Here at PAX Prime 2015, Gearbox’s next shooter Battleborn is making the rounds, and with a special hands-on of their campaign missions, PowerLeveled has the scoop for you on how the title plays out.

Gearbox Studios have seen their greatest success with the release of Borderlands, so naturally to follow the same themes on their next project might be a good idea. In the case of the upcoming blockbuster title Battleborn, fans of Borderlands should love the familiar combat and story line emotion, but may miss out on some mechanics changes. First and most importantly, loot changes that we saw today could rock the Gearbox landscape at its core.

Working with the all-new system of looting and leveling in Battleborn, some of the core aspects in the tested Borderlands method have changed. This is both necessary to establish a fresh IP, but also takes something away if you were expected to play Borderlands when you dive into Battleborn. After two full play through sessions, my disappointments from Borderlands differences morphed into acceptance of a system all its own.

Take note right now: There are no items in Battleborn. Leveling from the fourth through 12th levels in a single play session, I broke every box, shattered every crystal and destroyed any container I could. There was nothing to be found, but I did work out the new method of item replacement – changing your character’s genetic code. With each level, you can select a strand of your character’s DNA to manipulate and better improve you power, attain new abilities or extend your power’s duration. The traits help both add to your effectiveness in battle and make your character unique with every play through. Much like the Diablo of old, this is certainly going to extend replay value in an all-new way, but as I mentioned no items leaves a hole in your Borderlands dream. Brace yourself.


As a whole the title is more than entertaining. In fact, Battleborn could be the most entertaining game at the show, if you love that familiar Borderlands style narrative. We’ll stay with it until launch, and we can’t wait to see what comes next from the Gearbox team. Stay here with PowerLeveled for more details as information becomes available.