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One Borderlands Journey Ends and Another Begins

Michael Bitton Posted:
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If you’ve been reading my columns over the last few weeks it should be plenty obvious that I am excited for Borderlands 3. So excited, in fact, that my friends and I have spent the summer re-playing through all of the games together in preparation for the third game. We recently completed our journey from the original game through Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel (as well as all of the DLC) and I finally finished Tales from the Borderlands for the first time.

Now that the full Borderlands experience is fresh in my memory, here are some things I’m looking forward to/hoping to find in Borderlands 3 when it launches on PC later today.

Improved Gunplay

Let’s face it, the gunplay across the series has ranged from terrible in the original Borderlands to serviceable in Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel. There’s a whole lot of room for improvement here. Fortunately, Gearbox has been looking at games like Destiny and even though I haven’t played it just yet, the gunplay in BL3 actually looks like something you’d expect from a modern shooter.

Better Story

The Borderlands games have never been an example of masterful storytelling, but they’re generally quite funny when the writers aren’t relying on memes. The chaotic setting allows for some zany antics and colorful characters, but I was never confident that the IP could support any real semblance of an elevated narrative. For years I’d heard that Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands proved people like me wrong by telling an amazing story in the Borderlands universe. Now that I’ve finally finished the game and experienced what a Borderlands story could be like without leaning heavily on memes and gags, I’m wanting more from the story in BL3. Unfortunately, reviews so far are painting a fairly mixed picture for the new game’s story, but we’ll have to see.

Quality of Life

BL2 was tons of fun, but it wasn’t perfect and TPS was just painful. Like the gunplay, there are lots of areas Gearbox could improve on in BL3.  I’ve seen quite a few things already that make me happy. There are some more obvious features, such as the ability to slide and mantle that will go a long way towards improving on the series’ clunky mobility. But there are tons of little things, too.

Among them are instanced loot, co-op level scaling so you can play with friends at any level, the ability to fast travel from anywhere (including to your car), respawning at the nearest save point when resetting a session to make boss farming easier, and lots more.

Expanded Endgame

This one is a mix of being happy with what I’ve seen so far and also hoping for more. With boss farming being easier, Proving Grounds as a kind of riff on Diablo III’s Rifts, raid bosses on the way, and Circle of Slaughter for some good ol’ horde mode action, it sounds like there will be a good deal to do after the credits roll. Three levels of Mayhem mode (think D3 Torment levels) should also help keep things fresh. And yet I still wonder if I’ll be able to get as much time out of the game as I’m hoping for. I know I’m in the vast minority here, but I actually do wish Borderlands 3 was more of a GaaS game like Destiny or The Division. I’m sure Gearbox will support BL3 with some great DLC, but at some point in the next two years it’s likely going to stop—and then what? Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was released six years ago! That’s a long time to wait for a new game in the series. Maybe Gearbox will give us Borderlands 4 sooner this time around, but it would be nice if they continued to extend the BL3 experience in a quasi-MMO fashion.

What are you looking forward to most or hoping to find in Borderlands 3? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB