Gearbox Software and its randy president Randy Pitchford have a mixed track record when it comes to talking up their games. Sometimes the hype is justifiable, as with Borderlands 2, which was declared the best game of all time by John Carpenter (who you may not realise is also a film director, responsible for the underperforming sequel to 2011's The Thing). But Pitchford also described the notoriously awful Aliens: Colonial Marines as "a dream project about which our studio is deeply committed and passionate", while Gearbox claimed that "gamers [would] never tire of the endless FUN*" of fellow flop Duke Nukem Forever.
Luckily, with Gearbox's latest title, Pitchford is being one hundred percent honest when he froths: "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 videogame that Gearbox has ever created."
No video game in the four-billion-year history of the Earth has ever combined first-person shooting and multiplayer online battle arena-ing with the sheer audacity of Battleborn. While other MOBAs like Dota 2 might be mildly popular, they quake with terror in the shadow of the mighty Battleborn, with its "hero-shooter" gameplay incorporating elements from every genre known to humankind, from shooters and RPGs to block-stacking and virtual pets. If you exist, there's a game mechanic for you in Battleborn.**
The industry-redefining trailer above is not only an accurate precis of what Battleborn's revolutionary gameplay will deliver; it's also an astonishing work of art unto itself, full of grace and beauty and M83 music. It's hard to imagine any motion picture event between now and the heat death of the universe that could reach its vertiginous heights. It offers a tantalising glimpse at "a universe's worth of disparate heroes [...], all battling over the last star in the cosmos," without spoiling the air-punching highs or soul-crushing lows sure to come in the multiplayer-only game's storyline. Populating its one-of-a-kind game world, Battleborn births over twenty player characters, including but not limited to the dapper robot and bow-wielding warrioress you see in the trailer. Together with non-player grunts running on DARPA military simulation AI, they will join in tactical yet twitchy combat using weaponry from swords to laser beams, bringing joy to players' faces the world over. People of all creeds, colours and nations will be united under the complex, borderline indecipherable flag of Battleborn.
Are you ready for Battleborn? Gearbox doesn't think you are. But I think you are. I believe in you. I believe in Battleborn. And most of all, I believe in the unfaltering, saintlike integrity of Randy Pitchford. Be born again with Battleborn.
* Capitals are Gearbox's. (They invented them.)
** Nonexistent entities will be catered for in the Battleborted DLC, only available by pre-ordering from GameStop.