2K Games and developer Gearbox Software shared quite a bit of news regarding Battleborn on Wednesday. The upcoming hero shooter is getting a lengthy open beta in April, while the campaign was revealed to be laid out like an episodic television series.
The Battleborn open beta will hit the PlayStation 4 first on Friday, April 8, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. The Xbox One and PC will join the action on Wednesday, April 13, at the same time. The entire beta will run through Monday, April 18, when it concludes at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.
Those interested in trying out the Battleborn open beta will be able to pre-load the game on Wednesday, April 6. The PS4 and Xbox One pre-load will go live at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT while the PC gets an earlier start at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT. The download will be between 8.5 and 12GB, depending on the platform.
The open beta will contain two missions from the Battleborn story mode — The Algorithm and Void’s Edge. Both can be played alone, or with up to five players in co-op style.
- The Algorithm: Take on The Algorithm mission to debug and unlock the rogue Magnus AI, ISIC. If you played in the Closed Technical Test last year, you’ll notice Geoff, the Spider King, has made a few changes to his lair.
- Void’s Edge: Bring a jacket, ’cause the ice-planet, Bliss, is mighty cold. A Varelsi portal has opened and it’s up to you to fight your way through the invasion and deliver the payload.
Battleborn beta players will also have two competitive multiplayer modes to take on with two different maps. The first is the Incursion mode on the Overgrowth map. This is similar to the standard MOBA setup of two teams facing off against one another with AI-controller minions, though it has a few Gearbox twists thrown in.
The second multiplayer mode is Meltdown on the Paradise map. Minions from each team will attempt to throw themselves into an incinerator located on the teams’ bases. The side that has the most scrap metal at the end wins.
PlayStation 4 owners that play the Battleborn open beta will receive a bonus in the form of a free copy of DLC Pack 1, plus instant access to the upcoming DLC character, Alani, when she is released. PS4 owners will also have access to Toby during the beta.
The beta will start with seven heroes unlocked, and players will be able to unlock the rest as they make their way through the Battleborn progression system. Only Toby will be restricted on the Xbox One and PC, due to being available only to PS4 players.
Meanwhile, Gearbox revealed how the Battleborn campaign is structured.
“The game’s Story Mode is structured just like some of our favorite episodic television shows; from Star Trek and X-Files, to cartoon throwbacks like X-Men and Transformers. Collectively, the ‘season’ included with the game has one large over-arching story spanning eight episodes (plus a prologue), and each episode tells a self-contained story about the Battleborn’s fight to save the last star, Solus,” Gearbox wrote.
Each episode can be played solo or in co-op with up to five players. The episodes will take approximately an hour to complete and will come with different variations based on which of the 25 different heroes from Battleborn are used.
“As you run through each episode with a different hero, the dialogue changes,” Gearbox explained. “They reveal bits about themselves and provide more backstory to the world as you play. You also earn more loot, gear, XP, and credits every time you play an episode – not to mention that sometimes you’ll even unlock new characters!”
Playing through the missions will unlock new heroes to play and gain experience to level up a character’s rank as well as your own Command Rank. New lore challenges, titles, and gear will also be unlocked that can be used in the competitive multiplayer modes.
Battleborn will continue to support the game’s story post-launch via five add-on packs that will cost $5 each, or are part of a Season Pass that costs $20.
[Image via 2K Games]