The looter shooter is a hard genre of game to get right, but Gearbox managed to get pretty close with its series of Borderlands games. As fun as they were, it’s important not to look back on them with rose tinted glasses. There were definitely some areas I’d have liked to see improved and I’m hoping Borderlands 3 will address the issues and also add some new features along the way.
These are some of the things I’d like to see added or changed in Borderlands 3.
Less Frustrating Co-Op
The Borderlands games are both simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating co-op experiences I’ve ever had. It’s easy to look back on my Borderlands adventures with friends and remember the good times, but the games weren’t as friendly to co-op play as one would hope. Features such as shared loot or an easy way to play with friends of differing levels were nowhere to be found. The best way to play was to keep a single save you played with your friends where everyone was on the same page.
Thankfully, Borderlands 3 looks to be addressing some of these issues by adding shared loot and level sync, but I’m still left wondering about other issues, such as the fact the games up to this point were all client side affairs. Editing saves or cheating were simple and straightforward, making it frustrating playing with randos. Let’s keep it all server side this time around, eh?
Better AI & Less Bullet Sponge
After playing The Division 2, I think I just want a bit more from my cannon fodder. I don’t want Borderlands 3 to be a cover shooter, but the AI throughout the series has always been a bit lacking. Make the AI act more aggressively when I’m reloading. Keep me on my toes with attempts to flank me, etc.
Also, every loot shooter could benefit from stealing Division 2’s physical armor mechanic. Some level of sponginess is expected in a looter shooter, but it’s way more interesting having to strike weak points and physically break off armor to get to an enemy’s real health. I’d love to see this sort of mechanic show up in Borderlands 3.
More Vault Hunters & Better Customization
What I really wanted from Borderlands 3 was an always online games-as-a-service game a’la Destiny or The Division, but that’s obviously not happening now. If we can’t have character creation, how about more DLC Vault Hunters? Borderlands 2 and TPS had two additional characters released post-launch, but I’d like to see more added with Borderlands 3. If it’s going to be a long time in between games, I want to get as much out of 3 as I can and new Vault Hunters go a long way towards keeping the experience fresh.
There’s tons of vanity DLC for Borderlands 2, but palette swaps and different heads won’t cut it in 2019. Give us more vanity options, both free and DLC, in Borderlands 3.
These games always offer a variety of melee-centric build options, but I’ve never found the actual melee to be incredibly engaging. Amara, the new Siren playable character, looks to be melee-focused, but we don’t actually know how Borderlands 3 is improving on melee (if at all) at this point. One way to improve melee would be to include actual melee weapons instead of just guns with bayonets and the like. Can you imagine all of the gun manufacturers with their own zany versions of melee weapons? Maliwan elemental beam swords? Sign me up!
Dungeons & Other Group Content
Borderlands has had some more multiplayer-focused content in the past, including raid bosses, but I’d like to see formal dungeons players can run with friends or even queue into directly. Even better would be some form of Diablo 3’s Rifts. Yes, I will suggest this feature for every looter out there. Endless replayability is a goal all these games should aim for.
Borderlands is a great fit for something like Seasons. Gearbox could tweak the game’s world and enemies each season to give players new ways to play and think about the game and unlock Season exclusive loot.
Storytelling has never really been one of the series’ strengths, but Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands proved the IP was strong enough to support an interesting story. Putting together something compelling that can be enjoyed in co-op play is no easy task, but I’m hoping Gearbox leveled up some of its story chops this time around. Less reliance on memes would be a great start at the very least. Memes just don’t age well.
Slag was an element added in Borderlands 2 that made enemies take increased damage from all other sources of damage. Slagging your enemies became practically mandatory at higher difficulty levels, which got obnoxious real fast. Let’s ditch Slag this time around.
More Action Skills
Sure, these skills were often very impactful and could be built around in interesting ways, but I’d like to weave skills in a bit more with my gunplay in Borderlands 3 instead of just using a single one occasionally. There are already hints that this may be the case with characters like FL4K shown with all three of his pets, so I’m hoping there’s more options on this front. Something more along the lines of Anthem where you've got a couple of skills and an ultimate would be ideal.
What do you want to see added or fixed in Borderlands 3?