Borderlands 3 will be dropping with extensive endgame content to compete with the now mainstream genre of loot and shoot video games. Borderlands, a franchise that brought us one of the first loot and shoot games, is now in a highly competitive market. It will be joining AAA titles such as The Division, Destiny 2, and Anthem. The people at Gearbox knew what they had to compete with, so they expanded the endgame for the new Borderlands game. The franchise has always had endgame content, but they realized that it needed to evolve and they adjusted for the new market. What we want to know is, will it be enough to get players invested in the game long after release?
The New Endgame
Let’s look at what has been announced for the endgame, and see if it will get the job done. Returning to Borderlands is True Vault Hunter Mode. This appeared in previous Borderlands game, and is essentially new game+. Your character progression and loot carry over into the beginning of the campaign, but the enemies are stronger and you get better loot. This mode lets you play the entire game again, and adds in a few twists and turns to keep you interested. The real incentive to play True Vault Hunter mode is to keep leveling up and getting better and better legendaries. If you promise the players more loot, chances are they will keep playing until they some high level legendaries.
In Borderlands 2, there were Badass Ranks, but in Borderlands 3 there is something new. They are called Guardian Ranks. These ranks still increase your stats, but they also have a new spin on them. There are three separate trees of bonuses you can level up as you gain ranks. The trees will unlock additional perks that are shared between your characters. Adding this new layer of the ranking system is going to give players more incentive to grind them if the associated perks are good enough.
One of the biggest additions is the new Mayhem Mode. It could be compared to The Divisions’ world tier system. You will have the option to increase the mayhem level, making the game harder, but also netting you more experience and loot. Enemies will gain damage resistance, increased health and shield, increased fire rate and so on. These modifiers are randomized and change once you change areas. The harder you make the game, the more you are rewarded with experience, eridium, and high tier loot. Gearbox also announced that they are releasing two free content updates called Bloody Harvest and Mailwan Takedown. There will also be a season pass for the game, which will include campaign/story add-ons.
Will it be Enough?
With all this in mind, will Borderlands 3 be at the top of the loot and shoot list? Yes, it absolutely can compete with anything out there right now. These new additions will certainly add longevity to the game, but you only need to look at Borderlands 2 to know people will keep playing it. Borderlands 2 is seven years old, and people are still playing and grinding for legendaries. Borderlands 3 is going to have even more content than previous Borderlands games, and could be getting more frequent updates as well. If they continuously update and add a bit of content here and there, the game will be popular for a long time. The season pass will do that for the first cycle of the game, but beyond that they need to keep adding more to keep the content fresh. Adding something like a new ‘raid’ with new legendaries will get the job done if they choose to go that route. One of the best things about Borderlands is grinding a boss with friends to finally get that legendary you’ve been after. Adding raids will let you do just that, but in a bigger way. Raids will work so well in Borderlands 3, and I am positive it will keep me, and many others, excited for months or years after release. Borderlands has always been a game you could go back to and have fun playing over and over. Many would agree that the franchise has always had high replay value. I don’t think Borderlands 3 will be the exception.
Borderlands 3 will be released on September 13th for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.