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The Breakers Should Have Been Xenoverse 3 Instead


DragonBall The Breakers

Developer: Dimps
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: October 14, 2022
Available as: Digital and Physical

Ever since its announcement, I was always mystified by DragonBall The Breakers and its premise. On paper, it's a fantastic idea to focus on the survivors within the Dragon Ball universe as there are more civilians than there are Z-Fighters. It's one of the many reasons why my favorite Dragon Ball Z saga was the Buu Saga as it focused on characters who are far more normal than our Saiyan protagonists. Especially when it came to handling Buu and inevitably getting turned into chocolate. I'd imagine every day would be a waking nightmare trying not to get eaten alive.

The concept of a multiplayer survival game focusing on cooperating with seven other survivors all with the goal of making it back home seems like a perfect fit for Dragon Ball in this regard. With popular "asymmetrical multiplayer survival" games including Dead by Daylight and (to a broader extent, Fortnite), it begged the question of how Dimps was going to turn their game engine to fit The Breakers. A long-time developer of Dragon Ball games, Dimps are best known recently for their Xenoverse series.


The Xenoverse titles are also "asymmetrical" but instead of survival, they're a mix of Action RPG and Fighting Games. Opting to make The Breakers over a third chapter in the Xenoverse series feels like an odd decision considering the fanbase for Xenoverse 2 remains huge. Is The Breakers a chance to get on the latest fad or will it fail much as Evil Dead did?

Starting the game the player is greeted by Trunks who discovers your unconscious body and asks to remember details about yourself. It is here that you create your character, with hairstyles and faces meant to create your original character or a replica of an existing Dragon Ball character. Compared to Xenoverse, the options here are limited but it goes without saying as you're defaulted to creating a human rather than a Saiyan, a Buu, etc.

After you create your character, Trunks tells the situation of several dimensional time rifts and how it's distorting the fabric of the timelines, and--- Yeah, this is literally the opening for Xenoverse all over again. Everything so far is reminding me of a nearly-decade-old title and honestly, while this serves as the prologue, I couldn't help but scratch my head. It seems time has always been unstable for poor Trunks, huh?

Eventually, the "Raider," Cell, appears and starts destroying the environment. As a human you're relatively defenseless, you have access to gadgets that can subdue the raider, but nothing to outright defeat them. Again, bonus points for establishing an environment where you are the civilian in a world where monsters are causing mayhem. The goal is to find keys to set up and power a time machine to fix its flow while also saving other civilians as well.


The twist here is that you have the power to temporarily transform into "heroes of a lost era," meaning for 20 seconds or so, you can turn into Goku, Tien, Vegeta, Krillin, and many more. The fights against the Raiders feel more like Xenoverse in these few fleeting seconds of combat. The Breakers gives you this belief that maybe, maybe, there's a cool hidden fighting mechanic tucked away in this mode. But, alas as soon as the fun ends you're back as a survivor running for your life.

I will give the development team it's "just due," as it's an interesting concept that works well when it works. The issue is that despite the prologue there are many nuances that you're expected to know on the fly. There's no offline mode to practice anything and everything involves waiting for other players. Online-only games are a blight that shouldn't exist, but I feel DragonBall The Breakers is a huge offender of this. I really wish this would be Xenoverse 3, but maybe in the (hopefully) near future...

Bulma nO! That's your son!---

DragonBall The Breakers is out now on the Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

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