There are so many looter – shooter games available these days that we are spoiled for choice. From Destiny to The Division and even Anthem, all of them offer a vast amount of loot to be found and a seemingly limitless amount of potential to build the character the way you want them. But there is one that stands above the rest, one that has been through 4 different iterations, as well as a spin off Tell-Tale game. One game that has had an amusingly annoying character that we all love to hate but would miss if he was ever cut from the game. This, of course, is CL4P-TP. That dancing, singing, annoying and frustratingly useless little robot built by Hyperion. The Borderlands would not be the same without him.
In my last review, I joked about how I was having issues with gun drops because when I think 2K, my mind instantly thinks of the Borderlands franchise; the NBA series being the last game I would think of. Little did I know that 2K was in the process of supplying me with a copy of Borderlands 3.
Developed by Gearbox Software, Borderlands 3 takes us back to the troubled planet of Pandora where we are introduced to a new pack of heroes eagerly seeking fame and fortune contained within the Alien Vaults dotted over the planet’s surface. Finding some familiar faces, you are thrust into the thick of it as you join the Crimson Raiders, led by the Siren Lilith, known to her enemies as “The Firehawk”. Battling it out with the cult-like Children of The Vault, you and what is left of the Crimson Raiders, must fight across the galaxy while trying to stop the Calypso twins from opening other vaults for their own evil reasons.
Borderlands 3 introduces four new characters for you to choose from, each more different than the last:
Amara is another Siren, one of only six to exist in the Galaxy. Unlike Lilith who can phase and become invisible, or Maya who can trap enemies in an ethereal sphere, Amara uses her powers more offensively. Amara can project an ethereal version of herself to dash in a straight line, damaging any enemy caught in its path; capture an enemy in a giant fist while the other comes crashing down to squash them like a bug; or leap into the air while summoning a circle of ethereal fists to slam into the ground, dealing insane amounts of damage to anyone too close for comfort.
FL4K is the Beast master, accompanied by loyal creatures that help to deal some extra elemental damage, while soaking up some on their own. FL4K himself has a few tricks up his sleeve, being able to teleport the beasts to a specific location, turn invisible to stalk his prey and deal extra damage, or send a flock of Rakk at an unsuspecting enemy.
Zane is the Operative, a semi-retired corporate hitman making use of special gadgets to dispatch his enemies. Zane can throw down a shield projector to protect allies and himself from incoming ordinance; launce a small SNTNL drone that hovers close by peppering enemies with its own machine guns; or drop a Digi-Clone of yourself, distracting enemies while you sneak into a better position, or allowing you to quickly switch places when things get a bit rough.
Finally, we have my personal favourite: Moze the Gunner. Moze is ex-military; the last of her squadron after a mission gone bad. Moze can call in her mech Iron Bear, making use of its armoured hull and powerful weaponry. Launch a hail of bullets with miniguns, burn your enemies with flame throwers, or blast them apart with railguns. Iron Bear can be set up in several different ways and is a whole lot of fun!
One of the biggest changes I have found, and undoubtedly my favourite is that each character, apart from Amara, is able to mix different abilities. As per all Borderlands games, you have 3 separate skill trees, each with their own interesting perks. FL4K’s pet’s for example, are tied in with certain skill trees, however you can pick a pet from one skill tree but pick the “ultimate” ability from another. I for example, am running the monkey-like pet due to the little rascal carrying a gun, but I have picked the skill tree that allows me to teleport him to a targeted location while dealing radiation damage to my opponent.
Zane takes this a step further, by actively allowing players to choose two skill trees at the expense of being able to throw grenades, making him perfect for co-op games due to his supportive playstyle. Amara on the other hand, follows with the older Borderlands game by only being able to select a single skill set – but being a Siren, she is powerful enough to not really need more than one anyway.
The bazillion weapons have also received a huge overhaul, with an additional two manufacturers being added to the list. Gone are the days where a weapon can randomly have the grenade perk, with manufacturers having their own specific abilities on top of any other random abilities they may have.
Vladof weapons now have alternative fire methods, with things as simple as swapping from single to burst fire, right through to swapping from bullets to grenades.
Hyperion weapons deploy a shield when you aim down the sights, while Tediore weapons turn into various types of grenades when you reload them – a four projectile MIRV every time you reload anyone?
Borderlands 3 also introduces the new COV weapons. These bad boys don’t need to be reloaded but have a bad habit of overheating while in use, causing them to break down after a period of time. Every manufacturer does something different and there are plenty of beautiful weapons to find.
Borderlands 3 remains true to the Borderlands series, keeping the things that we all know and love from the previous games. Controls are nice and easy, following the norm when it comes to first person shooters. The art style remains untouched, with the familiar comic-book style graphics having received a face lift, while witty catchphrases are prominent within the voice acting.
Everything I loved about One, Two and the Pre-Sequel have stayed while a new story with new, outrageous characters and tough boss fights, hilarious character interactions and pumping music.
Borderlands 3 has pushed the boundaries of what I thought possible and opened the flood gates for what can be expected of a looter shooter game. With all these choices, I do not expect to be playing anything else for a while!
- All the guns
- Remains true to the original games, only better
- Easy controls
- Exciting and expansive game play