Back to Pandora
It’s been seven years since Borderlands 2 came out in 2012, the sequel to an excellent game that continued the humour and style the first game had built. Now after such a long wait with we are back with the main characters we knew and loved. The game takes no time in dropping you right back in where you left off killing psychos and hoping something terrible happens to Claptrap with him meeting you right off the bus. While this game does take you to exotic new locations it eases you back in with the wasteland you know before jetting you off to murder your way across the stars.
You have four new characters (Moze, Fl4k, Amara and Zane) as is the Borderlands tradition and all of them are Vault Hunters. Vault Hunters are treasure hunters who are searching for the vaults as they contain power, money and weapons within. I choose to play as Moze, an ex-soldier that pilots a mech called Iron Bear that makes tanking in this game quite fun. This is due to the interchangeable weapons that can be attached to the mech from electrified railguns to spiked knuckle dusters for close combat. And if that isn’t enough firepower you can have a friend jump on the back to operate a turret for even more damage.
You also have almost the entire cast of all previous Borderland games with Lilth, Tiny Tina and Rhys Strongfork all making an appearance in this game, making it feel more like a reunion than a whole new game. For me this was great as I knew what the characters, I was meeting were like and had even played as a few of them in the past but there seems to be an assumption that you know who these characters are and why they are important. Yes, there are new characters in the game but with so many characters from previous games it did feel like it might not be as enjoyable if this is the first Borderlands you hop into.
To avoid to many spoilers, I’ll keep the details as light as possible but there will be some early game story so be aware. As mentioned you are a Vault Hunters who has travelled to Pandora answering the message of the Crimson Raiders who’s leader in Lilith from Borderlands 1 and 2. She is trying to stop the Children of the Vault from finding a vault and acquiring the power inside but they have been pushed to near annihilation until you arrive. You then carry out about a dozen missions you secure the location of a Vault on Promethea and I’ll leave it there so not to give too much away.
The story sticks to what is knows with the bad guys trying to get the vaults and you trying to stop them with little in the way of new twists. That is not necessarily a bad thing as the story is solid with enough changes to make it still feel different from previous games but some of the side missions did feel a bit repetitive at times.
So Why Come Back?
The Borderlands series was and arguably still is the best couch co-op game I have ever played with my friends as it allowed everyone easy access to jump into each other’s section of the story and the story and Borderlands 3 is no different. All you have to do is invite your friends into your game and they will not only be at whichever stage of the story you are at, and if they are at the same stage the progress they make in your game transfers over to their own. This means that if people want to enjoy playing the game in their own time they don’t lose out of being able to work together at a later date. Along with this they have changed how the loot system works so either you each have your own instancing meaning that everything you see can’t be seen by the other player or the classic first come first serve of the old games if you want to hate your friends.
In a game where you can throw a bouncing gun into a giant brain walking around in a suit or murder a guy for his travel mug you are bound to have plenty of laughs to share through your adventures. And I’d say if you want the full experience of Borderlands 3 get some friends round and hunt down some Vaults.
I found coming back to this series was that even after quite a few years was familiar, funny and enjoyable. It felt like I had only been away for a brief break and I was just kicking off another session of a great game with friends. And if your quick you can join in Borderlands 10 year aniversery starting October 1st, which includes more loot and a big releave at the end.