For a very long time, it was assumed that Destiny was like Borderlands, except more massive. There was a “major Borderlands vibe” in early gameplay trailers, despite the actual follow-up to the series – The Pre-Sequel – not having been revealed. Once the latter had indeed debuted, the difference was as clear as night and day though some of us couldn’t quite see it yet. In this age of MMOs and loot-based RPGs, you’d think a series like Borderlands would be out-dated. After all, this isn’t 2009. You can only do the first person shooter/RPG loot fest combination so long before someone bigger and badder comes along to do it better. Survival of the fittest and whatnot.
"Destiny in its present state is still a puzzle. Players are finally beginning to realize that it’s more of a loot grinding first person shooter RPG than, well, Halo."
However, as Destiny opens up to players, the core mechanics of Borderlands become all the more evident. Aside from the obvious online nature of the former, Borderlands has always sought to be something different, something which doesn’t fit into the very archetypes it’s somehow mastered.
Destiny in its present state is still a puzzle. Players are finally beginning to realize that it’s more of a loot grinding first person shooter RPG than, well, Halo. Upon reaching level 20, there are multiple ways to gain valiant loot. In fact, the levelling process itself changes as well but that’s a whole other topic.
You eventually reach a point where Reputation and Marks begin to matter. You can use those Strange Coins for some interesting wares from even more interesting characters at select times during the week. You can specialize in PvP to gain gear from the Crucible (if you can get past the troublesome match-making in places).
Despite lacking many of the social elements of most MMOs, Destiny places a heavy emphasis on live events where you team up with other players to complete missions. That’s not counting the six-man Raids which require you to run out and find team-mates on your own rather than rely on the match-making as you would for Strikes. So far, so good, right?
The problem is, even with live events coming up – with a Crucible playlist having started up for 3 vs. 3 teams – Destiny requires you to replay the same missions again and again and again.
"Before Destiny’s release, there was concern that its sales could eat into that of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and even Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare."
Contrast this with Borderlands which lets four people jump in and either follow the story or go off on their own to murder Terramorphous. Did we mention that you could trade items with players? Even if they didn’t have the required level of the item, your friend could still keep the item in their inventory until they were sufficiently levelled. This was used to ensure that even low-level players had their chance to net items from raids even when they were incapable of completing said raid on their own.
Trading was encouraged however since there were four primary character classes (six in Borderlands 2). For all the DLC and content that Borderlands 2 had to offer though, what was left for players after maxing out at level 50 and completing the campaign? That was pretty simple – True Vault Hunter and Ultimate Vault Hunter modes wherein you could replay the game at higher difficulties and net better loot.
Weren’t a fan of going through everything again, despite the excellent storyline and awesome cast of characters? Jump into the high level missions in the DLC then and participate in several other raids. For all the flak Gearbox gets, it knows how to please Borderlands fans.
This brings us to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Before Destiny’s release, there was concern that its sales could eat into that of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and even Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Now that Destiny is out, let’s look at what The Pre-Sequel will offer in terms of gameplay – a brand new campaign that is likely to be 15 hours long, not including side-quests; new raids; four new playable characters each with their own skill trees; brand new loot; two new weapon types; a new ground pound attack; jet-packs and oxygen management in deep space; new environments and NPCs to interact with…and that’s not including the Season Pass that will add even more content.
Did we mention that you could trade with other players?
"The very reason Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has nothing to worry about from Destiny is due to the game that Borderlands is and Destiny is not."
The very reason Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has nothing to worry about from Destiny is due to the game that Borderlands is and Destiny is not. Borderlands isn’t about looting and shooting – it’s about playing as a Vault Hunter. It’s about never being satisfied with the rewards and striving towards greater and greater achievements.
It’s about revelling in the killing. There’s no nobility in all the murder you’re causing. It’s not for the purpose of saving the world. It’s just plain fun and there multiple ways to do it in multiple scenarios – something which Destiny sorely lacks despite its solid mechanics.
We’ll find out just how well Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel measures up to Destiny but suffice to say, we have far more confidence in the former’s ability to deliver a compelling RPG FPS centred around loot.
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