The month of May will see the release of Battleborn and Overwatch, two titles that can easily be confused for the uninitiated. Both feature team-based competitive FPS gameplay; both have zany sci-fi characters and heavily stylized visuals; both are brought to us by critically-acclaimed developers. So what, exactly, is the difference between these two titles? Are they just clones of each other, or are they fundamentally different games? While we can simply state that Battleborn is more akin to Smite and Epic's upcoming Paragon, whereas Overwatch is more similar to Team Fortress 2 or Hi-Rez's upcoming Paladins, let's break things down completely.
1. Genre and Gameplay
Battleborn is a first-person shooter with MOBA elements, featuring both singleplayer and multiplayer game modes. Multiplayer focuses on five-versus-five player combat with clear MOBA elements: a roster of characters to choose from; AI "minions" for both teams, as well as neutral "mercenary camps" that can be captured; a leveling system that resets when a match begins, allowing players to unlock new skills and abilities throughout a game - complete with an "ultimate" power, of course; and items that can be purchased during a match once a player has accumulated enough currency. These items are unlocked through a form of loot pinata system, which provides players incentive to queue up for match after match in order to "farm" for better gear. Multiple multiplayer game modes will be available, in addition to a narrative campaign mode that can be enjoyed as either a singleplayer or co-op experience.
Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter that pits two teams of six players against each other in a number of different competitive game modes that include escorting a payload and capturing control points. Similarly to Battleborn, characters in Overwatch have different powers and even an "ultimate" ability, but there is no character leveling system, and players are even free to change character during a match. With no AI minions or campaign mode, the focus in Overwatch is squarely on the competitive player-versus-player action. A leveling system allows cosmetic items to be unlocked, but there is otherwise no way for a player to gain a mechanical advantage over another through leveling - apart from looking stylish. This means that the only distinguishing factor between players is pure skill, both at the start and end of a match.