Borderlands 3 and the endless search for a bigger backpack

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 is a deserving successor to the looter shooter saga. The new worlds that you discover in the campaign are enough to keep you captivated and interested, but the true addiction is the loot. Even after filling in legendary gear into most of my slots, I’m still looking forward to even greater drops. Such is the way that looter shooters keep you coming back for more. But even after more than 40+ hours of gameplay, I’m still looking forward to that next legendary drop.

How Does It Look?

The art direction has not changed much from the original cel-shaded-like original. The cel-shading style is absolutely easy on the eyes and makes the environment and characters pop so much that your TV is likely maxing out its contrast ratios. For Playstation Pro owners, don’t miss out on that Graphics Preference option for Performance Mode, which bumps up the frame rate dramatically beyond the 30 FPS cap. I was absolutely hating the default frame rate and response until I discovered that little toggle. This graphics option is very similar to God of War’s performance option which practically did the same thing.

How’s the Story?

It’s basically you and your Crimson Raiders Gang versus a couple of superpowered annoying YouTubers. If I could skip all the cutscenes, I would, just to get back into the action as soon as possible. The story plays second fiddle to the loot system. For me, looting a new legendary brought tears to my eyes where a major character death would still have me looking for the skip button. This brings me to my next point: you cannot skip the cutscenes. You are forced to watch the story and listen to all the dialogue. I did like how if I wandered too far from a talking NPC, they would pop up on my HUD video feed, but still no way to skip and hang up.

Four classes.

Which of the 4 Classes Should You Pick?

For my class, I picked the Gunner, Moze. The Gunner’s special skill is that at any moment, I can summon and enter my mech, Iron Bear, to dish out major damage using 2 weapons of your choosing. The biggest drawback is that you cannot pilot your mech for very long because it runs out of gas fairly quickly within a minute or less. Granted there are a couple of skills you can spec into to make Iron Bear more gas efficient, it’s still not a forever thing. When my Beastmaster friend joined my game, I was absolutely jealous of his continuously present pet. I’m sure that the damage all balances out in the end, but visiting these desolate planets with a companion helps.

Does This Legendary Weapon Bring You Joy? (Limited Inventory Slots)

I am an absolute loot whore when it comes to these games. That being said, with my current backpack upgrade at only 28 slots, I could not carry out every drop from the battlefield. I often found myself running back to the nearest vending machine to sell my excess goods, then returning to loot the leftovers. I would run through entire levels filled with respawned enemies just to not leave any gun behind. So how am I rewarded for this OCD activity? It just goes full circle, because I end up spending this money for an even larger backpack upgrade. Rinse and repeat.

My level 13 MIRV pistol that carried me to the endgame.

Next On the Nerfing Table: The MIRV missile

Whenever I found myself backed into a corner or a boss that needed annihilating, I took advantage of a specific game-breaking weapon trait. I essentially had a near limitless supply of explosive homing MIRV missiles. When all hope was lost and my health fell low, I tucked tail and lugged more than a dozen missiles in all directions from a safe corner. I had the ability to turn the tide of any battle from a lowly level 13 pistol. I’m sure a nerf is currently at play for this weapon trait since I have noticed the ammo cost dramatically rising for other versions of my MIRV gun. Every MIRV missile barrage ended up costing 80 pistol ammo from that point forward. With other ridiculous traits and skills, there’s likely to be other game-breakers, but well, I thought my unlimited missiles were kinda fun. Fun while it lasts.

Picking Up Things I Can’t Equip Yet

I found it weird that it was not until 20 hours into the game that I would unlock that 4th weapon slot. In fact, after many hours of looking at the Equipment Menu Screen, it’s hard to not notice that there was a great deal of equipment slots that you would not be able to take advantage of until pretty far into the campaign. Maybe this was a way for the developers to show progression, but an even bigger slap was picking up equipment that I could not even use yet. It’s nothing like picking up weapons above your level because with that scenario, you know exactly when you would be able to slot a weapon above your level. With class mods and artifacts, it’s a toss-up for when you’ll be able to utilize them. When you start picking them up before you can even equip them, that’s a loot whore’s nightmare.

Did You Just Take My Legendary Drop?

The greatest enjoyment that I got out of this game was in co-op mode. There’s no better way to go through a campaign mode than with a few of your buddies providing you cover fire and reviving you from death. A great addition to co-op is an option for the group leader to choose the type of Group Mode. In Cooperation Mode, loot is individualized, but Coopetition Mode is the more traditional mode where you can steal guns from your ally’s find. There’s no crappier feeling than seeing that purple or gold light disappear. Could I have used that weapon? You’ll never know in Coopetition Mode.

It looks like a familiar scene from the anime, FLCL.

Borderlands 3 is fun, plain and simple. Everything about this game is playful, and it never takes itself too seriously. The gameplay is satisfying, loot is abundant, and exploding enemies leave a nice mark. You’ll be smiling with green and blue drops, but you’ll be howling at the moon for purple and gold. There are also quite of bit of Easter eggs if you are eagle-eyed enough. If you enjoyed any of the previous looter shooter games, then this is a definite must buy.

Spaceballs reference.

The game was provided by the studio for review purposes.

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