Over the last twenty years, the anime industry has thrived due to the success of some of its shonen anime. This success is partially due to the collaboration with the video game industry. Arguably, Dragonball Z, Naruto, Monster Rancher, Digimon, Pokemon, Yugioh, and Mobile Suit Gundam helped expand the already established universes.
Games such as Dragon Ball Z Budokai, Pokemon Gen 1 (Blue, Red, & Yellow), Yugioh: Forbidden Memories, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, Digimon World 2, and Gundam Battle Assault. Nowadays, Animated video games have become prevalent in mainstream media with Dragon Ball: The Breakers becoming the next title on an evergrowing list.
Now by no means am I saying that Dragon Ball: The Breakers will fall into a long list of anime games that the world has not heard of. In fact, it has the potential to rival Dead by Daylight, Secret Neighbor, Friday the 13th, and Predator: Hunting Grounds. Though what Dragon Ball: The Breakers does not have is the dark visual aesthetic.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers Preview
For PAX West 2022, guests had the opportunity to play Dragon Ball: The Breakers. In this demo, players could choose whether or not they wanted the chance to be the survivor or the Raider.
If media were present, they got the first choice on which they want to play as. For our appointment, I chose to play as Cell first. Little did I know that choosing Cell over Frieza was a bad choice.
Unlike Frieza, Cell can not fly in his base stage. Instead, the player must jump in order to get around. This made looking for survivors rather difficult but not impossible. Cell still had the ability to sense enemies around him.
Once Cell evolves into his second form, Imperfect Cell, finding survivors and absorbing them became less of a challenge. Obviously, I still had to search the different sectors but being able to fly to enemies made the hunt less challenging.
After killing enough survivors, I had the opportunity to destroy a section of the map. Before destroying a section, I was able to see which zone had already had a key planted or found before destroying it.
Destroying a section of the map that already had a key planted seemed pointless but I did not check to see if it eliminated the placed key. Instead, I focused on destroying a part where the key had been found, but not planted. This led us to eliminate two survivors.
Although hunting down survivors allowed me to power up, it wouldn’t guarantee my victory. Yes, if all or most survivors are defeated the Raider (Cell or Frieza) will win the game, but the Raider still has to be worried about a survivor escaping in a time capsule. I will talk further about that in the survivor portion of this Dragon Ball: The Breakers preview.
The thrill of the hunt is definitely well showcased with the raider role. The early stages definitely give the survivors a better chance but late game, it is the Raider’s game to win or lose. Thankfully, I was able to stop one of the last 2 survivors from escaping with the Super Time Capsule.
After a successful raid with Cell, I decided to switch over to the survivor role. Sadly, the survivor role was not as easy as playing as the raider. Survivors have a variety of tasks to complete in order to win the match.
Starting out, players are split up across the map; once they have loaded into the game, players must search crates in order to find each zone’s time capsule key; however, finding the key is not enough. Players must take the key to an assigned zone and plant it.
Survivors can find a variety of objects in the different crates or from rescued citizens. Survivors can find special energy that will power them up, dragon balls, radars, and equipment. The radars can help players find either the keys, dragon balls, equipment, or citizens; it can also help them avoid the Raider.
Players will see a flash on their screen if the raider has targeted them. This gives the player a chance to avoid any oncoming blindsided attacks.
Despite a player being slain by the raider, there is still a chance to bring them back either through an item or the Dragonballs. Using the Dragonballs to revive someone is a lackluster use but can be useful if the team has fallen below 50%. Using the dragon balls though is no easy task due to them being spread out throughout the map.
Ultimately the best way to win is for one or more survivors to unlock the Super Time Capsule. Players will need to charge the Ultimate Time Capsule in order to escape.
Depending on how many time capsule keys were planted determines how fast the capsule charges. If the Super Time Capsule is being guarded by the Raider, survivors can find a standard time capsule. If they chose this option, they will have to manually pilot the capsule.
Final Thoughts on Dragon Ball: The Breakers
If you are a fan of playing hide and seek game modes, then you will have fun with Dragon Ball: The Breakers. Without a doubt, it is easier to be the raider than the survivor but it is possible to win in either role.
Personally, I had more fun playing as the raider because of the thrill of the chase. Snatching victory out of their hands right as they were about to finish charging the Super Time Capsule was incredibly satisfying. A modification to Cell might be necessary with how slow the character’s base form moves.
Playing as the survivors is rough when you are uncertain of their abilities feels like a one-sided battle. For our Dragon Ball: The Breakers preview, I was not able to able to speak with the developers on how to play the survivor role; this was due to them assisting a new raider with the basics of the game.
Despite being blind on how to play the role, I was still able to plant a key and help our team achieve victory. Sadly, I died after planting the key but in this game, our team gained an additional 20% speed boost in order to charge the Super Time Capsule.
A special thanks to Bandai Namco for letting us preview both the survivor and the raider roles for our Dragon Ball: The Breakers preview.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers will be releasing on October 13th in Japan and on October 14 worldwide across Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.