Bandai Namco’s next big Dragon Ball title is out on October 14th for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. However, Dragon Ball: The Breakers isn’t your typical video game adaptation of the anime/manga. It’s a multiplayer game where a team of players must survive and escape from a powerful villain. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before buying.
The “story” of Dragon Ball: The Breakers sees seven ordinary people affected by an unexpected (not unknown – just unexpected) temporal phenomenon. This traps them in a Temporal Seam against a powerful enemy known as a Raider from a different timeline. With very few means to fight back, the survivors must do everything possible to survive and escape the Temporal Seam before being eliminated.
Like Dead by Daylight, Friday the 13th: The Game and so on, Dragon Ball: The Breakers is an asymmetrical multiplayer title. Up to seven players must cooperate to escape the Temporal Rift (or, somehow, defeat the Raider). Meanwhile, one player controls the Raider, whose job is to take down the Survivors, and destroy the time machine before they can escape (or delay them until time runs out).
Survival of the fittest, as they say. Along with Online Match, there are also Episodes for playing through the prologue as a Survivor and a Practice Mode for learning the ropes.
The Survivors consist of two familiar faces – Bulma and Oolong – accompanied by an Earthling male and female, which aren’t the most distinct characters but that’s the point. Each Survivor lacks powers like Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Piccolo and so on. Instead, they must rely on items, skills (which we’ll get into more in a bit), stealth (including hiding behind walls, Solid Snake-style) and their general cunning to defeat the Raider.
There are three Raiders in Breakers – Cell, Buu, and Frieza. Each starts at level 1 and can evolve through various actions. For example, Cell starts in larva form at level 1 and must evolve by absorbing Survivors and NPCs. Leveling up and evolving grants different forms with more abilities, health, and damage. A Raider’s level caps at level 4, which is when they become a nigh unstoppable threat.
The map should be familiar for most Dragon Ball fans. It’s a mash-up for residential areas, rocky plateaus, cities, and so on. Each area contains its share of items, but don’t dwindle for too long. Every time a Raider evolves, they can destroy an area on the map. If you’re caught in the blast, this can mean a very quick death.
Power Keys and Startup System
For the Survivors, escape requires activating the Super Time Machine, which is anything but easy. First, you need to find Power Keys – each area on the map has one. Next, they must venture to the Startup System and activate it with a Power Key. After the system starts up, the Survivors must defend it from the Raider for a period of time.
More keys will reduce the time needed and if successful, the Temporal Seam is fixed and the Survivors win. As the Raider, you must destroy the Startup System before it reaches that point. Destroying areas on the map is also encouraged since this reduces the number of Power Keys that can be gathered.
So what happens if the Startup System is destroyed? Fortunately, there’s still an option for victory. After the Super Time Machine’s destruction, various Beacons appear on the map. These can be used to call an emergency Time Machine to escape alone or with other Survivors. However, there’s a catch to this as well. Only one can be called at a time and if the Raider destroys it, then you can’t call any more.
In terms of Skills, the Survivors have different active and passive skills. Active skills consist of a Grappling Device for quick traversal and Smoke Screen, which briefly prevents the Raider from locking onto allies in a certain range. They can also use a Saiyan Pod Remote, which calls down a Saiyan Pod for quickly flying up and repositioning to a different part of the map. Survivors can also Change into random objects to hide (though you may get an object that sticks out all the more so caution is advised).
The Raiders also have active and passive skills which increase in number as they level up. One such skill is Ki Detection for detecting a Survivor’s aura, making it easier to find them. The number of available Special Attacks also increases and they also gain a powerful Ultimate Special Attack. Perfect Cell can throw out a Kamehameha in a straight line, for instance, dealing immense damage.
Did we say no powers like Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo and Gohan? Well, good news – the Survivors can get their powers after all. Sort of. If a Survivor collects enough Change Power on the field, they can activate Dragon Change. This allows for taking on the form of a certain Z Fighter, complete with Super Attacks like the Kamehameha, Special Beam Cannon, Galick Gun and so on. Up to three Transpheres with different forms can be equipped and changed to in battle.
However, just because you can become Goku doesn’t mean the battle is won. Each Transphere has a level – the higher the level, the more Change Power needed. If the Raider’s level is high, you’ll need an equivalent level Form to stand a chance. Then again, a Form can also be used to fly away and escape or serve as a diversion, so there are benefits to lower level Forms.
Items and Vehicles
Items available on the map include gloves for firing a beam of Ki, a Jet-Bike for moving around more quickly, and a Dragon Radar to help locate Power Keys. You can also find a rocket launcher for tickling the Raider and a dinosaur mount, among other weapons and vehicles.
It wouldn’t be a Dragon Ball game without Dragon Balls. Somehow, someway, you can collect all seven Dragon Balls and summon Shenron to make a wish. You can wish for increasing the Dragon Change level of all allies by one, or gain Ultimate Dragon Change for yourself (which provides a level 4 Form). The latter is the strongest Form for a Survivor and matches up against a Raider very well. The Raider can also make a wish, either to increase their evolution level by one or restore HP so beware.
Though trolling your teammates can be funny, the path to victory lies in cooperation. If a teammate is downed and calling for aid, it’s generally a good idea to revive them. There’s also Signal Feature, which functions like pinging. It can be used to ping certain points of interest (like items), ask teammates to assemble, warn them of the Raider’s location, and whatnot.
Standard and Special Edition
The Standard Edition of Dragon Ball: The Breakers retails for $20. Pre-ordering nets a Transphere for Android 18 along with the Wall Kick skill and Full Power Energy Blast Volley Super Attack. You can also equip a Blue Scouter as an accessory. The Special Edition retails for $30 and includes the base game, four cosmetic items, a Victory Pose and a “Dragon (Yellow)” Vehicle skin.
Shop and Microtransactions
Of course, other cosmetics can be purchased in-game with Zeni or TP (the latter being premium currency). There are Stamps, Keychains, T-Shirts, Pants, Hoodies, Boots, Bracelets, and even Oolong’s ears and nose. You can even purchase custom voices for the Raider’s different Forms. Past network tests also had a Recommended tab in the store with rotating items.
Hilariously enough, Transpheres are acquired through gacha. Seriously. By spending tickets, Zeni or TP, you can roll for characters like 5-star Goku who has Kaioken Rush as an ability. No word on the drop rates but you can expect the more powerful forms to be rarer.
As with most contemporary Dragon Ball games on PC, the system requirements for Breakers aren’t too heavy. At minimum, you’ll need an Intel Core i5-7600 or AMD Ryzen 3 3100 GPU, 8 GB RAM, and a GeForce GTX 770 or Radeon RX 470. The recommended requirements include a Core i7-8700 or Ryzen 5 3600, 8 GB of RAM RAM and a GTX 780 or Radeon RX 570. In both cases, you’ll need 10 GB of installation space, though this could increase over time if more characters and maps are added.