Is BL3 New Player friendly?

I wanted to break up some of the negativity with an honest question pertaining to new players of the franchise. I’ll have a couple criticisms, but I’m not trying to start a hate thread.

TL;DR: Would you recommend BL3 to a new player? Or start earlier in franchise?

So, I find this game awesome. It’s obviously geared towards long time BL players such as myself. My fiance, on the other hand, has never played a Borderlands game ever. Or console FPS games for that matter. She has expanded her gaming horizons with Skyrim and Zelda: BotW and has done good with those games. But I feel like BL3 doesn’t ease new players into the game like BL2 did. Like, the tutorials for BL3 were a mess for her. I had to kinda explain everything that wasn’t said. (which is a lot of stuff really) And I know the battles are going to ramp up big time after the initial “tutorial level”.

Like, I LOVE the ramped up mobs having been a BL player since the launch of the first game. I’m not so sure how a new player would approach this game. While I am asking an opinion, I guess I would like to know what tips you would give to a first time Vault Hunter.

I think it’s simple enough that someone who’s not new to video games in general should be able to jump in without tutorials and be just fine.

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I agree. It is mainly straight forward and if they seem interested it’s worth a shot for them to try it. Besides they have you around to give them any help or pointers they need…and to add to that, you have us fellow forumites to try to help you as needed as well. (Ignoring trolls of course.)

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I appreciate the input :grinning:

We were talking about it prior to release, but after playing through the campaign the first, I was concerned it might be too fast paced. But you are absolutely right on all points. Thanks!

I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes

Also as an addition, if the controls are too complex or confusing, they could try the classic control settings or do a button remap so it fits better with their playstyle. While I am using and got used to the default controls, I have a friend who prefers classic and there are several threads about how people remap controls to fit them. I also always use subtitles in every game, but that one could just be me.

Also you never said how you two will play, so I will point out that currently split screen is strictly horizontal, and this game’s bad readability makes it worse. Also last I heard split screen is only a console option.

Yea, first thing I did was turn the subtitles and change the controls to classic as well as changed the FoV so she doesn’t get a headache/motion sickness. Also, I’ve never been a fan of split screen for shooters. Luckily, I upgraded my Xbone to a One X, so we can play on separate consoles.

It is a shame what they did with split screen. The industry acts like couch co-op is dead, but it never went anywhere.

It’s difficult to judge for me because after 1000 hours of BL2 I had no trouble getting into BL3. But I do think the previous games weren’t any easier to get into, I believe they explained just as much/little.

What I can say is that I recently downloaded Destiny 2 and after 1-2 hours I still have no bloody idea what’s going on. To me, that game seems like it expects you to know how Destiny works, it explains the basic controls and nothing else. Wouldn’t be so bad if anything was obvious like in Borderlands. There are white cubes and green cubes to pick up and it doesn’t tell me what they do. How health/shield works is never explained, in combat sometimes a white bar shows up on top of the screen and I guess that’s health or shield or something, but I don’t really know as it’s never explained. There’s something that looks like 3 purple cubes and it seems that’s currency of some sort but I still don’t know. I’ll probably understand after playing more, but the game doesn’t seem to care if I do.

I think even when Borderlands doesn’t explain something, it often makes it easier by giving you a red bar for health and a blue bar for shield, ammo clips look like actual ammo clips, and if you pick up dollars it’s easy to understand that’s currency. BL3 also doesn’t spam your log with multiple missions right in the beginning, and quest markers don’t randomly jump all over the place.

So yeah, I can’t really tell how accessible BL3 is, but I believe it’s no different to other BL games, and easier than the big F2P shooter that is Destiny 2.

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Agree with the rest, new players to Borderlands can pick up BL 3 just fine.

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I honestly don’t think that Borderlands 3 is the best game to be your first Borderlands (and the least new player friendly) and that’s for multiple reasons.

