I love Borderlands. Ever since I saw the first game’s trailer, I’ve been in love with its FPS gameplay, funny and bold character design, loot-progression systems, and scenic locations. All of these combined to create an experience which is addictive, funny as hell, and most importantly, fun.
Borderlands has and always will do a great job at providing an experience which, at the core, is about enjoying every second of the gameplay. Yes, there are more story and plot developments as the games move forward, but the emphasis is still about getting better guns, completing jobs on the bounty board, killing whatever gets in your way, and talking to the bombastic population on Pandora whilst doing so.
Now with the seemingly inevitable Borderlands 3 FINALLY being officially revealed post-awesome-3D-model-trailer teaser, I can happily talk about what I/we want in this new Borderlands game.
The things that I want from Borderlands 3 separate into two main categories: what will be more of the same, and what will be new. It’s easy to guess the former since the trailer showed us hints of so much good Borderlands to come, but we still don’t know the specifics of the game. Something I reckon we will hear more about near E3 time. Maybe even on the Microsoft stage.
More of the Same
I want more locations, more baddies, more guns, and well, more everything. The trailer released during PAX East almost guarantees every one of these elements will be delivered in their droves.
Following the exciting end to Borderlands 2 where it was teased that there were other vaults located on various planets, Gearbox seems to have delivered on that particularly promising premise by showcasing some pretty different looking locations which are almost definitely located on other planets. This is very exciting because now Gearbox aren’t limited to just Pandora or its moon. Now they can explore other locations with more enemy variety and more characters to meet. Speaking of which…
Characters are intrinsic to the Borderlands name. When I think of Borderlands 2, the first character I think of (apart from Handsome Jack and Claptrap) is Hammerlock. Not just because he’s the one who guides you through the first few quests, but because his OTT Britishness was so memorable, even many years later after playing it. We need more of the characters we love, including those from Tales for the Borderlands which makes this entry in the franchise ever-more special, but we also need some new individuals to meet, and to fall in love with. It almost feels like the Avengers with so many characters coming together.
Individuals which we will undoubtedly meet are the new villains, the Calypso Twins. Although I initially disliked their design, they look as ferocious as they do powerful, and I look forward to discovering their personalities in the coming months. Bear in mind however it will be hard to outdo the performance of Handsome Jack and his diabolical yet hilarious and entertaining trail of death which he left behind.
Further to that, a bazillion guns; one of the main marketing lines for Borderlands since its first public inception. While there always has been lots and lots of guns in Borderlands, to massively increase the variety of the types available would greatly help mix up the gameplay variety to keep it fresh for a long period of time. This is especially important since Borderlands 2 is one of a few video games which I truly believe is slightly too long, as hypocritical as that may sound. If we’re looking at another 25-50-hour campaign similar to that, or perhaps even longer, we need variety and we need the ambition to collect the loot to progress onto harder missions for a long time.
Lastly and the general RPG mechanics just have to be mentioned. I’m more than happy to keep the same since they work so well, but I expect they’ll be slightly tweaked. And of course, that beautifully trademark art style which is always great to look at.
This isn’t new, but it is a deciding point for me as to whether Borderlands 3 will reach the heights it has the potential to. The gameplay for Borderlands has always been good, and with the 60fps on the Handsome Collection, it was even occasionally great. But I think most will agree that the gunplay has never been 10/10. But I think that Gearbox can make it 10/10. With enough attention to detail when it comes to the sound of firing an electric shotgun, the look of it and the aiming mechanics, I do believe that Gearbox can create first person shooting mechanics which they’ve never quite touched on before.
Something which I’ve never latched on to is the Borderlands score. Yes, the trailers and credits always have dealt with an excellent choice in music, and to be honest, every Borderlands trailer is absolutely fantastic at doing what it does, but was there a theme for Handsome Jack? Was there a sad song to hear at the death of characters we loved? Or an outstanding combat track which made us want to trigger combat even more often than usual? Not that I can recall.
Creating a score developed for specific characters, places and battles, could be a really great addition to the already brilliant Borderlands formula. Failing this, I’m more than happy for them to include more licensed music. Is there anyone who played Borderlands 1 who doesn’t love ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’?
Leaving possibly the best until last, and going off of the Gearbox press release about the game’s co-op mechanics, it seems that they’ve possibly fixed one of the biggest disappointments, at least as someone who played through Borderlands 2 by myself – that being the inability to run multiple New Game +’s because of how the characters and enemies progressed.
Now with enemy scaling to each player despite who you’re playing with in co-op, hopefully our friendship dreams can come true. I can play with my level 30 mate while I’m level 5, we can have a great time, and (I pray) not have to worry about sharing loot either. I hope that this scaling system is fixed because if it is, you can be sure that I’ll be an extremely experienced vault hunter indeed by the end of this exciting new adventure.
But what do you think? What do you really want in Borderlands 3? Let us know in the comments section.