With all this recent talk about the announcement of Borderlands 3 and all the Anthem news (and back and forth) it took a while, but then it hit me. I reevaluated which of the games in this supposed “looter shooter” genre I had played and what I liked and disliked about them. I should probably preface that the last time I actively played anything resembling a shooter was Quake 3 Arena and Action Quake 2. At the break of the century until maybe 2002 or 2003.
Borderlands – got it on a sale, it wasn’t bad per se, but it didn’t really stick. I loved the art style but not the gameplay.
Borderlands II – also got this on sale. While I didn’t play many hours I absolutely enjoyed it. For the most part. I was sneaking and sniping instead of going in guns blazin’ though.
Destiny II – played the demo and absolutely loved it. Had it been available at that time I would’ve instantly bought it. So the hype died down, I wasn’t interested anymore when it launched and then I grabbed it when it was free. I played some and liked it. Mostly sniping and zoomed in scout rifle, though.
Now compare this with the “normal” shooters I’ve played:
Quake Champions – it’s pretty awesome but I guess that is because it feels exactly like Q3A to me. I played a bit but then other games took my attention again. Fun, but not worth my gaming time it seems.
Warsow – played an evening with friends once. Was fun, but again, not fun enough to invest time.
Now to the interesting part. I never liked the solo campaigns in shooters, I mostly played deathmatch or team deathmatch. And of course I played BL2 and Destiny mostly solo, although there were some events in Destiny, but there was hardly any interactions, might as well have been bots. So what struck me is that I actually hate getting upgrades and making decisions. “Is this weapon better than the other?” I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE. If it has more than 3 stats and I don’t know which one to use.. I even played through most of Quake with a single weapon and hated switching because I didn’t have ammo anymore. I’ve raided long enough to have had my share of minmaxing builds for a lifetime. This is more tedious than work. I have nothing against linear progression. Get new gun, replace old gun. Fine. Don’t make me compare 7 stats. I do not care a bit.
OK, so why did I like Borderlands 2 and Destiny 2 again? I don’t know, surely not for the loot. Maybe I’ve just been away from shooters long enough that some pretty graphics and shooting enemies is good enough. I can’t tell you if the story is good. It’s better than what I know (Quake).