April 13 will be a crucial opportunity for Battleborn (opens in new tab) to distinguish itself from the flurry of character-based shooters and MOBAs we're weathering. Open beta has at last been dated, a week after Gearbox announced that development was as good as done. It'll offer two of Battleborn's three multiplayer modes (Incursion (opens in new tab) and Meltdown), all 25 release heroes (opens in new tab) and the full range of gear and progression systems, in addition to the first two episodes of Battleborn's story.
Gearbox is calling May 3 (opens in new tab) the 'series premiere'—the story will consist of a prologue and eight episodes, each of which tells a different story of the squabble over the last star in the universe, tied together by a larger plot. The rewards you can earn by playing are detailed on the Battleborn blog (opens in new tab). Fair warning: beta progress will not carry over to the live game.
After that initial run, it sounds like new 'Story Operations' will be at the heart of Gearbox's post-launch plans (opens in new tab). It could be a savvy structure—this is the studio that birthed Borderlands, after all.