I admit that I initially found the idea of an asymmetrical, Dead By Daylight-inspired multiplayer game based on the Dragon Ball universe to be a bit absurd. I had so many questions as to how it would work, what it would look like, and if it could stand out as its own experience that isn’t carried by its very famous name.
After learning more about the ins and outs of Dragon Ball: The Breakers’ minute to minute gameplay while playing it for myself, the answer to that is complicated. While there are plenty of different strategic options to try and win with when you’re a survivor, there is a lot more required than general gameplay at face value to secure a victory.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers First Screenshots
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a 1vs7 multiplayer game where seven civilians are trying to survive a “raider” who is trying to destroy the entire map. The raiders that you can play as are well-known villains from the Dragon Ball universe like Frieza and Cell. The raiders’ objective is simple—kill all the survivors. Each raider begins in their base form with the ability to evolve into stronger ones after meeting specific requirements. Once evolved, the raider can destroy a section of the map, thus giving survivors less freedom to explore. Each raider has abilities that their characters are known for from the universe including the Special Beam Cannon and Perfect Kamehameha
Playing as the survivor appears to be where most of the gameplay nuance lies. Survivors are equipped with different skills that help their survivability against the raider – like using a smokescreen to escape tight situations. They can also go on the offensive by picking up energy on the field and using it to turn into a Z fighter. You won’t be as strong as the raider, but it can be used as a good tactic to distract them when needed or even kill them if their health is low enough.
Meanwhile, raider and survivors alike can summon Shenron if you assemble all seven of the dragon balls and complete the ritual, but that is easier said than done. If you’re the raider you can either heal or become more powerful, while as a survivor you can turn yourself into the highest level of Z fighter possible – making you powerful enough to fight the raider on equal terms.
The objective of the survivors is to obtain five power keys that are hidden across the map and set them in different locations in each of the areas. These keys power the Super Time Machine. Once activated, it will fix the timeline and stop the raider. If an area with a power key is destroyed, the Super Time Machine can still be activated, however it will take more time to boot up. The raider can stop the activation of the machine and, if successful, will require the survivors to escape via a miniature time machine.
Originally, I found that trying to find these keys frustrating as I wasn’t familiar with the map – making it feel like I was running aimlessly hoping to run into not just a power key, but anything at all. A big part of Dragon Ball: The Breakers is learning the map layout. Not only is covering your own bases important for success, but cooperation with your teammates is the ultimate key to win.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers shows a lot of promise, and has more than proven that it isn’t your average Dead by Daylight clone with a Dragon Ball skin on it. It implements items and mechanics into its gameplay in clever ways that fit inside its universe. However, with the knowledge that both in-game voice chat and cross-progression will not be features at launch nor planned for the future, I worry that it will be short lived. We’ll find out soon whether or not it catches on with the gaming community, as it’s coming out on October 14.