Though Borderlands 3’s Season One DLC is done, it’s far from the end of the road for this game. One of two new DLCs, Borderlands 3 Designer’s Cut, comes out on November 10th, bringing with it new gametypes as well as new skill tress.
New in this DLC is the Arm’s Race gametype, described as a new way to play Borderlands 3 with your friends. It’s explained in-game as a reality show by Axton And Salvador from Borderlands 2, who were both playable characters then.
This new gametype is great for those who might be a little bored of the Borderlands formula by now. Instead of yet another themed area with slightly different enemies, you’re doing a combat challenge where you enter the arena with no weapons or skills, fighting your way until the bossfight.
Borderlands’ Battle Royale
This definitely feels like the Borderlands equivalent of a Battle Royale, as it even has you avoiding the “Murdercane”, forcing you to stop hiding on the map’s outskirts and idling in place.
That being said, even if you were to call this the “battle royale” game mode, it makes one change for a very specific niche audience:
There’s no PvP. Instead, everything you kill is just enemies from the game. It makes sense since Battle Royales are meant to have lots of enemies but Borderlands can only hold 4, so instead it’s a fun 4-player PVE romp.
There’s also the previously mentioned Murdercane, which really isn’t kidding about how much you shouldn’t fight it. Being downed in the presence of the Murdercane is an instant death sentence, kicking you back out of the game and stripping you of all your loot.
There’s also supply drops, giving players a chance at getting better gear if they’re brave enough to make the trip. You’ll also get your usual Borderlands-fair dialogue from Salvador as he drops off the stuff for you, which is always a good time. These are also a good way to get Legendary weapons, which are absolutely necessary for clearing the Arms Race.
Just like Battle Royales, there are several points of interest in the map, with the high-risk ones offering better loot. Unlike PvP Battle Royales though, these are infinitely dangerous. Some of these take place in close quarters, and without your skills, enemies can easily overwhelm you. Melee enemies like Spiderants and psychos were built for close-quarters, after all, and you can’t count on them being equally overwhelmed.
Since you and your fellow Vault Hunters are working together, you do get to revive each other when downed, though only at specific points. Just remember to stay out of the way of the Murdercane, and get as much valuable loot as you can.
So if you’re fighting near-endless waves of enemies and you can’t kill your friends, how does it end, you ask? The map has a big red skull, pointing you to a bossfight. You and your friends will take on Heavyweight Harker, and beating him ends the Arms Race and lets you keep any valuable loot you get.
But That’s Not All Folks
Of course, there’s more to the Designer’s Cut than the Arm’s Race. Outside of the Arm’s Race, each Vault Hunter gets a new skill tree.
Amara gets a new skill tree, called Enlightened Force. It’s action skill is Phase Flare, which gives you an elemental orb you can knock around rooms for big damage. It’s great for enclosed areas, especially when there’s lots of enemies around. Don’t worry about calling your shots either, since the orb will do AoE damage on top of its direct hit damage.
FL4K’s new skill is called Trapper, and focuses on survivability for them and their pet. They also get access to a new pet, the Loaderbot. The new Gravity Snare skill also gives FL4K some great crowd control, as it throws enemies up into the air.
Moze’s Bear Mother is great for those of you who like elemental damage. On top of your Iron Bear, Moze also gets an additional Bear Cub, a smaller robot with a single hardpoint that will run alongside you, attacking enemies on its own. The elemental damage helps extend the time that the two Bears can stay out.
Zane’s new skill tree, The Professional, stands out from his other long-cooldown skills. Instead, he gets a more fire-and-forget type skill, with a way shorter cooldown. This one’s also great for sniping, so you can sit back and pop some heads.
Borderlands 3 The Designer’s Cut is a great piece of DLC for those who enjoy the game, but might be starting to feel bored with the usual loot grind. Arm’s Race is clearly the centrepiece of the DLC, and lets any players come together for a good 40-minute romp without worrying about optimal builds.
If you still enjoy the loot grind, there’s plenty here for you as well. The new skill trees give new ways to play for each Vault Hunter, giving exciting new playstyles that weren’t open to them before. Alternatively, the new playstyles for other characters might also be a great motivation to start a new character and spec into those.
There’s loot, there’s guns, there’s skills. It’s another great addition to the Borderlands 3 DLC.