It’s been a few days since Joshua and I streamed Borderlands 3 on the Kotaku Twitch channel, so we decided to do a brief video check-in to talk about our thoughts on the game so far. Josh will share his full thoughts on the game in a review soon, but you can check out our video to hear us talk about topics like the corny Ace Baron character, utilizing Zane’s shield ability for a nice element of tactical positioning, the game’s overall misanthropic tone, and our favorite loadouts so far.

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Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.

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DISCUSSION

bigvanvader
Big Van Vader

Jokes and writing in Borderlands were always a mixed bag, generally not funny. But it’s part of the world they created, and it fits their world, so you live with it or you don’t. You could say the same thing about BL1 and BL2 and TPS. Nothings changed except maybe some people were younger back then than they are now.

Gameplay wise, BL3 is fantastic, from the combat, to skill trees, to guns and their mechanics/sounds/skins.

The UI is still atrocious. Gearbox needs to scrap what they have and design something new.

PC Optimization is still suffering.

My real grip though is with the extra heart and thought put into level designs. BL2 was a rare gaming anomaly: it was an immediate sequel to a successful launch tile by relatively new Developer, created by a passionate, invigorated team hot off the success off that first title, who put everything they had into BL2. That’s why it was so damned large and revolutionary; full of new ideas, creativity, easter eggs, hidden secrets, etc.

BL3 has the soul of BL2, but it lacks that extra heart that made BL2 special. I don’t get the same sense of passion put into the challenges, level design, side quests on average, etc. BL2 had instant memorable zones and quests. BL3? Not so much. The challenges are all redundant from zone to zone and it lacks the overall enemy variety and creativity BL2 had. Mostly, its just recycling and improving everything they did in BL2 without adding a whole ton more: take what you have, make it better. A fine formula, but not enough to give it the same legs BL2 had. DLC always helps, but I try and look at it as base game to base game now having beaten normal mode of BL3 this morning.

Great game overall, just not as impressive when compared to BL2 at its release.

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