Ward off demons and Play&Earn.
When you think about blockchain gaming, there are probably only a few things that come to mind. Call of Duty-style FPSs, monster-collecting games, and perhaps even a few MMORPGs like Ember Sword. However, there is an entire genre of Web3 gaming experiences that are aimed at the horror aficionados in the crypto community.
It’s a fairly small, but growing genre in the space. In it, “The Bornless” has been making waves, and we can’t see why.
The game is described as a free-to-play, 1950s horror-themed Battle Royale game with a twist, and it’s being developed by Cathedral Studios in the Unreal Engine. It is set apart from its competitors in the space for its shockingly high level of quality, even though the game is only in a closed beta state at the moment.
The vision for the Bornless Metaverse also includes a VR component as well as esports tournaments.
Ethereum / ImmutableX
The Bornless presents itself as a “challenging FPS game similar to a Battle Royale”. This statement seems to track from what we’ve seen, and gamers who have some experience with something like Hunt: Showdown will have a pretty good idea of what to expect from The Bornless. With a storyline based on ancient texts (The Lesser Keys of Solomon), the game has enough material to not only build a foundation but also grow in the future. Its story is being written (already resulting in abook) and is being supported by the seasonalNFT releases. Each of the eight playable characters in The Bornless is represented by its own set of 666 NFTs. When all 8 collections are complete, there will be 5,328 available.
The game begins with eight players divided into teams of two and a fight for survival. With its lighting, map design, and sound, the game does an excellent job at creating a frightening atmosphere, and I can easily see this game getting under players' skin once it is completely published.
The gunplay, while solid, still has room for improvement to make it tighter and more precise. There are a few different types of guns and each gun’s associated sound is very satisfying and powerful. There is also a knife for when you need to resort to melee attacks. In addition to their primary weapons, players are also able to choose a special ability at the beginning of each round, which consists of abilities called “Spectral Sight”, “Sigil Shield”, and “Hellfire Grenade”.
Spectral Sight: once activated, it sends out a short scan of the area that will 'ping' and tell the user where their enemies are hiding. Giving players an advantage when they are trying to find their opponents.
Sigil Shield: erects a sizable dome around your character that stays in place and protects you from ranged damage for a limited amount of time.
Hellfire Grenade: players can use this to go on offense and burn down their enemies or block off chokepoints by building an impenetrable wall of flames.
These are all fairly standard FPS mechanics, but what makes The Bornless special is its implementation of the world hazard, which eliminates teams that are lagging behind. Fortnite has The Storm, Warzone has its Circle Collapse gas cloud, and The Bornless has Orobas.
As you fight off other players and explore the map, you’ll also need to collect a resource called Incense from the forest surrounding the play area. Then, this incense can be burned in cauldrons that are spread out across the map. Doing this earns your team points that translate to favor with Orobas, causing him to focus his ire on another team. The more incense you burn, the more danger opposing teams face. It’s worth noting that, like the hazards in Fortnite and Warzone, Orobas cannot be damaged or reasoned with. It is simply a demon that desires to feast on human souls, especially the ones who don’t pay tribute to him. This is an extremely interesting twist on the Battle Royale formula, and it fits the game’s theme and world perfectly. Cathedral Studios deserves special praise for this feature. The last team standing is the winner. If the match timer runs out, the match is over as well.
Players will also be able to gain Experience Points (XP) through their gameplay, and with it, they can progress through the skill tree and unlock abilities. These allow players to customize their experience based on their desired playstyle.
By all accounts, it seems that Cathedral Studios is going about making a blockchain game the right way. They’ve studied the failings of previous projects and look like they’re working towards something that will actually be successful and sustainable. The single token game economy and making sure the video game experience is fun and complete before implementing the economy are big steps towards that.
It's important to note that the game is being built with a competitive element in mind, and esports is a prevalent mention by the developers. That being said, they have engaged with esports groups and gaming guilds to collaborate, playtest the game, and provide crucial feedback. The gameplay so far certainly fits that narrative, and it will be curious to see how it will be fully executed when the game launches.
The Bornless isn’t readily available yet, and it’s clear it still needs polish, but if you’re at all interested in the future of Web3 and the blockchain’s role in the gaming industry going forward, The Bornless is definitely a game to keep an eye on.
Easy to Learn
The game is currently in closed beta. It’s possible to sign up for the waitlist through the website. The best way to get to a test is to stay tuned to their Discord, as often you can find them hosting playtests for the community to encourage participation and incorporate player input.
Windows 7/8/10/11 (64-bit)
Intel i5 / AMD Ryzen 5
Nvidia GeForce GTX 3GB VRAM
Windows 7/8/10/11 (64-bit)
Intel i7 / AMD Ryzen 7
Nvidia GeForce GTX 6GB VRAM