Borderlands 3 has been out for almost a week now and as one of my most hotly anticipated games I bought it on release day. I am currently about 9 hours in an am having a fantastic time, so I thought I'd give some first impressions that I had about the game.
First of all, I absolutely adore the gunplay. The guns feel powerful and very smooth to use and the addition of sliding and vaulting contribute a lot to combat encounters to make them more fun. Like the previous games, there is a tone of loot, with a wide variety of guns. I really like the gun design in this game and each manufacturer's weapons are even more stylized than before. Jakobs weapons are wooden, Atlas weapons are super high tech and don't even look like guns and COV weapons are made from a hodge-podge of parts scavenged from the world. The alternate firing modes are really cool as well, especially the homing bullets from Atlas weapons.
The inclusion of three separate action skills for each character is very cool, and although I haven't experimented with them yet, it is awesome to have so many options. I chose FL4K the Beastmaster and I picked the skill that makes you turn invisible and have 200% damage for 3 shots while invisible. So I use that in conjunction with my incredibly powerful Torgue shotgun that shoots contact grenades to deal massive damage.
I also love the crew challenges. Instead of vague instructions with no way of knowing where these extra things are, the crew challenges actually show up on the map when you get near them, allowing you to actually find them without looking them up! When you complete all of a specific challenge on a map you get a reward as well (at least for the Typhon logs) and I actually got my first legendary weapon from this!
The new characters are pretty great. The Calypso twins are (intentionally, I hope) cringey, especially Tyreen, she's like an awful Twitch streamer. I quite like Lorelei as well and seeing Maya in a starring role is really great. The return of Vaughn and Rhys from Tales From the Borderlands is incredibly welcome as well (are Fiona and Sasha in the game as well? I really hope so).
I do have a few problems with the game so far though. Firstly, the inventory UI is a big pain to navigate. They made the guns really big in your inventory so not many actually show up at once, making it really hard to sort though your inventory. I'm also not a fan of planet-hopping so quickly. I get that that's the big new feature of the game but I feel like I'm barely on a planet before I'm leaving again. I want to explore a vast environment like Pandora in Borderlands 2. This has me worried that the planets aren't as detailed or as varied as parts of Pandora previously. Speaking of planet hopping, Sanctuary III is really annoying to walk around. It's so condensed and claustrophobic and it's so hard to find specific areas quickly.
So overall, I am loving Borderlands 3 so far, there's lots of great quality of life improvements and the guns feel great. I'm excited to see if it will eclipse Borderlands 2 in quality. Here's hoping!