Is The Pre Sequel peak Borderlands?

The more I think about it, the more I think I’m of the opinion that TPS is peak Borderlands:

  • Vending machines carry Legendary gear available in vending machines at a non-game-breaking rate (rare AF in BL2, non-existent in BL3).

  • Lots of maps with Varying gravity (none or BL2 - and a few for BL3 with the casino DLC).

  • Oxygen management was a fun game mechanic (I loved this for balancing the jumping, breathing, and other combat mechanics).

  • Luneshine (and later Glitch) weapons added some spice to the gear (the prototype for anointments, I suppose. BL2 didn’t have this, and I’d argue that its continuation in BL3 is improved.

  • The Grinder as a loot sink – I’m still surprised they didn’t bring it back.

  • Moonstone chests (surprised there are no Eridium chests in BL3 – definitely none in BL2).

  • Those skill trees are still my favorites to this day.

  • Lasers (none in BL2; re-categorized in BL3 (railguns and beam weapons seem to have made the transition in the form of other weapons). I’d still rather they still had their own ammo pool.

  • Cryo (none in BL2, still a thing in BL3, but the shatter mechanic from TPS was way more fun)

  • Manufacturer allegiance: still on par with BL2: grenades and shields don’t work for this in BL3)

  • Moxx-tails were a fantastic Moonstone (Eridium) sink.

  • The Claptastic Voyage is the second best map DLC in my opinion (Tiny Tina’s set a really high bar).

  • The combat scores from TPS are my favorite in the whole franchise (just barely over a few from Tina’s DLC).

  • The ‘L33t h4X0rz’ circle of slaughter is the only one where you can select two combat variables and the specific difficulty right as you play. This isn’t a feature of any circles in BL2 nor BL3 (at the moment, anyway). It’s also fully repeatable (where they weren’t in BL2).

  • The Holodome slaughter is second only to the Magic Slaughter for having fantastic environmental variables change during combat.

To be fair, TPS is a finished product, where BL3 is still in its relative infancy in terms of content (if it’ll be anything like BL2). Ask me again in a few years, but you see what I’m getting at… TPS had a lot going for it.


For me TPS is the best Borderlands and CV the best dlc. I still don’t get it why BL3 is uses its mechanics but worse.
Story telling was amazing in TPS with greater comments in TVHM.


I can’t comment on BL3 yet, but you sure have some good points. I found my way back to TPS recently and with a playthrough just done, I can at least comment on comparisons to the first two games.

The vending machines carrying legendaries and uniques are a definite plus. I may add that legendaries from vendors weren’t unusual in the first Borderlands without breaking the game.

The maps go from quite entertaining to ‘Oh no, not the same Scavs/Shugguraths/Rathyds again’ a.k.a. Triton Flats.

Unqualifies yes.

FTFY :wink:

Way better than Slag in my opinion. Effective by itself, more effective with explosive for a 1-2-punch.

This may be the biggest plus. Moonstone chests are a nice gimmick once backpack/ammo/bank capacities are maxed out, the Grinder isn’t my thing, Luneshine’s nice and not much more, but those skilltrees :heart_eyes:
This is the single point where TPS shines brightest.


Grinder would have been a good idea, if like 50% of the legendary items weren’t locked behind it/world drops. Ever try getting a half decent avalanche? Or fragnum? Etc

That’s every map in Borderlands though? A spawn point in some area has a given enemy type, and when it’s spawn time, some dice are rolled for the type, and out comes a mob. They’ll differ by element and/or type, and badassery. I actually like this because when I’m in the mood for Skags, I know where to find them, but it’s also not exactly the same set of Skags every time.

I don’t even mind most of Triton Flats, but the number of times one shoots down the frost shuggurath at the ‘Pink Floyd’-bridge before once again taking on the Scavs around the ‘To Arms’ weapons drop point is quite annoying.
Personal opinion, as usual.

Hm, maybe that’s more of a mission design complaint than a level design one :man_shrugging:

I never really got into TPS.
Obviously a BL fanatic, thousands of hours in 1 & 2 and 600 so far in 3, TPS-xbox dashboard shows 375. Finished N and TVHM but didn’t go into UVHM.
So I’ve tried to like it, but…
Some of my personal problems;

  • Generic enemies. I never felt that the Lost Legion was very interesting. Kragens (however you spell it) with their split-on-death mechanic not to my taste.
  • No guns I loved. Not just talking about legendaries, but no blues or purples I really got into using.
  • The Grinder. Not my thing, and never got anything out of it that excited me.
  • Slamming just isn’t for me (in TPS or BL3).
  • And other little things.

Now some things are great, I thought Glitch weapons were a great addition, would love to have that back (the Lucky 7 in BL3 is kinda like that). Claptrap DLC is superior.
But overall just didn’t hook me. I still fire it up on Steam every week or so, but not my thing.

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Since you mentioned, I wanted to elaborate a little on an opinion I’ve had for a while: I think that BL2 was the peak for enemy variety, a huge leap from BL1 that hasn’t been recaptured yet.

I say that simply because you really (at least in theory/new game) had to employ a very different tactic depending on the enemy behaviour, since most of them had a gimmick (Stalkers turning invisible, Crystalisks weak to melee hits on their legs, Threshers “immune” to Phaselock and such, Varkids and Goliaths evolving etc.).

In TPS there was, indeed, less variety (I think Kraggons, Eternals and Guardians were cool, but Torks for example…stuck to the ceiling? And Scavs also didn’t have quite as many variations as bandits did), but I think its absence is a bit worse in BL3.

I mean, most of the “new mechanics” regarding enemies are that some COV wear armor (pretty annoying in a flesh area, but okay), NOGs have crits on their backs and the Anointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate other features (like baseball Psychos sending back grenades, Ratches eating corpses of their companions to regen health etc.), but I don’t think that they’re that influential in combat, your approach stays almost the same regardless.

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This also gives more importance to money management, which is nigh useless in BL2 and only used for SDUs, beside ammo, in BL3. In BL1 you had both SDUs and rare items in vending machines, but money also got really easy to make really quickly.

Yep, that and presence/absence of oxygen made them quite interesting.

Also here are a few more things that I think TPS nailed more than any other installment in the series:

I think it was the best for character interactions: not only your characters commented what happened during the story like in BL3, but also

  • Some NPCs had unique dialogue depending on the character you were playing as (especially Jack and Springs).

  • Vault Hunters reacted when a nearby player used an action skill.

  • After Jack kills the scientists, the characters LITERALLY had a conversation if you were in co-op with different classes.

The idea of the different narration for TVHM was great (I wish that, in BL3, they’d done the same + what BL2 does with new enemies/changing all creatures in TVHM but…I guess we can still hope for UVHM, right?).

The final boss was also arguably the best in the series.

Absolutely agree. The characters were all well balanced, the gear new gear additions were exciting, you had a variety of choices in ways to grind gear, CV was amazing, and it was just an all around blast. I don’t think I ever felt frustrated (aside from my attempts at lvl 9 mutator arena on my Jack and a few holodome runs) after a session in TPS, whereas I find myself frequently frustrated while playing BL3. It just isn’t as enjoyable an experience at the moment IMO.

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