Borderlands 3: expectations and desires for the new Gearbox shooter


For more than four years, the news regarding the announcement of Borderlands 3 has been floating in the ether, except to be often completely unfounded. In these days however it seems that something in Gearbox is really moving: with an eloquent Tweet, in fact, the US software house has given an appointment to PAX East (to be held from 28 to 31 March in Boston ) for an important announcement. The image accompanying the message published on Twitter seems to be clear: everything points to Borderlands 3. In any case, before finding out what the future of the saga will hold for us, recently landed also on PSVR with the virtual reality version of Borderlands 2, we decided to draw up a list with some of the features we would like to see in the next chapter of the series, from more macroscopic structural elements, to smaller but equally relevant features.

Open map structure and greater weight to the exploration

The current world of triple A video games seems to see the open world approach as an almost inevitable feature. Although the previous Borderlands chapters presented maps that were already open and freely explorable, we don't think that Borderlands 3 would give its best by switching to a completely open world structure .

Furthermore, one of the strengths of the previous chapters resided precisely in the most framed and linear level design that benefited, from an aesthetic point of view, from constant passages between different biomes. A variety that would be very difficult to reproduce in an open world, at least not without big compromises. Yet we think that the old layout of the maps is equally inadequate: the ideal would be to aim for something in between, larger but still limited areas, each full of linear dungeons that can be accessed without running into loads.

In short, a setting " open map " that can remember – in very large lines – that of the recent Metro: Exodus, with a structure and a vastness clearly adequate to the type of experience. Furthermore we would like the exploration to be enhanced, through the inclusion of optional areas and areas that only the most attentive players are able to discover.

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No further setting for missions, but places that can break the linearity of dungeons and give greater value to the discovery of the game world, perhaps even providing small playful rewards.

A cooperative online game, but not a Game as a Service

Some recent rumors would suggest that Borderlands 3 could be presented as Game as a Service . The good diffusion of titles that follow this development philosophy could encourage Gearbox to proceed in this direction: in our opinion, however, it would not be a great idea.

We think that in this way Borderlands 3 would leave behind the pleasant taste of the most intimate matches and strictly between friends, maybe even in split-screen (a feature that should make his return), or even solo. Not to mention the difficulty in managing such an experience and in presenting it to an increasingly critical and demanding public.

Revision of the quest design: less content, but more significant

Let's be clear: the Borderlands trilogy has always sported a rather weak quest design. Luckily this defect was overshadowed by an excellent loot system and really nice supporting elements that made even the worst of the fetch quests fun.

Currently, however, we do not know if we would be able to withstand a succession of missions that ask us to recover an ever increasing number of objects, or to retrace far and wide environments already visited to find the audiolog that we could have obtained otherwise. . There would need to be a pruning of less significant tasks to give space to more structured and valid missions, from every point of view. Less content, therefore, but that can be more elaborate and worthy of our time.

Improvement of the vehicle system

In perfect style from Mad Max apocryphal the Borderlands saga has always included the possibility of moving with the use of vehicles. The idea was not bad, yet it was performed in just a sufficient manner: the sections aboard the buggies were tedious because of an inaccurate driving system and the extreme difficulty in overcoming the various natural asperities.

Borderlands 3 could give new luster to the means of transport improving its driveability and assigning it greater value during the exploration sections (perhaps even dedicating specific contents to it). Who knows if we will see flying vehicles …

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A new world

The planet Pandora was an exceptional setting, not only for its look that winked at the "madmaxiane" wastelands , but also for its reduced gravitational attraction, which guaranteed freedom of movement and excellent exploitation of verticality.

These last features are the ones we would most like to find in Borderlands 3 (without the excesses of The Pre-Sequel), but from the aesthetic point of view a change of setting would be ideal. A new planet or more than one, with different biomes and unpublished factions.

Predefined characters and new classes

Borderlands 3 should continue to provide predefined characters (customizable with distinct skill branches ) and reject a custom hero creation system. It would be easier, in this way, to describe the narrative background of the various " Cacciatori della Cripta " and create exchanges between the protagonists, along the lines of what happens in BioWare RPGs.

The idea of ​​having pre-established roles – but in any case fluid – also makes it possible to enrich the strategic substratum, as in fact happened in the previous chapters. In this regard, it would be nice to see a more marked differentiation of the available classes, present perhaps even in greater numbers than in the past.

New guns and melee weapons

In a game that makes the variety of the paraphernalia its greatest boast, it is rather obvious to want to see new types of sputapiombo ever more crazy and peculiar. It is important that the successful loot-based procedural generation system should not fail, among whose variables we would not mind even finding simple melee weapons.

After all, if you remember, in the old chapters there were specific classes that focused a lot on melee damage: why not turn what was a simple secondary function into a foreground element Swords, daggers, axes or hammers would not look out of place with all the rest and indeed would marry perfectly with the over-the-top climate that has always characterized the series.

The return of the Grinder and a "lite" customization system [19659003] Weapons modification is a very delicate subject to talk about Borderlands . A more complex and stratified system would in fact destroy the entire loot system, one of the most important elements of the Gearbox game. On the other hand, however, the randomness of the system could cause so many problems especially for the more experienced players. Borderlands The Pre-Sequel had introduced the Grinder, which was nothing but a shredder that "ate" three unwanted weapons and "spat" one of greater rarity.

A nice gimmick that could be perfected and re-proposed also in Borderlands 3. It would not hurt even the presence of a system that allows to modify some specificities of an instrument, in a similar way to what happens with the Mysticism of Diablo III : a " reroll "of an undesirable feature, changing the viewfinder or selecting a different skin. Nothing that can completely break down the loot system (especially because it would be features designed for the end game), but something that can at least reduce the hours of grinding needed to get a piece with perfect statistics.

Nuove multiplayer activity: procedural content and bosses

To meet the needs of the "hardcore" players, Borderlands 3 could introduce new activities exclusively designed for multiplayer . The huge bosses of the past could return, perhaps inserted in longer and more structured dungeons that could be faced by teams of six or even eight players.

The use of algorithms to create procedural zones (strictly secondary) is not an idea to be excluded a priori, given that for those who dedicate themselves to grinding, repeating missions that are always the same can in the long run be soporific. We realize, however, that this is an element that requires a considerable effort to be developed in a proper manner.

A sensible use of microtransactions

Given the current trend in the world of video games it is extremely unlikely that Borderlands 3 does not exploit a system of microtransactions . And so we might as well hope that the developers will implement it in a non-invasive and sensible way

No buyable weapons or packages to find equipment, only aesthetic elements such as skins, aspects for the various characters and, possibly, emotes. In this way one would also have the opportunity to take care of an aspect that in the previous chapters had been almost completely omitted.