Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review #349: Borderlands - Triple Pack

 Talk about bang for your buck!
 I've talked, and reviewed, about the Borderlands franchise numerous times already, and long story short, I love it. For the few who are not in the know, Bordelands games marry the first person shooter with the RPG genre to a fantastic result. You get to accept numerous quests and sidequests, traverse large environments, and loot chests for thousands of different randomly generated weapons, with different stats(Firepower, fire rate, accuracy, reload time, etc).

 Borderlands Triple Pack is a phenomenal package that includes all three games and their DLC, which translates into over a hundred hours worth of gameplay. The game comes divided in 2 discs: A gameplay disc, which is used to play any of the three games, and an Expansion Disc which includes all the DLC pieces. There's one complaint to be made here: Every single DLC piece has to be installed on its own. When it comes to Borderlands 1, which only has 4 DLC pieces, it's alright, but Borderlands 2's DLC is made up of almost 20 different installs. If you bough this package, you will, more probably than not, want to install every piece of DLC and not cherry-pick them, which makes having to install the DLCs piece by piece very annoying.
 As a huge fan of Borderlands 2, and a huge critic of digital-only media, I was pretty excited for this bundle... as we finally get all the missing DLC from Borderlands 2- GOTY edition! This means that you can finally reach level 70, and the five headhunter packs! The Headhunter Packs last about an hour each, which is alright, most missions and environments are fun to explore and tackle, and more Borderlands 2 content is always welcome. Always.

 Then there's Bordelands - The Pre-Sequel. It's... good, but it falls short of Borderlands 2 excellence. It's made all the more egregious due to the fact that it's basically Borderlands 2 in Space, the fact that it was born out of a DLC for Borderlands 2 shows very clearly. You get four new classes, plus two extra DLC classes, which have some rather interesting skill trees, heck, as a matter of fact, these characters are more distinct than the ones from Borderlands 1 and 2, so that's a plus. And as any of these characters you are to help Handsome Jack save Pandora.
 Taking place in Space means new moon-like gravity physics which... take a bit getting used to. To be honest, I didn't really like the new floaty feel to the game, it adds nothing to the combat as far as I was concerned, and most of the new environment have plenty of botomless pits, so valuable enemy drops tend to drop on them thanks to these new physics. However, I will admit that the new moon-jumps made traversing the environments much more fun. Depending on when you press the jump button after jumping the first time will produce different jumps, such as a high jump, a long jump or even initiate a slow decent. What can I say, jumping around and making my way through the environments with these new jumps was fun. There's also a new Butt-stomp(Holding Crouch after a high jump) that deals damage around your landing area, and you can equip items to add elemental damage to it.

 And, since it's set in Space, there's also a new gauge, an Oxygen gauge. And it's annoying! If the gauge hits 0 you'll start losing health constantly and lose access to your moon-jumps until you find an O2 source. To be fair, I never died due to a lack of oxygen, Oxygen sources are common and enemies love dropping O2 canisters... but just knowing that I had to keep O2 in mind was annoying. It's hard to explain why, but it did put a damper on my experience with the game. And that's my main issue with the game: The game is Borderlands 2 but with a new annoying gauge that I have to keep track of!
 As far as the story goes... I found the new NPCs to be annoying, particularly Jannis Springs, and the returning characters, Handsome Jack, Roland, Moxxi and Lilith lack the spark they had in Borderlands 2. THAT SAID, I did like the overall theme of the story: The bad guys aren't entirely bad, and the good guys aren't entirely good, it's an interesting premise, and they pulled it off very well. The Side-Quests were a bit boring as well, it's hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I wasn't having as much fun clearing them as I did whenever I found new tasks in Borderlands 2. Heck, the environments lack diversity, and after a while the Moon gets very samey and dull, not to mention the frequent botomless pits that plague these maps.

 Lastly, the game removed the Slak element, but introduces the Cryo element, which as you might've deduced already, means that you freeze enemies, or be frozen yourself, and frozen enemies become subject to Critical hits as well as the inability to move for a short while. Cryo I approve of, and it'd be nice to see it return in Borderlands 3. There's also a new type of weapon, Laser, which is interesting, but seeing how you can only equip four weapons at a time and there's already a surplus of weapon types... Let's just say that I get too familiar with them beyond what was necessary.
 While Borderlands - The Pre-sequel feels closer to Borderlands 2 than 1, I'm still sure that it's the weakest game in the franchise. All the new jumps make exploring much more fun than before, but it has the weakest environments and the duller missions. And I really, really could've done without the O2 gauge. Still, it is a Borderlands game, so it is a good game, but not as good as the others in the series.

 Borderlands - Triple Pack is a no-brainer, two fantastic games and a good game for the price of one. Not to mention the fact that all these games together will keep you busy for a loooooooooong while.
 10 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment