Announced a long time ago and followed with a puzzled look by fans of the license, Dragon Ball: The Breakers interfered on October 14, 2022 on consoles and PC. This umpteenth adaptation of Akira Toriyama ‘s cult work is curiously eyeing the side of the asymmetrical multiplayer game à la Dead by Daylight.
An emblematic villain against seven ordinary characters, that was the promise made by the title. Admit it, that already sounds like a bad idea. Dragon Ball , these are epic clashes between different powerful monsters, and it was hard to see how the universe was going to be able to fit into this mold which seems far too small for him. The time is no longer for guesswork, but for facts. The game is here, and it’s high time to find answers to our many questions. Was the risk worth it or will the title inevitably end up in the pile of those licensed games that have tried unsuccessfully?
A rough start, very rough
The least we can say is that the first moments in the adventure of Dragon Ball: The Breakers are particularly austere. Even if the largely perfectible graphics do not help, it is after having undergone a rather evasive tutorial in the company of Trunks that we will ask ourselves the irremediable question: what now?
Indeed, the title remains quite vague on these mechanics and does not offer enough explanations for us to be fully ready to understand an online game. There’s a training mode, but it’s more for experimenting rather than actually learning how to defend yourself as a survivor or wreak havoc as a villain.
Learning will therefore be done the hard way, over your games, your failures and your successes. As a survivor, try to collect the keys of power scattered in each of the zones in order to activate a machine allowing you to win if you manage to take control of it. As the villain, eliminate the survivors and prevent them from using the machine.
A simple principle on paper, but the title has all the trouble to put in place, at least for a group of complete strangers. No doubt that with a squad of eight players, the experience will be quite different, communication being easier and affinities greater.
When misunderstandings go away
But the more we play, the more we understand. With the radars that we can find on the map that allow us to tell us the keys, the civilians to save or the unmissable Dragon Ball (dragon balls, sorry), through weapons such as launchers rockets, we end up taking the time to learn and use what the title puts at our disposal.
Moreover, by collecting the seven magic items, you can summon Shenron and ask him to grant one of your wishes, but beware: the bad guy can do the same. Among the wishes available, you can very well choose to increase the power level of your allies to the maximum or to push yours beyond its limits.
Because yes, the other sinews of war is to gather power in order to be able to invoke the spirit of a warrior , otherwise it will be very difficult for you to defend yourself against your enemy. These warrior spirits are also obtainable via a rather customary free-to-play system, namely gacha. Spend your money or your tickets and get a spirit of greater or lesser rarity with abilities related to it.
An in-game store also allows you to buy skills, outfits or audio quotes from villains, while another will allow you to modify the appearance of your surviving character at your leisure. Once you understand how it all fits together, you really start to realize the potential of the game, and what’s wrong.
Balancing is a red card for Dragon Ball: The Breakers
Because yes, the biggest flaw of Dragon Ball: The Breakers is its balancing, and the matchmaking that goes with it. More than once, in our first games, we found ourselves facing villains who had already passed level eighty. Suffice to say that the fate of the game was quickly sealed.
Beating after beating, and after trying to understand if the problem was not simply us, we realized the obvious: the ping system offered by the title is not sufficient and, to fully appreciate the game , you have to play with people who are ready to communicate.
Because not everyone can do everything at once, and trying would be a waste of time that would end in a crushing defeat. The bad guys are far too powerful , and facing them alone or with a low power level is useless. We must come together to hope to stagger Frieza and others. While some are looking for the keys, others have to gorge themselves on power, but without communicating properly and with people you are used to playing with, the organization is a brake on the pleasure of the game.