With the multi asymmetric game Dragon Ball The Breakers, Bandai Namco offers a new approach to the license created by Akira Toriyama. An initiative which may disconcert more than one, but which is far from being devoid of interest.
Declined in all sauces, the Dragon Ball franchise has continued to expand since its birth in the 80s, as evidenced by the new film scheduled for 2022. Its history is also written on the side of video games with, all platforms combined, more than a hundred adaptations that have emerged. Dragon Ball the Breakers, just announced last week with a trailer, is undoubtedly one of the most original of them.
Dragon Ball, a universe already copiously adapted in video games
The universe of Dragon Ball is particularly conducive to video game adaptations. Logically, most took the form of pure fighting games, like the cult Budokai / Budokai Tenkaichi series or the most recent (and very successful) Dragon Ball FighterZ. The license was still tried in other genres with titles like Dragon Ball Z Kakarot (action-RPG), Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission (card game), Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure (beat’em all), Dragon Ball Z Attack of the Saiyans (RPG) or Dragon Ball Origins (action-adventure).
But an asymmetric multiplayer game? If the genre has already proven its worth, especially with the popular Dead by Daylight, we must admit that seeing it associated with the DBZ license is astonishing. Yet this is the path that Bandai Namco and the Dimps studio (already at work on Dragon Ball Xenoverse and its sequel) with Dragon Ball The Breakers.
Dragon Ball the Breakers, a new approach
Dragon Ball The Breakers features a completely new point of view in the Dragon Ball universe. Here, the protagonists are not Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo or the other usual heroes… but ordinary citizens trapped in a time rift. Seven players will be placed in the camp of the “survivors” and will have to cooperate to fight against an eighth player playing an iconic villain (Frieza, Cell and Boo are confirmed for the moment).
If the survivors will be able to use various vehicles and objects, they will first have to flee to escape their opponent, who will also be able to transform in the middle of the game and use new overpowered powers. This completely unbalanced balance of power is unprecedented for a Dragon Ball game, and to stage this feeling of helplessness in the face of an enemy that is stalking us is rather interesting. In this, we can welcome the initiative of Bandai Namco, which does not give us yet another adaptation of the adventures of Goku without any originality or a simple fighting game. At the risk of disappointing those who are waiting for a Xenoverse 3 or a successor to the Budokai Tenkaichi.
A concept with potential
For now, Dragon Ball The Breakers seems mostly criticized because of its graphics from another time (to be polite). Scheduled for 2022 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, the game will have the opportunity to prove itself during a closed beta that will be held the weekend of December 4 on PC. In any case, it has the potential to be a fun and ideal game for friends. Its concept will also highlight under-exploited characters like Bulma and Oolong, both of which will be playable. But it will above all be necessary for the gameplay to hold up, for the economic model to be honest (Bandai Namco simply indicated that the price of the game will be “well below 69.99 euros”, implying that it will not be free -to-play) and that content tracking is up to par.