Battleborn – Borderlands fans should read this

BattlebornGearbox Software has been continuing to let out character previews, trailers, and interviews about their upcoming title Battleborn. I continue to find myself excited but apprehensive about the title given my affinity for Borderlands and because the game is treading into new waters. A recent interview furthers my belief that this game will feel very much like a MOBA and in many ways refutes some of those who disagreed with me about Battleborn having MOBA influences. Randy Pitchford directly credits Defense of the Ancients and other MOBA games for inspiring the way they have designed Battleborn. He even made a point to say the differences from the classic overhead view to a first person shooter is just a matter of the conduit whereby you interact with the game changing. I do think, however, much of what he said in a recent interview with Verge furthers my concern for hardcore Borderlands fans rejecting and criticizing Battleborn for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading

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LawBreakers – MOBA Shooters a new norm

LawBreakersGears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has unveiled a new game, LawBreakers, that will be a free-to-play multiplayer shooter. LawBreakers will be the first release from the new studio Boss Key, and it’s being described as a, “five-on-five, team-based shooter where law enforcement squares off against criminals”. In a similar vein to what we have seen from Overwatch, Battleborn, and Gigantic, it has clear MOBA influences with a dynamic cast of characters to choose from. There are some things in the gameplay trailer that have me excited, but given how many other titles are falling into this new category I have some concerns. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Legendary Items

Borderlands LegendaryBorderlands has always been a franchise where legendary weapons are coveted and hunted for by both the casual and hardcore fans of the game. In all three of the current titles the best and most illusive weapons have been cause for both criticism and controversy. Some have said the drop rates are too low, and I tend to agree with them. It’s also a point of disagreement within the community about whether or not duping weapons is acceptable or wrong, and some even go so far as to hack into their game to boost their weapons and gear. Recently the adjusting of legendary drop rates from Gearbox has been well received and has also seen a surge of increased engagement on YouTube channels and Twitch streams. Hopefully this means they are looking into improving or changing how legendaries behave in the next title, so I’m going to put forth my own suggestion on what they could do. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Side Missions

Borderlands 2 side missionsBorderlands, like many other RPGs, has a wide variety and significant number of side missions. One of the things I have always liked about the side missions, especially in Borderlands 2, is that they are tied to specific characters, story elements, and often offer unique mission item rewards. A problem with this system, however, is that on your first and second playthrough the missions don’t scale properly. You end up feeling torn between playing all the side missions at your level and then being over-leveled for the main missions or skipping the side missions and quickly finding yourself under-leveled and outmatched on story missions. Either way you approach it, it isn’t that exciting embarking on missions that are multiple levels beneath you to get mission items that are too weak so you just sell them. So what can be done? Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Melee

Borderlands meleeAs I continue my series of posts about Borderlands 3 and things that I would like to see added, I turn my sights, or fists, to melee. Borderlands is clearly a franchise built around the shooter platform and genre, and I’m sure something they intentionally avoided is the “one slice kill” mechanics from Call of Duty. It always felt a little silly to shoot an enemy numerous times but one quick swoosh from a knife and down he goes. I do think, however, that Borderlands runs the risk of having the exact opposite problem. Melee does practically nothing unless you are Krieg as even Zer0 saw significant nerfs to his melee. Even if both Zer0 and Krieg had sufficiently strong melee attacks, it is woven to their character and skill trees, and not to the game world itself. I think there are some simple ways to open up the game’s fighting mechanics, since so many melee enemies charge up in your face, to give each player a unique melee attack specific to their character. Fans of melee characters, don’t worry, my idea would make your favorite character type cooler, so just hang with me. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Reversing the weapon pyramid

borderlands gunIf there is something Borderlands has consistently sold itself on, it’s the insane amount of weapons in their games. Practically everything you kill or open drops a weapon of some kind. Not only does the game offer a lot of guns quantitatively with respect to drops and loot chests, it also has a creative variety of weapon types. And the guns aren’t just plentiful, they look great. Sub-machine guns have sleek looking clips that spin as you shoot, pistols can come with unique and helpful sights, and sniper rifles look futuristic and ruthless. The franchise deserves high and consistent praise for their wealth of creativity, innovation, and dynamic levels of use with their weapon system. However, like other RPG’s, it struggles with the end game, as the field of useful and effective weapons narrows significantly. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Introducing a male siren

siren maya borderlands 2Borderlands is a franchise driven by characters, both playable and non-playable. One of the continued lore elements that has carried through the series is the cryptic and somewhat unexplained existence of Sirens. We know from some narrative elements that there can only be six in the universe at a time, and even though some deny it, Randy Pitchford confirmed that Commandant Steele was in fact a siren. For skeptics, this clip shows her interacting with a vault key with some form of telekinetic power similar to other phase powers within the mythology of Borderlands. So with the death of two Sirens there is now a gap in the lore, leaving space for two new Sirens to enter the picture in Borderlands 3. Continue reading