Dragon Ball: The Breakers was announced in November 2021, and has since then stayed radio silent until today. Heck, I even forgot this game existed before making this preview–I almost thought it was canceled. So, I went in with completely no expectations because the trailer looked interesting. And my results? Well, let’s find out.
First, let’s answer the question: What the heck is Dragon Ball: The Breakers? In a nutshell, it’s a 1-vs-7 survival co-op game where each match is divided into a “Raider team” of one player controlling either Cell or Frieza and a “Survivor team” with seven players. Each side has an objective in order to win.
As the Raider, you’re assigned one of the two villains, Cell or Frieza. And your objective is to stop the Survivor team from activating the super time machine and escaping by…you guessed it, killing them. Raiders are capable of killing both players and civilians scattered across the map, and by doing so, are able to evolve between four different evolution states. You also have access to various passives, such as the ability to completely nuke an area off the map, making it off-limits and limiting the Survivors’ hiding spots.
On the other hand, Survivors must activate the super time machine by collecting power keys on the five different areas labeled A through E, and then activate the central time machine located at the center area (labeled with an X). If you manage to escape, you win. Though if you unfortunately get caught by the Raider, you are temporarily incapacitated unless someone revives you. And if you die again after being revived, you’re not even given a third chance, you’re straight up OUT of the game.
Even if the time machine is destroyed, not all hope is lost however, as individual time pods will appear for two minutes, and you can then escape by yourself provided the Raider doesn’t destroy your pod before you manage to complete the warping sequence.
The Survivors can also charge their power by collecting cubes and perform a D-Change, which lets you take the strength of a Dragon Ball series character such as Goku, Vegeta and even Piccolo. But the method to get them might turn off some people. Namely, you obtain them through the Spirit Siphon, located in the Matchmaking Lobby and…wait a minute, isn’t this just…gacha? Yeah, totally!
You didn’t mishear it nor are your eyes playing tricks on you. Dragon Ball: The Breakers has you use tickets, or two different currencies, Zeni or TP, all just for a random chance to get a sphere containing the character’s ability which you can then set to your Survivor avatar. What’s more, the same character is divided across multiple rarities, with varying types of abilities locked behind the higher tiers.
Furthermore, the amount of currency you get per match is absolutely petite, and the rates are not very good. All of this contributes to making this game a legit backwards gacha, where not only you have to pay a 20 dollar fee to even get this, but you also need to spend money for a random chance to get a character to inherit their abilities.
We had our staff try out both the PlayStation 4 and the PC versions of this game, and on PS4 we had to wait upwards of 10 minutes to even find a couple players, while on PC the matchmaking process barely took two minutes. It was a night and day difference.
You see, cross-platform is not supported, and the developers have outright stated that there are no current plans to implement such a thing, which might be a huge detriment to the game’s player base in the long run. It seems the game will feature some sort of story mode, but the greater majority of it will certainly be reliant on you being able to find eight players to match up.
Conclusively, there’s a decent amount of fun to be had in Dragon Ball: The Breakers, but that doesn’t excuse it from its major issues. Just the fact that it is a game that you need to pay, plus perform a lot of microtransactions just to get an advantage is honestly something that defies logic, even if you’re not particularly averse to the already maligned genre that is gacha. I understand this might not be the first time it has been done, but that doesn’t excuse the fact.
This might be the first time I’ve seen a game go in the opposite direction of what a gacha game truly means, and I am not exactly hopeful for its full release. In fact, I will say it right here and now: it’s certainly going to be “dead on arrival”. Unless it goes full-blown free, or they completely rework this “premium system” they have going, it’s definitely going to be a tough sell.
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