Video game is fun, but here’s things you need to know

The Borderlands video game franchise, which kicked off a decade ago, is one of the most innovative around in terms of gameplay and gear progression. Gamers quickly fell in love with the game’s first installment because of all the loot, shooting, and enemies the developers packed into a dynamic world.

So the news that “Borderlands 3” was in development was met with much anticipation. Developed by Gearbox and published by 2K, “Borderlands 3,” arrived Sept. 13 ($60-up, for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC).

How does the game deliver and add to the franchise’s stellar reputation? Let’s find out.

For starters, it’s just fun to play

The most honest and clear thing I can say about “Borderlands 3” is that it’s fun to play.

Be warned, the enemies can at times be challenging, which plays perfectly against the sheer amount of variety of weapons and loadouts you can deploy.

I would advise experimenting with the loadouts and your character’s skills and special abilities, especially if you are a single player like me.

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A good sniper rifle, for example, saved me more times than I can count. Be on the lookout for the more creative weapons in the game. My favorite is the shotgun that throws a grenade every time you reload. It’s simple but proved vital.

Oh, and always have a weapon on you that does great burst damage. That weapon will make it easier to down an enemy when you inevitably find yourself critically injured. Quickly killing an enemy will grant you a “second wind” and save you from restarting that section of enemies.

Good choices will come in handy in the game’s challenging and varied boss battles. The ones toward the back-end of the game were particularly rewarding to beat.

Even if you do not spend much time personalizing your character’s skills and weapons and just play the game, “Borderlands 3” is the kind of shooter that keeps you coming back. That’s because there’s a bounty of enjoyment to be had churning through the seemingly-endless content. I still have dozens of side missions stacked up.

But the story could use some help

It’s a race for the great vault against ultra-powerful Calypso twins, Troy and Tyreen, who promise to be imposing and entertaining. But it takes far too long forthat plot to kick in.

You do learn some about them through audio file interactions and quick cut scenes through much of the game. Two cutscenes early on do a great job of adding some depth to the characters and drama to the game. Sadly, those moments are few and far between.

Things do pick once you are several hours into the story, but I had disconnected from the narrative at that point and just focused on having fun.

The truth about video games is that many have great stories that get lost in the minutiae. I believe there is a compelling story somewhere in “Borderlands 3.” It just takes too long to get to the good stuff.

The looting is cumbersome

The Borderland franchise has built its good name, in part, on how many options you get for weapons. The looter-shooter genre owes its popularity to this game, for sure.

But B3 is a great representation of how too much of a good thing can become taxing.

The primary problem with the looting system is not how much you get. Who doesn’t want more loot? The problem is that you won’t use the large majority of your booty and there is no easy way to prioritize what you want to keep without constantly dropping stuff where you stand.

You can sell and buy loot at various vending machines and at your home base, but those options are far and few between. Plus the game drops loot that is often too high to use, so you have to balance how much you want to keep for later and what you want to have ready for swapping out.

I found myself using guns well past when I should just because I didn’t want to worry about my backpack being packed with stuff I won’t be able to use two levels later. It doesn’t help that you don’t get much space to hold the gear you spend much of your time trying to juggle.

Being able to sell or store items on the fly would be a great addition.

Action skills add depth

“Borderlands 3” asks you to pick a specialization early that is tied to one of four characters. Choose wisely because using your action skill in the middle of chaos can be amazing.

I went with Moze, who is a gunner. Her armored mech ability comes complete with huge guns and several options for using them.

Moze’s action skill – she can fire off waves of bullets at several enemies or a chain attack on a single target – saved my hide during several of the boss fights, especially the very last one that includes bust damage phases. Watching the boss melt was a thing of beauty and I can’t wait to go back to tweak the skill tree.mage phases. Watching the boss melt was a thing of beauty and I can’t wait to go back to tweak the skill tree.

It’s part of an overall specialization system that lets you get deep into both how the character looks and how your chosen super ability functions.

This setup gives you some power in how you want to play the game and helps immerse you in the world. I’m still trying to find the skill tree set up for my playstyle but it has been a great experience looking around for tweaking options. I would advice searching the internet for some guides since this part of the gameplay can offer so much goodness to your time with the game.

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