Dragon Ball: The Breakers, tried the asymmetrical multiplayer of Bandai Namco

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, tried the asymmetrical multiplayer of Bandai Namco

Dragon Ball

The announcement of Dragon Ball: The Breakers has surprised everyone a bit, although two concepts are now very clear: the first is that a popular work like Dragon Ball will probably never stop inspiring new tie-ins; the second is that the appeal of the many productions tested over the years lacked an asymmetrical multiplayer.

Taking advantage of the short closed beta organized by Bandai Namco on PC, we tried Dragon Ball: The Breakers for a few hours and it's time to tell you our feelings about this original Dead by Daylight-style project.


Dragon Ball: The Breakers, the Cell Reaper in its earliest form The closed beta starts from the introductory phases of the experience, starting naturally from the creation of the character, which takes place through the use of a simple editor with body parts designed in perfect Toriyama style, in which we will be able to choose the sex of our avatar, the details of the face, the colors, the hairstyle and the voice. Unfortunately, we will only have one body type available, in the hope that the options will be enriched between now and launch.

This is the first surprise compared to what we had imagined in the preview of Dragon Ball: The Breakers, in the sense that all Survivors are anonymous and original, while figures like Bulma and Olong serve as mere companions within the hub. In short, the idea of ​​being able to have different protagonists, perhaps with specific classes and skills, fades: a mix-up with little logical sense has been made in which each Survivor can turn into a vase to blend in, recall a Saiyan capsule, throw a smoke bomb and use the grapple.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, a Survivor hides from the sight of the Reaper Returning to the hub, the place resumes in many ways the aspect of the Temple of God, with small robots that allow you to consult textual tutorials and "shops" where you can return to the character editor or purchase cosmetic items with credits earned during games. Finally, there is also the legendary Room of the Spirit and of Time, but the training within it is limited to the use of experience points for the enhancement of skills, or rather the reduction of the recharge times of the same.

One once ready to face the battle, we will be able to indicate if we prefer to play as Survivors or in the role of the Reaper, even if it is a choice constrained by the availability in the lobbies, then start the matchmaking. The closed beta only included the possibility of trying out friendly matches, a single map (Fiume d'Altura) and a single opponent (Cell), but thanks to the limited number of users and the reduced timing we found rather quick access times.


Dragon Ball: The Breakers, two Survivors perform the procedures to activate the Super Time Machine The general rules of asymmetric multiplayer are clear: one of the players controls a very powerful creature while the others must flee, hide and somehow find an escape route to survive until the game is over. In the case of Dragon Ball: The Breakers, we were inspired by real moments of the manga and anime to stage clashes that are not canonical and indeed take place in the universe of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, using the narrative device. of a sort of temporal anomaly in which the Reaper and the Survivors are trapped.

The map is divided into five sections plus a central one, where in this case the Cell Game ring is located and where the Survivors will be able to recall the Super Time Machine to win the match, but only after having found and activated five keys, one for each zone of the scenario. The gameplay from the point of view of the seven "fugitives" is therefore characterized in this way: you explore each district, open the chests and place the keys, while trying to avoid contact with the Reaper.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, the Reaper about to absorb a Survivor Clearly the game mechanics are more complex than that. Inside the crates we will be able to find various objects, such as defensive potions or energy refills: the former can restore our energy if we have suffered an attack, the latter are used to increase the power of our transformation. In fact, each Survivor has a kind of special summoning, and in case of problems he can take on the appearance of the various Piccolo, Gohan, Goku and so on to fight in Xenoverse style against the enemy, but only for a few seconds.

If the attack is coordinated well and you have sufficient power relative to the level of the Reaper (we'll get to that soon), it is even possible to end the game by defeating the enemy directly, without having to activate the Super Time Machine . However, this is an event that requires good coordination between the Survivors and at the same time a Reaper not very quick in absorbing the energy necessary to evolve.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, a Survivor on the ground and a other than trying to revive it Always in the crates you can find three types of radars (one for reloads, one for keys and one for Dragon Balls) that allow you to speed up the searches a lot, as well as a missile launcher with which to eventually target the Reaper , however, aware that it will be a mere distraction and we will end up getting into trouble. Within the scenarios we will also be able to take advantage of tiny scooters thanks to which we can cover the distances towards the next goal much more briefly.

