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Gearbox's 'Battleborn' and Blizzard's 'Overwatch' Couldn't Look More Similar

Artem Uarabei

Gearbox has just debuted a new trailer for Battleborn using in-game footage, and after several weeks of non-stop Overwatch gameplay videos from Blizzard, it’s official.

The two look pretty damn identical.

Both seem to want to avoid classification as a MOBA, or FPSMOBA or any other variant, both pitching themselves as genre-defying, despite sharing a fundamental concept with longrunning Valve hit, Team Fortress 2. But FPSMOBA or no, the two games seem very, very similar indeed.

Despite being announced after Battleborn, Overwatch so far seems like the more polished offering. Much of that likely has to do with nearly a decade of work that went into Project Titan, the scrapped MMO that had a chunk ripped out of it to form Overwatch.

Battleborn is a little more stripped down, from what we can see in this trailer, and we had no awe-inspiring CGI-spot to introduce the new universe of dueling heroes like we saw with Overwatch.

Hell, even the art styles are somewhat similar, though Battleborn is going for a bit more exaggerated characters that have faces practically made out of triangles, or others who have enormous torsos on top of tiny baby legs. Blizzard’s Overwatch characters are also caricatures to some extent, but not quite that extreme.

But if I had to pick a horse between Overwatch and Battleborn, I have to go with Blizzard. There’s a level of polish to their games that Gearbox can’t hope to match, and seven years of work on Project Titan is assuredly more than whatever Gearbox has invested in Battleborn.

And though everyone loves Borderlands, Gearbox also has had a hand in some of the worst games of the last few years, from Duke Nukem Forever to Alien: Colonial Marines. The Borderlands series has been the exception, not the rule, and even though Battleborn looks to be in that vein, I’m a lot less trusting of Gearbox than I am of Blizzard getting the same idea right, despite my objections.

While it’s admirable to recognize the long-tail fanbase that Team Fortress has inspired for years, I’m curious to see how these FPSMOBAs (I don’t care if they don’t want to be called that, I’m calling them that) fair in the larger market.

On the plus side, they are introducing a whole host of brand new characters, which has the potential for some cool universe-genereation, but locked inside a multiplayer-only game, I doubt they’ll be able to expand to Borderlands or Warcraft proportions.

For as much as League of Legends champions have achieved “icon” status, the grand LoL universe is still woefully disorganized and hard to follow, even if it could potentially be one of Riot’s greatest assets.