So, I’m thinking more and more about the PreSequel as being an arguably better “Sequel” (obviously I know it’s technically a PreSequel, but in this post I mean “Sequel” more as “a game that comes after a previous game” as opposed to which order the events in the games took place) to Borderlands 2 than Borderlands 3 has been so far (I’ve only just finished Atlas HQ, but I’ve read every spoiler imaginable and I know what’s ahead and I know that, story wise, it’s kinda all downhill from here, and there’s nothing THAT new and crazy coming up Combat or visuals wise either).
Ok, Borderlands 3 has better graphics and some interestingly new and improved mechanics (but they’re not THAT new and exciting, for either graphics or mechanics), but it has just as many bugs, issues, and serious lack of writing / character interest balancing that out (if not almost tipping the scales in a negative direction).
Now, the PreSequel.
I have MANY fond, fun, and awesome memories of The PreSequel (which, to be fair, had its own issues).
Maybe it’s because I was raised on Monty Python / Blackadder / Red Dwarf / etc, but I LOVED the fact that The PreSequel was so blatantly, refreshingly, in your face (-ingly) Australian (RIP, Gearbox Australia, you will be missed).
First and foremost, a to-max-level Claptrap playthrough (with all his oddness and magic and disco balls and rubber duckies and pirate ships and unpredictability) was an AWESOME and RIDICULOUS experience.
He was one of the best things about Borderlands 2 (arguments to be made for the BEST thing) and having him get fleshed out even humanized some and learning his back story and watching him break his humanity in favour of megalomania and psychopathy was an awesome ride (not to mention getting to play as him with the DLC).
Third…IT WAS SO DIFFERENT. Oz kits, lasers, jumping, aliens, pressure / no pressure, space, contained environmental modules, etc…it was truly epic and awesome, as sketchy and infuriating as some of the jumping and Oz kit mechanics were at times (Hahahaha, Oz kit. Aussie kit).
Fourth (and this may well be FIRST for me, the more I think about it)…the humour. The Australian madness and weirdness. The pure culture shock that so many Canadians and Americans who had not been as deeply exposed to English / Australian / New Zealander humour over the courses of their life as I have must have felt. I loved it. Gearbox Australia did not try to North Americanize it AT ALL (hell, there’s even a CRICKET mission and the amazing hymn “Jerusalem” plays as you try to plant your flag in native territory to claim that land for a self proclaimed Space King).
Fifth (I guess I’m just listing these in the order they’re popping into my brain)…CRYO. Cryo in Borderlands 3 is a sad shadow of its insane mob exploding self in The PreSequel.
Sixth…THE CLAPTASTIC VOYAGE. Far and away my favourite Borderlands DLC (yes, more than Dragon’s Keep or Knoxx). Epic, tremendous, poignant, insane, unique! I loved it so much.
Seventh…the humour and references were dense to the point of ridiculous, and most of the side quests were solid gold. Do you guys all remember the crazy Galaxy leaping “2001: A Space Odyssey” monolith / “My God, it’s full of stars!” reference? The huge Pink Floyd prism near that enemy base? The Star Wars droids mission? So many more…
Honestly, after two and a half weeks at Borderlands 3, combat aside, I am fairly let down, sadly. Including more Borderlands 2 and PreSequel characters and, more specifically, directly addressing and picking up from The Watcher oh so cryptically saying “War is coming, you will need all the Vault Hunters you can assemble” would have gone a LOOOONG way in selling this latest Borderlands incarnation to me and many others, but it really does seem to be something I can’t bring myself to look past.
I certainly have felt nowhere near as motivated to / interested in hardcore binge playing it the way I did with Borderlands 1, 2, or the PreSequel (I finished my first PreSequel playthrough in one insane three day drunken co-op-with-randos binge).
Alas, poor Borderlands 3.