Near the birthday of Borderlands 3 and with the fourth and final DLC of the Season Pass recently released, Gearbox has well thought of announcing its plans for the future of the saga: the Season Pass 2. Putting aside the controversies that emerged in the following days, it was quite obvious that if they had wanted to publish new content certainly they would not have been free, much less considering that the offer of the first season pass was far from lacking.
What we do know is that two more DLCs are planned for the title, namely Designer’s Cut is Director’s Cut. For the second we will have to wait for next spring, while we are finally ready to talk about the first, which will accompany the launch of the new Microsoft consoles. Or at least, we’re trying.
The truth is that we were blown away by what Gearbox has decided to propose with this first DLC, because it breaks every scheme used from launch to today. The consistency with the claims about the new Crypt Hunters persists, in fact, once again, no new playable characters have been introduced.
On this front, however, we were not left empty-handed and one of the major problems encountered with the latest DLC has finally been resolved, namely the absence of new skills for our four characters. With Designer’s Cut, finally, a fourth new skill tree has been unlocked, which translates into new powers to use, clearly in line with those already possessed by our Hunters.
With the new skill branch, a new pet has been added to Fl4k to those present: a Charger. You got it right, do you remember the Hyperion robots that from Borderlands 2 we have done nothing but destroy? Here, a miniaturized version of them will now follow us in our adventures. With the various upgrades it is then possible to modify its type, making it a BULL loader capable of loading enemies such as a bulldozer or a WAR loader capable of raining missiles. The action skill, on the other hand, consists of a device that makes all enemies in its range fly through the air, disorienting them.
In Moze’s case, the Iron Bear is replaced by the Iron Cub, a smaller version of the mech, unmanned and self-fighting, with mechanics not too different from Gaige’s in Borderlands 2. Zane receives a new toy for his arsenal, the MNTIS Shoulder Cannon, a rail gun mounted on his left shoulder capable of damaging enemies. This can be combined with different abilities, such as the grappling hook which can be used to hook enemies and pull them towards you.
Finally, Amara has obtained the ability of the Phase Glow, which is another way to take advantage of her Mermaid powers. This new power allows her to generate an orb of energy and use it to deal damage to anyone who comes in contact with it, or hit it to detonate it and damage enemies within its range. In addition, this new branch takes advantage of the element of frost, which it still lacked.
Unlike all the DLCs from the first Season Pass, and similar to Moxxi’s Underdrome in the first Borderlands, Designer’s Cut doesn’t introduce any narrative content. In its place, however, it offers the Barrel and Loot mode, an adaptation of a classic Battle Royale but in the universe of Borderlands, with all that goes with it. First of all it is exclusively cooperative, so you can play alone or with your companions but there will be no enemy players to eliminate.
Much of the classic mechanics are brought back unchanged, such as the fact that you start without any equipment or skills and that over time a circle called Scream shrinks reducing the playing area. Weapons and ammunition can be looted from enemies, crates and some classic distributors of the brand, spending the money collected around. There is no shortage of supplies thanks to which to obtain better weapons and small arenas that reward the player with loot once all threats have been eliminated.
When knocked down, you can be revived or fight for your life, and when you just can’t survive, teammates can use spawning devices, as it now works in most games of the genre. The aim, this time, is to reach the end, when the area closes in the center of the map, and fight the boss of the activity.
The rewards, you ask? Scattered around the map or in the room following that of the boss fight, it is possible to use extraction stations, or devices that allow us to take away with us, an extremely limited number of collected equipment. The most interesting are clearly the legendary ones exclusive to this mode, which cannot be obtained outside of it, such as the new class mods dedicated to the new branches of skills.
The Barrel and Loot mode is interesting, albeit perhaps too simple, and the way in which it is proposed just fails to convince and goes well with the dynamics of the game itself. A player should spend at least twenty minutes fighting random enemies, in the sole hope of getting some of the new legendaries, which only in this way can be farmed. Having to face the same boss over and over certainly doesn’t help.
As if this were not enough, we are facing this discourse with a DLC that also introduces new skills, which however cannot be used in this huge battle arena. So we find ourselves with skills but without a real pretext to explore them, if not by randomly turning to worlds already widely visited.
In the past, when a new Crypt Hunter was introduced, there was also a desire to start the adventure all over again in order to better appreciate the growth of the character. Speaking here only of new branches, however convincing, the incentive to start from scratch is missing, because fundamentally the experience would change very little.
Designer’s Cut is a disappointing DLC that shows that even cool ideas, if mishandled, don’t automatically equate to success. Those who have already spent many hours in the cooperative will certainly be happy to spend more in Cask and Booty or to farm old bosses with the new skills, but this does not cancel the questionable choices made in the design phase.
Introducing new branches of skills, in a DLC that does not include new missions but only a mode, in which the skills are deactivated, is really out of all logic. If we add to this that the modality is really trivial today, the vote below is self-explanatory.
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Source : Reddit