The Borderlands series has been running for almost 10 years now and will expand again later in the year, with Borderlands 3, a game that I was able to sink a number of hours into recently. But as this is the fourth shooter and fifth game in the series, there is a lot already included in the game, these are the things that are either wonderful or concerning additions.
It might not have been as obvious to me, if I had not played the Borderlands release on Xbox One prior to E3, but it was something I picked up right away. In Borderlands 3, you no longer feel like you are wearing concrete shoes when moving around, not only are you able to move faster, but there is more. Now you can jump over small barricades, something the other games have not done, but more than that, you can now pull yourself up onto ledges, roofs and other places, as long as it is a level edge to grab of course.
But that is not all, you can now slide and yes I know that might seem like a bit of a weird thing to be excited for, but you are now no longer stuck running into cover, then ducking to avoid taking more damage, it was something that I used quite a lot as I played it recently. The combination of the three inclusions, makes me want to experience the game in much more detail, so I can start to test that out fully.
The Calypso Twins, Troy and Tyreen are going to be just as fearsome as Handsome Jack, thanks to *REDACTED*, but while that is cool, they have an annoying problem, they live stream a lot of content. Live streaming is not bad on its own, but the game seems to be leaning into it as the current joke of today, that the other games have done with as well and after only hearing the sign off line of, “Like, Follow and Obey” I knew it was going to grate on my nerves.
And I was right, the line goes beyond the campy nature of the humour and devolves the moments, especially some earlier ones, that could have significant impact, to that of the butt of a South Park joke. The line has a place, it fits in with the persona that the Twins have building for themselves, but it just cheapens the game and I can only hope it is not going to stick around too much.
With the sheer number of guns that you can obtain, you would think loot management was something that the studio would take seriously and while they did a decent job in Borderlands 2, at least compared to the first game, there was still room to grow and now they have done amazing stuff. When you go into the menu to swap out a gun or item, the game will instinctively present you will items for that slot, no more having to scroll through your entire backpack worth of gear to find that new shield mod you picked up, winning.
Even better than that, the game will now let you equip the item before it even hits your bag, so if you find that perfect pistol to replace your bland one, you can do it on the run. In addition, now if you are out of space and you find an amazing weapon, but don’t want to drop the ones you have, the game will let you buy them from Marcus Munitions, if it is really special.
This is the one thing I was hoping would not be the case, the first two games are hard to replay, as you spend the opening of the games hunting various Skags and killing them for a number of ridiculous reasons and while that worked for them, the fact that one of your first missions here is to do the same is just not on.
I have no issue with the mission, the enemy or the planet, I just think it could have been something amazing to set the beginning of the game anywhere else and use any other creature as the required mission to obtain something. We have done this twice now and the third time was not needed, nor is it the charm.
Given that the game is starting on Pandora, exploring the world again could be fun, but rather than just stick with a few new locales on world, they have expanded the game like never before, with new planets. Eden-6 is a lush planet and the first time I can recall seeing something like this, since one of the first games DLC’s, there was a biosphere in Tales from the Borderlands, but that was isolate. The addition of Promethea and Athenas are also adding a lot more variety to where you can unload your vast collection of bullets into an almost limitless supply of psychos and robots.
While I enjoy the deserts of Pandora, two main titles and a spin off are enough for me and I am not longing for more worlds to explore, plus it opens up the chance that DLC or more titles could venture to new locations. I mean, does earth exist in the Borderlands universe and if so, can we see it, what about Mars, or something really out there, the options are limitless and now we have the chance to see.
After more than six hours with the game, across two events, I am happy to report that the shooting is as fun as you would hope it to be, but so far, I have been let down by the lack of anything else. The quests generally fall back to fetch quests, or kill ones, or the ever popular combining of the two, there has been no real variety in them. Of course, I am not expecting the game to transition from a shooter to a RTS or something mid-mission, but something more would be nice.
Given that this is the fourth shooter based title, anything new would be welcome, some base management, having folks from the base run out with you into the wilds or even being able to take photos of things, something more to help break up the shooting would be quite the welcome addition.
Given that the game is out in less than a month, most of my issues here might not change, but as I have only got a half dozen hours in the game, I am happy to be proven wrong on them.