Geek Culture

Geek Preview : Borderlands 3 Co-Op Is Loud, Bombastic And A Whole Lotta Fun

We have about a month left until the imminent launch of the highly-anticipated Borderlands 3, and we cannot be more excited

We’ve played through a little bit of Borderlands 3 at E3 2019 already, but this time our hands-on covered one of the most hyped-up aspects of the game: co-op.

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Multiplayer is a staple in any modern shooter. The premise is simple: pick up a gun (read: controller) with a friend, and proceed to blast things into kingdom come. Borderlands is notoriously good in expanding upon that with extra elements, such as flashy (but effective) action skills, team buffs and — what else — a crap ton of guns. The third instalment in the franchise is no different, and in fact makes it more interesting with more layers of customizability, as well as enhanced social features.

Our playthrough consisted of us as the newly-revealed Vault Hunter, FL4K the Beastmaster, as well as Moze the Gunner. Both do really well in a team setting, as the former brings its various pets to the fore, and the latter can take a ton of punishment (and deal a similar amount) with her Iron Bear action skill.

Downing enemies in co-op is naturally harder as opposed to playing solo, and that’s where your skill in knowing when to apply your action skills (not necessarily gunplay) are put to the test. But just because the gameplay is harder in co-op, don’t let this fool you into thinking the game is suddenly less accessible to newer players, because the fun is also seeing all the chaos unfold on your screen and watching things die in the process.

A well-timed Iron Bear action skill (complete with an area shield augment) can be, more often than not, the difference between life and death, and allows you to buy a little more time against swarms of baddies that pile up against you. Oh, and did we mention that you can climb onto Moze’s Iron Bear and use its mannable turret, too? 

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FL4K’s Gamma Burst action skill is a nice “call for reinforcements” skill teleports its pets onto a designated area. This also gives you and your team practically another party member as the pets’ health and damage are boosted significantly as they tear into enemies. Its kit is all about boosting the damage and survivability of itself and its pets, which make it a really attractive Vault Hunter to play in both solo and in groups, much like how Gaige the Mechromancer was in Borderlands 2

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And while your action skills make you look and feel like a total badass, you definitely can’t rely on them all the time, and as such constant coordination with your buddy is essential in surviving effectively in a co-op session. But just because you’ve been driven into a corner and are on the brink of death doesn’t mean it’s the end for you; remember, there’s always the nifty Fight For Your Life mechanic — another staple in Borderlands – that grants you just that extra survivability that other looter-shooters don’t. 

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Of course, our hands-on meant that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the intricacies of Borderlands 3’s co-op gameplay, but so far we’re impressed. Whether you’re playing 2-player split-screen, or up to 4 players online, or even across consoles, we can confirm that you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Borderlands 3 releases on September 13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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