With its plethora of guns, endless enemies to fight, and customization options that make you feel every bit as badass as the scariest of Bullymongs, Borderlands 2 was a fantastic role-playing shooter that ate many hours out of the lives of gamers everywhere in 2012.
But like any game, it had its flaws. And when the eventual Borderlands 3 releases (face it; we all know it’s coming), here are six things I’d like to see in the sequel.
LESSEN THE GRIND
Where the original Borderlands allowed you to either play alone or with friends, Borderlands 2 felt much more unforgiving to those who wanted to ride solo for the duration of the campaign. Grinding became something of a chore, and while I love me some side quests and mindless looting, it did start to get old when I continually died thanks to being outmatched and out-leveled by the game’s enemies. When Borderlands 3 releases, let’s take it back to basics and make a more friendly experience for both those who want to team up and those who would rather brave Pandora by themselves by allowing for faster leveling and better balancing.
BETTER WEAPON DROPS
While the game does boast an impressive amount of weapons, the majority of typical weapon drops usually consisted of cheap or weak guns that felt about as powerful as shooting a generic Air Soft rifle at an oil tanker. Since it’s a game all about weapons and having the ability to waste multiple enemies away, generous weapon drops consisting of more powerful guns seem like a no-brainer. After all, when I play Borderlands, I want to feel like the Terminator on a sick rampage. Not Ralphie from A Christmas Story.
MORE QUEST VARIETY
Borderlands 2 was one of the games that made me a completionist. It was a game that forced me to complete every side mission I could possibly come across, and it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had with a game of late.
The side quests, however, left a bit for wanting. Sure, there were some great moments, like the one that gave you a bit of history about the Sirens and Jack’s hunt for them, or even the courier missions that left me both a bit frustrated and enthused by the challenge of having to reach a goal before a timer ran out. But a majority of the game’s side quests were built on a very generic fetch quest formula: go to this area, kill all the enemies, pick up an object, and return again for your reward.
Pandora is a comically unsettling place filled with characters so dark and twisted they become almost endearing. Why not play up the game’s unique sense of humor by giving me more side quests that show off their personalities and insight into both their back stories as well as the world itself? Sure, there were a handful in Borderlands 2 that did just this, and they were easily some of the more compelling side quests in the game. But I’d love to see them take this idea one step further to really allow players to interact with Pandora on a new level and learn all they possibly can about the unique planet.
Think back to Mass Effect 2 here for a second; each of the characters had their own side missions that felt like separate games, thanks to their unique plots and deep storytelling. It made for some of the most memorable missions seen in gaming. Borrow some ideas from that to flesh out the world of Borderlands 3, and I’ll be a happy woman.
NEW CHARACTERS, NEW STORYLINE
Where the original Borderlands felt somewhat flat and aimless thanks to its vague narrative, Borderlands 2 thundered back with a 1-2 punch of both great gameplay and fantastic characters. The most notable being Handsome Jack, one of the most interesting and flat-out hilarious villains since Portal’s GLaDOS.
Even the vault hunters from the original Borderlands made an appearance in the game, and their appearance and integration in the main storyline was interesting and fun to watch unfold. With these elements, Borderlands 2 had great character development that really pulled you into the story itself.
With Borderlands 3, I’d love to see developers return to this idea and really flesh it out. Create a fantastic story line that hooks us, fill the world with a brand new cast of characters, and really let us absorb the unnerving planet of Pandora as we hunt down Skags and Bandits in the wild. Humor and dialogue were utilized to great effect in Borderlands 2; let’s do that again with even more bravado and really make a masterpiece out of Borderlands 3.
DEEPER SKILL TREES
One of the strongest elements of Borderlands 2 was its implementation of all new skill tree abilities you could obtain after leveling up. On top of that, Badass Ranks and weapon mods took customization to a new level that allowed you to create the most powerful character possible while staying unique to you and your play style.
This is one of the successes of Borderlands 2 that I’d love to see implemented in an eventual sequel. Give us new skill tree abilities and options to take customization in some crazy new directions, and I might even be happy to grind it out again in order to level up and gain new abilities.
What do you want to see in an eventual Borderlands sequel? Share your thoughts in the comments below!