If you think Dragon Ball: The Breakers sounds oddly compelling, it's time to sign up for the beta


Bandai Namco is hosting four PC-only sessions starting December 3, and sign-ups are open

The curious one-versus-seven survival game Dragon Ball: The Breakers is hosting a PC beta test on Steam, so if you like the promise of an asymmetric game that lets you terrorize other players as Frieza, Buu, or Cell, then you should put your name in the hat.

Much like the recent Elden Ring test, Bandai Namco is now taking email sign-ups on the Dragon Ball: The Breakers website. This is a closed beta, and while the full game will also be playable on consoles (even Nintendo Switch), this test run is limited to just Steam.

Assuming you do get an invite, when can you play? The sessions are fairly limited.

  • Session 1: Friday, December 3 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Pacific
  • Session 2: Saturday, December 4 from 4:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Session 3: Saturday, December 4 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Pacific
  • Session 4: Saturday, December 4 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Pacific

Here’s a beta trailer to spark your interest, though I’ll be honest — this idea is so out-there yet weirdly fitting, I think a lot of us are conceptually sold. It’s more a matter of the team capitalizing on the idea and executing it well. I love that this project got greenlit.

On the survivor side, Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a race to find hidden power keys, then protect a startup system from the raider (the iconic DBZ villain) long enough to activate the Super Time Machine. The more keys you find, the quicker the startup system will go. As a backup option for whenever the raider inevitably destroys the startup system (on account of, again, being an all-powerful entity), there’s a way to use beacons to summon an emergency time machine — just one at a time! — which players can selfishly use to flee on their own or escape together. There’s also an overall time limit for the match, too.

On the raider front, if every survivor is wiped out through a mix of passive and active skills, it’s considered a “complete victory.” I’m immediately into the idea of playing as Cell, who starts in larval form and munches on civilian NPCs and survivors to evolve. Every time an evolution happens, the raider can wipe out an area of the map, “and the range where survivors can move becomes narrower, making the action more tense in the latter half of the game.” Cell’s final form can do a Perfect Kamehameha, which just sounds fun.

Another mechanic I’m into: props! Survivors can use the Change skill to transform into random junk and hide in plain sight. It’s often tense and hilarious. I am on the fence about Dragon Change, a limited-time ability that requires setup but essentially lets normal folks turn into Vegeta or Piccolo for a bit. (I get why the familiar faces are here, though.)

Using Dragon Change to morph into Piccolo in Dragon Ball: The Breakers

After watching the beta rundown video, I’m glad it exists — it feels necessary. Dragon Ball: The Breakers has a lot of ideas to juggle, especially on the survivor side, and if you’re going to play, it’s worth getting a high-level overview before stumbling into a live match.