Can you escape the all-powerful Raider?
Fans of the long-running anime Dragon Ball are used to games based on the incredibly popular franchise being fighting games. Be it the ever-expanding 3D beat ‘em up DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2or the more traditional 2D fighter Dragon Ball FighterZ, the series has spawned some fantastic games in the past. However, the latest title, DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS, takes a new and unexpected approach to bringing the world of Dragon Ball to life through the medium of videogames. But what is it exactly?
If I used the words “asymmetrical online multiplayer” would your first thought be a Dragon Ball game? Unlikely; yet here we are because DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS is exactly that. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s essentially a group of players fighting to survive, with little in the way of defending themselves, against a singular player whose character is much stronger than the opposing team. Think of games such as Dead by Daylight, or even Back 4 Blood and you get the picture.
This all takes place in a time anomaly, where up to seven people playing as regular citizens (known as Survivors) find themselves trapped with an all-powerful enemy from Dragon Ball history (who is known in-game as the Raider). The team of players trying to evade the Raider must co-operate and use weapons and items scattered around the map in order to escape via a time machine. This is done by finding power keys used to power up the machine, with each area of the map having its own hidden key. Fail to escape before the time limit elapses, however, and it’s game over!
The Raider, who may take on the form of series baddies Frieza, Cell, or Buu, are constantly on the hunt for the Survivors, increasing their power as they defeat players, or by killing NPCs found in each area. Each evolution offers new — and more powerful — skills, so taking on a group of Survivors is perhaps best left until you’re at full strength! Not only that, but each evolved form can use a one-time attack that completely destroys one area of the map, narrowing the range in which Survivors can move.
So far it sounds like the scales are tipped in the favour of the Raider, but Survivors have their own unique skills that allow them to avoid being hunted: skills such as allowing them to transform into an object and hide, or using a grappling hook to quickly escape an area under threat. Also in the Survivor’s bag of tricks are the “Transpheres”, special abilities that allow the player to temporarily transform into a powerful Dragon Ball hero, such as Goku or Piccolo, allowing them to take the fight straight to the Raider!
DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS is much more in-depth than I originally anticipated, and the many systems and mechanics can make for some truly tense cat-and-mouse chases with some of the franchise’s most beloved heroes and villains!