuals. This keeps sheer fun at the forefront as you fight to finally earn that coveted Play of the Game.
Battleborn is a MOBA. It’s a bit unorthodox, lacking an expansive store during matches, and exclusively utilizing a first-person view. Balance is struck between both shooting characters and melee characters, and the general MOBA strategies are at play here. Characters can be leveled up both during matches to unlock perks and abilities, and overall to unlock hidden mutations. While combat can become fast-paced, it doesn’t happen as often as in something like Overwatch, not for everyone at least. Also, the spawn timer is much longer (as it is for most MOBAs). The act of leveling up and earning experience supports sticking to one or very few playable characters much more than going crazy and using them all. This is somewhat limiting, but not unlike other games in Battleborn’s genre.
Whether you prefer objective based FPSs or MOBAs will be the first choice you have to make when deciding which game is better for you. If you like both, there are still other factors to consider.
The only one out of the two games to offer a single player campaign is Battleborn. There are nine missions (prologue and eight episodes) that players can run through to unlock currency, titles, and some of the characters. Done in a TV style series of episodes, players are treated to a story that depicts why all of the Battleborn characters in the game are teaming up, and what they’re fighting for. There isn’t so much backstory for each character here, but it’s something to do when you don’t want to play with others.
Both games allow you to play the multiplayer modes solo against bots if you want to practice or just blow off some steam. It’s not a legitimate single player experience if you only consider campaigns and story to fit the bill, but it is something.
It should be noted, though, that whether you’re playing bots or with people in either game, you still need to be connected to the internet. So ‘single player’ is used quite loosely.
Both Overwatch and Battleborn have interesting stories that involve the entirety of their casts. How that story is conveyed to players, though, is completely different. In Battleborn, you have some online reading, character descriptions, and your campaign. The campaign deals with the overall story that is taking place now as you play the game. It’s much less of a ‘bringing players up to speed’ thing, and more of your typical action game narrative. The character backgrounds found in the menus are pretty interesting, though. Connecting different individuals in an attempt to add more life to the world. Also, in typical Gearbox fashion, the plot is littered with jokes to lighten up the mood.
Overwatch lacks a story mode, but that hasn’t stopped Blizzard from delivering a deep story. Over the past few weeks there have been some really great animated shorts that dove into the background of certain characters as well as helped to establish relationships among the heroes. McCree has received a comic, and all of the characters have detailed backgrounds right on the games official site. To help the story shine a bit through gameplay as well, certain characters will respond in special ways to one another when they cross on the battlefield. Reaper and Mercy for example will give hints pertaining to their troubled past.
Both take their own approach to enchanting players with their worlds, one directly, and one through alternate media. While each is well done, there’s just something about those Overwatch shorts that makes you want to keep watching.
If price is a major factor for you, there are a few ways at looking at things. Battleborn is $60 across the board, although it has been seeing price drops since launch in an effort to get more people into the game. Overwatch, on the other hand, depends on what platform you’ll be playing on. PC players get in on the action at a smooth $40, while those on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have to pay $60. The console version does come with some cosmetic stuff in an attempt to make up for the disparity, but many buyers aren’t too happy with that.
Yet, price isn’t only at the point of purchase. While the price situation is a bit weird for Overwatch, all future characters and DLC (not counting microtrasactions) are 100% free. Nobody who owns the game will be blocked from content. Battleborn, on the other hand, has a $20 season pass that will add some multiplayer story content, skins, and taunts, but future characters will be unlocked through gameplay.
If you like to pay one price and have everything come to you (even if that price is higher on certain platforms for some reason), then Overwatch may be more your type of thing.
So Which is Better For You?
In the end it really comes down to genre preference. Both games provide first-person shooting action, only in different ways. Overwatch is an objective-based team shooter. It promotes class variety, and is all about insanely fun gunfights while trying to take over points on a map or moving huge bombs. It is a game that is driven by its impressively eclectic cast of heroes, and highly strategic gameplay. Overwatch is purely focused on the multiplayer experience through and through.
Battleborn is an FPS/MOBA hybrid that uses the latter’s systems to deliver the action. There are speedy parts, and large fights during the campaign, but it is a much more controlled experience. Leveling, unlocking skills during a match, dealing with mobs as you push lanes. There’s still fighting with other players, but the flow is different. The optional campaign (aside from the Prologue) provides a bit of variety for those who don’t just want PvP, and it’s story is much different.
When all is said and done, if you still can’t choose you can always just compare Metacritic scores. Overwatch is sitting pretty on a 94, while Battleborn has earned a modest 72.
Which one will you choose, or are you going to just dive into both? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.