Borderlands 3: More of the Same

So borderlands 3 came out a short while back. Annoyingly epic exclusive although I managed to pick it up in the badly managed epic mega sale for a nice discount before they realised their mistake and pulled it.

If you've played borderlands 1/2/1.5 then you've played 3 it doesn't really innovate much. It has the same fps looter shooter gameplay with the same odd characters and stylized pseudo cell shaded graphics. The story revolve around this cult setup by these two twins who want to use the vaults to take over the world ... yes it's paper thin cliched. Their character traits such that they are is that the two of them are like social media streamer types making videos for their followers and doing shout outs and such ... so insufferable.

The action this time is spread across multiple planets each with slightly different looks and fauna (all trying to kill you) you walk and or drive across it (the vehicle controls are the same really odd clunky view aim to steer mechanism previous games used) vehicles come in three flavours with quite a few upgrades to find in the world for different weapons booster etc.

The characters are varied each with unique special abilities I played as FL4K the beastmaster robot who has a pet (you can select one of three a sort of dog a monkey or a spider ant) with it's own abilities and progressive upgrades. One primary skill then 2 additional buff type skills and a bunch of modifiers like you get health boosts when you pet attacks or your guns do more damage etc. I took the fire raks skill which had a series of fire breathing birds appear. The boosters I had then increased the number I could call and then had them return health. This was fairly OP tearing through normal enemies recharging my health at the same time.

Other options are a siren who punches stuff, a agent who has a drone, and a gunner with a summonable mech.

The normal gameplay is the standard borderlands run and gun lob grenades kill everything then collect all the guns that spill out of enemies like they were a gun pinata rinse and repeat.

The guns are the same crazy random loot with the pistol, shotgun, smg, rifle, sniper, and rocket launcher types then randomized stats on top with different rarities common, uncommon, rare, Epic, and legendary with progressively more additions and better stats the possibility of elemental damage.

One new change being alternate fire modes where guns sometimes have optional modes like a tazer or rocket or can switch between different elemental attack types (fire, corrosion, shock, radiation, cryo). Specific makes of guns act certain ways one brand have a shield that deploys when using precision aim, one turned into a grenade or a turret when empty and you just throw it rather than reload, one has ricochettes that will randomly hit other targets and so on. Some have entirely unique bonuses as you get the legendary types You get so many guns you continually swapping things out having temporary favourites as things progress swapping things out to deal with certain enemy types ie incendiary damage is very effective against flesh, shock chews through shields very quickly, corrosion destroys armor, radiation causes victims to explode damaging others around them, and cryo slows and eventually freezes enemies solid. They all have some sort of dot type effect that kicks in at a certain point.

So it's a rock paper scissors sort of thing with some enemies having specific resistances or the like. This makes some of the weapons that can switch between elements quite handy a shock and incendiary weapon is great for some of the tougher shielded enemies use shock to eliminate their shield switch to incendiary to finish them off.

the moment to moment run and gun is pretty satisfying powerful weapons bonuses for headshots grenades to soften groups up and powers to add some extra fun to the mix.

There is hub ship level to go to between planets or just when ever you need to empty your inventory of all the guns you've looted. there you can buy upgrades to your backpack or ammo stores to carry more loot and ammo those get progressively more and more expensive and in my playthrough I didn't manage to upgrade anything fully with the 5th level (of 8) being something like 700K to upgrade.

I had some fun playing it I know the humor isn't to everyone's taste but it has it's moments I liked one section where a duo of Pain and Terror (voiced by magicians Penn and Teller) have a sort of thunderdome for the cult but streamed on twitch and as you approach it you hear the commentary on the various contestants meeting violent and painful ends. It doesn't' innovate much it has slightly better graphics but given its heavily stylized art style it's somewhat hard to tell over previous versions since that sort of style tends to age fairly well.

The epic shenanigans is a kick in the teeth but it does come to steam fairly soon I think it was a six month exclusive rather than a year. Bottom line more of the same so if you liked the previous games you'll probably like this.


I liked your tldr last night. I enjoyed BL2, will pick that up again when you're back from your little holiday.

brainwipe's picture

playing BL2 did show a few differences I'd not noticed minor things like the running slide option and the ground pound attack (running then crouching and falling then attacking respectively) it also has the new loot options where unlike BL2 you can set it to have individual loot rather than shared loot while cooping. It also seems like BL3 auto collects health and ammo from crates where as you have to manually pick it up by holding the action button in BL2.

Minor things but slight improvements

Evilmatt's picture