As mentioned, once the keys to power have been positioned, a phase begins in which we must recall the Super Time Machine in the central area of ​​the map, but the Reaper will not allow us to do so and therefore it will be necessary to keep him busy in some way, often using the transformations to attack him and give life to a spectacular air crash. If the machine is activated correctly, the enemy will be defeated; otherwise, the Survivors will still be able to save themselves by reaching emergency capsules with which to escape.

The gameplay in the role of the Reaper is clearly very different: the objective in this case is to stop the fugitives and prevent them from activating the Super Machine of Time, but to succeed we will have to absorb the vital energy of as many people as possible (various unarmed civilians are scattered on the map) and of the Survivors themselves in order to transform ourselves and thus pass to the second and third level of evolution. Each change is also accompanied by a devastating Kamehameha that destroys an entire sector of the map.

The Reaper has several advantages over its potential prey: it can fly and therefore move much faster, it emits energy attacks that can cause Out of combat the Survivors with a single blow and basically his only limit is in the level of power reached. This is where the strategic element of Dragon Ball: The Breakers is found, given that choices have to be made and the sole ability in combat, which takes place through mechanics identical to those of Xenoverse 2, may not be enough.

Preliminary Impressions

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, a Survivor escapes aboard a scooter Asymmetrical multiplayer fans a la Dead by Daylight, in case you're interested, here's the review, they certainly aren't a niche, indeed it is an increasingly large and passionate audience, which is also closely linked to the phenomenon of live streaming on Twitch and videos on YouTube, where this kind of experience is the most popular. Dragon Ball: The Breakers therefore tries to push itself into new territory for the brand but with enormous potential, and from this point of view the operation set up by Bandai Namco makes perfect sense.

We are certainly sorry that the idea of ​​consolidated characters with specific abilities in the role of the Survivors was not brought into play, because the starting material would have been there (as already mentioned: Bulma, Olong, Pual, Lunch, Pilaf, Mai and Shu, but the possibilities were different), instead falling back on the usual tutorial that is popular in online experiences. In practice, however, the mechanics appear much more multifaceted and interesting than we expected.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers, here is the Emergency Time Machine As much playing as the Survivors as in those of the Reaper indeed provides a whole series of aspects to take into account, captivating strategic facets and situations that could give life to truly epic sequences. There is only one problem: from a technical point of view we are talking about a strongly dated game, with scenarios worthy of a PS2 and equally free of interaction, yet not used to shooting at 4K and 60 fps with all effects at maximum on. an RTX 3070: an affront that we hope will be fixed between now and launch.

The sound sector is equally terrible, but we imagine that the noises of footsteps represented in such a fake way is something wanted for the purposes of the gameplay. Many believe that The Breakers is a kind of simple mod of Xenoverse 2 and indeed during the tests we have more than a doubt, but that does not change the fact that the experiment itself is interesting. A possible free-to-play setting would make a lot of sense, but it's also true that the Dragon Ball brand sells regardless and ignoring it would be stupid: we'll see what Bandai Namco will decide in this sense.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers undoubtedly stands as a bizarre experiment within an unknown territory for the famous brand, yet the closed beta has already clarified a certain basic competence and gameplay mechanics that become more interesting and multifaceted as you play. Graphically we are not really there and the optimization on PC needs to be definitely improved, but it is clear that everything has been made purely functional to the action and the first reactions of the world of streamers are promising where this is the ultimate goal of the new tie-in product. from Bandai Namco.


Interesting gameplay, albeit derivative The Dragon Ball brand is always hugely popular Xenoverse style fights 2 DOUBTS Graphically very dated Characters only original, to be created with a limited editor Some really confusing game phases Have you noticed any errors?

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