Whenever a new Dragon Ball game is announced, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of experience you can expect. Every Dragon Ball game features over-the-top fighting in the style of anime or manga with another retelling of the decades-old story that everyone knows. For that reason, I give Dragon Ball: The Breakers a lot of credit for trying something new with an odd multiplayer experience, compared to other titles like Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th. However, this new direction makes it feel distinctly like a non-Dragon Ball game, and it may be a tough sell for some.
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Not the Dragon Ball experience you’d expect
Screenshot by Gempur
When you think of Dragon Ball, you’ll usually think of Goku or Vegeta reaching new heights with their Super Saiyan, Ultra Instinct forms, or high-flying fast-action duets. What you don’t think about is that citizens who have no special powers are running away from the worldly danger of the day. Outside of Raider, who plays as Frieza, Cell, or Majin Buu, all survivors are custom characters that have nothing to do with them indicating they can survive seconds in a fight with one of these enemies. There’s a transformation sequence where your character can disguise a Z-Fighter for a very short period of time, but that’s only a way to distract Raider, not a viable way to defeat them.
The main objective of the survivors is to find the power key hidden around the map and activate the time machine to escape. The raider is either trying to destroy the Time Machine equipment or is trying to kill all the survivors. While survivors can momentarily find weapons to defend themselves, the Raider’s vast health pool and power make it a situation where survivors almost always must flee from them, unless they want a quick death. Once the raider finds you without an escape plan you are essentially doomed.
So much for the new crowd
Screenshot by Gempur
My first few games in Dragon Ball: The Breakers were frustrating as I usually found myself confused around every turn – even after at least a half hour long tutorial full of unnecessary story explanations Why is the game happening? I constantly had questions about where I had to go and what each item did because there was so much to take in. I know there are Dragon Balls to be found, and you can make a wish when you find all seven, but I have no idea what it means when it happens or how to do it.
It took me several games to finally convert to Goku because combat is cut down to just a couple of button presses that hardly do anything against Raider. If you prefer dragon ball games to battle, you will be extremely disappointed, as they have almost completely abandoned the great sense of control from games like Kakarot and Xenoverse.
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There might be some fun in Dragon Ball: Breakers after everyone’s been able to play it for hours, but it’s hard to wrap your head around the early stages. Too much is happening too fast right now to understand what you should do next. As the raider gets more powerful, your time as a survivor is always limited. Unless you’re someone who can’t get into the scary aspects of Dead by Daylight, I’d say the title is a better destination for an odd multiplayer experience at this point.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is set to release this year on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC.