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A Proper Raid: Borderlands The Pre-Sequel

/ Nov 5th, 2014 No Comments

Huge bosses, full team cooperation and epic loot; these are the makings of a raid. While that concept is no longer new, the gaming industry keeps looking to find the perfect balance between genuine challenge and overall fun-factor. Destiny’s seemingly impossible raid (with no opportunity for pick-up groups due to lack of party search) has many gamers upset, but 2K Australia’s Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel represents the perfect juxtaposition to Bungie’s latest blockbuster. The latest addition to the Borderlands franchise goes a completely different direction with raids, and it is pure genious.

Two Perfect Men For A Four Man Job

Borderland’s raids have always recommended a full party of four in order to stand a chance against the boss and claim its epic loot. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel holds true to the formula, but it is no longer necessary to carry four players in order to defeat the boss. Players will be well equipped and have some extra time to prepare for the endurance test that is a raid.
 

I love murder.

I love murder.

Raid bosses have been adjusted to meet a perfect balance between challenging and fun, which means while a full party will help in the struggle, it is no longer a base requirement. Unfortunately, only one true raid boss will challenge players (with a secret semi-raid boss thrown in for good measure) for the time being, but one can hope for additional bosses to be provided through future updates.

Ample Loot To Boot

Games like Diablo have perfected a loot system that is fast becoming a staple for loot-based games, meaning players will get their own specific loot dropped from enemy kills that only they can see. While Borderlands has never followed this style, it can be forgiven considering the ample amount of loot that is dropped per kill. While legendary items are only dropped one per boss in most cases, the amount of other loot types ensures all players will receive their fair share of upgrades.
 

Wow the moon sure is beautiful... wait... that's no moon... OH SHI-

Wow the moon sure is beautiful… wait… that’s no moon… OH SHI-

The Pre-Sequel has also holds true to a shared money/ammo system in which any money or ammo picked up is shared amongst the party. This even holds true for the game’s upgrade currency of “moonstone” (or eridian for those playing Borderlands 2).

Dynamic Multistage Bosses (Now With Guns)

Ultimately, raid bosses are always more or less an endurance test; they are big enemies with tons of hit points and nowhere to go. The game’s current raid boss is not just a named health bar, but instead a multi-phase fighting machine that uses a variety of attacks and damage types to keep players on their toes (think less Shadow of The Colossus and more Legend of Zelda).
 

You can tell this isn't Destiny because of the cel-shading. Also the moon is populated by Australians.

You can tell this isn’t Destiny because of the cel-shading. Also the moon is populated by Australians.

This sort of phased raid allows for a more engaging experience for players. Instead of a wash-rinse-repeat style of fight, there’s some hand-sanitizing, foot scrubbing and other assorted cleaning metaphors thrown in. On the flip-side, the semi-raid boss epitomizes the walking health-bar style of enemy and will simply require heavy fire-power to take down, which works perfectly well for a raid mini-boss versus the game’s ultimate challenge.

Fire Til It Goes Click

Raid bosses of the Borderlands series have been slowly evolving as developers seek to meet new industry standards. However, they can always be strong-armed with the right combination of loot, which of course requires constant updates to the game, but 2K seems to have found a balance with this latest iteration of the franchise. Part of this balance can be attributed to learning from past transgressions, such as the damage exploit that could be achieved with the Conference Call and Bee Shield of Borderlands 2.
 

Estuans interius                          ira vehementi                             Shuggurath!

Estuans interius
ira vehementi
Shuggurath!

Going forward, 2K Australia should stick to their new approach to raids, and hopefully other developers will take note as the industry moves forward. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel provides one of the most balanced raid experiences in gaming, and it does so without requiring players to join a team of four in order to win.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.

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