  1. The gameplay is rather complex and very fast, which isn’t ideal for newcomers to the shooter genre
  2. The new mechanics like the movement options and Augments give the game a rather high complexity in terms of necessary choices, which can overwhelm someone new to the series
  3. The new mechanics and the modernizations will - at least for some - make it much harder to enjoy the older games, not just BL1, but even BL2 and TPS
  4. The story and lore of Borderlands 3 relies to a huge part on the assumption that the player knows what happened in the past. Handsome Jack might be iconic for many, but there are still tons of people that don’t know anything about him, Angel, sirens, Pandora, Eridium or the whole Borderlands universe. Not being able to appreciate the lore and the world building will make Borderlands 3 less enjoyable for many

Unfortunately none of the Borderlands have been perfectly clear with explanations, which is another point why I would advise against BL3 as it is the most complex and gives the player the least amount of time to learn things (although it has the clearest explanations of the series).

Now, my go-to jump-start into the series would be to buy the Handsome Collection and play Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel first (preferably BL2 as it has the simpler mechanics), so that a newcomer gets a feeling of the series. Borderlands 1, as essential as it is in terms of story, isn’t mandatory as most characters from BL1 get fleshed out in BL2. Only character that isn’t presented very well from BL1 in BL2 is Tannis, which can be solved by just saying “btw, this crazy smartass lady helped Roland, Lilith, Mordecai and Brick find the first Vault”.

An additional advantage to first playing the other games is that they are extremely cheap, so that someone new to the series won’t feel bad if they don’t like the game.

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I’d say BL3 holds its own compared to most recent games at least. The UI and gunplay is quite clean and understandable, and your abilities and options grow over time at a reasonable pace. Eventually players will likely want to look things up online, but that’s typical for games with any depth.

Your question does highlight one potential shortcoming of the new game though, and that to me is the story and NPC content. Any time the question came up ‘should I play BL1 before BL2’ I would always say ‘yes, no doubt at all’. The cast of BL1 was integral to the enjoyment of BL2.

I think a new person could play BL3 and not miss much. Many of the old cast are missing, and those that are there are underused. Part of it is the lack of sidequests involving those characters, but also the lack of banter and character-building in general. Compared to Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, for example, BL3 has been a disappointment in that regard.

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Yea, these were some of my concerns. Like, I could explain the story bits from the past games as we go, but what fun is that? It’s kind of difficult to catch someone up on 10 years worth of all kinds of content. Including the bits that weren’t actually in the games. Like the Krieg trailer or Gaiges origin echoes. Hell, even explaining where Scooter went.

I do have the Handsome collection though. We might start there. I mean, that’s where the real meat of the story is anyway. And I feel it’s easier to back out of most hostile situations in BL2. Where as in BL3, better commit cuz them bastards are fast!

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Not sure why you felt compelled to add that disclaimer at the top. How is that question a trigger for a hate thread?

Anyway…BL3 is by far the easiest Borderlands game. It has the best graphics if you are not crippled by performance issues but thats a given really so not sure if thats actually a + argument. If you dont have any experience with the Borderlands universe you will often miss out on underhand jokes or hilarious comments because you dont know the characters history. Many characters (Lilith and Tannis) have so changed in 3 that they are mere shadows of their former selfs.

BL3 does some things better in terms of gunplay. But you wont be able to recognize or admire them for it if you dont know the “old system”.

My personal opinion…DONT START with BL3…it will just ruin the experience. As a stand alone BL3 is simply too small to keep your interest. It also has drastically changed from the older titles…I wouldnt necessarily say for the better…

BL2 still is the best Borderlands IMO. Go through BL1 if you want to have the complete story but BL2 is superior in every way. The Pre-Sequel is different, still inferior to BL2 but its a worthy addition as well changing a lot of core aspects of the game.

BL3 feels inferior to TPS to me…not gonna lie.

I m just saying you would do yourself a disservice if you started with BL3 then played the older titles afterwards. If anything going through it all from the start would be a great “tutorial run”.

You can get BL2 with all DLCs dirth cheap today. Its so refined and optimized by now that you can be sure you are getting value for your money. Its also about the BEST Borderlands has to offer in terms of content. If your friend enjoys Borderlands 2 she will like Borderlands 3. Might be a better approach then dish out 60 bucks and figure out its not for him/her.

Also BL2 will gove you both lots and lots of entertainment ^^