First of all, I’m not a big fan of Borderlands. It’s not the genre, it’s not the art, it’s not the plot or the subplots. It’s not even the plethora of weapons and mods, too numerous to list. The problem is entirely in the gameplay.
It’s a fun, high octane and extremely capable first-person shooter. But when you’ve upgraded your sniper rifle to the max, doing four kinds of additional elemental damage and you have the badlands barbarian square to rights in your sights. He can’t see you but you’re three millimetres of trigger finger movement from unleashing a massive calibre, supersonic round with a quad-payload into his unarmoured head. And you squeeze that trigger, your entire view is disturbed by the incredible recoil from your two metre long weapon of death. You peer back down your scope, only to see that not only did you hit the savage in the back of the head but he’s barely injured and he’s walking towards you. So, you unload another five rounds into him from your longarm and, he’s still coming. And the sense that you’re a badass of the wastelands evaporates as this semi-naked brute bludgeons you to death with his fists despite absorbing twenty of your maxed-out shots.
Their latest instalment, Borderlands Legends, translates the game into a third person squad shooter. This sort of game I love more than anything. But I’m disappointed to say that Borderlands Legends does not deliver. It’s definitely not a squad shooter, it’s a shooter where you have to micromanage four individual units who can barely spot an enemy unit until they’re hit by it. This poor AI is made worse by the game being the exact opposite of Borderlands. Rather than an expansive world to explore, you’re limited to a series of identical arenas waiting for hordes of enemies to spawn from unlikely corners. They have managed to exactly translate the feelings of helplessness as your weapons prove to be increasingly inadequate against the randomers who pour from the spawn points.
It’s really not a lot of fun. It’s disappointing because it’s beautiful. Both games are absolutely gorgeous.