Introducing Moze and Iron Bear
Moze is also known as the Gunner. Moze’s unique ability is to digi-struct a giant mech called Iron Bear. When activating this action skill, you will take place in the cockpit of Iron Bear. Now you can wreck up those bandits but not before you equip your mech with some weaponry.
Iron Bear has 2 hardpoints. These function as weapon slots. On top of each of Moze’s skill trees, you will find a weapon. A mini-gun, a grenade launcher, and a railgun. You can set these to each of the 2 hardpoints. Now you can mix or match any of these weapons as you prefer. You can equip a weapon twice which could be beneficial further down your skill tree or you can select 2 different weapons giving you more options to tackle the challenge that each combat zone delivers.
My initial preference would be the grenade launcher because of the splash damage. The railgun is powerful, however, it has a bit of a charge up time. Because my aiming isn’t always accurate I tent to miss those shots. The mini-gun that allows for spray and pray would be more suited for me.
The cool thing is that further down the skill trees you are able to unlock new weapons. Now your range of arsenal can go up to 6 weapons to choose from. Adding a flamethrower, a missile launcher, and bear fists. The flamethrower is sweet, lighting your enemies up. I didn’t get to try out the bear fists but this one isn’t as appealing to me personally. I really enjoyed the missile launcher as it is a more direct explosive compared to the grenade launcher. It looked cool and it is devastating. This was the weapon that made me feel powerful and that’s something an action skill should do.
Compared to playing Zane and Amara, Moze’s action skill takes a long time to cooldown. Therefore you start to pick your moments when to activate Iron Bear. While with the current other Vault Hunters you can spam those a lot more. Activating an action skill in each combat zone instead of needing to sit one out. That said the moment to moment gunplay in Borderlands 3 is awesome.
So Moze has 6 weapons she can equip to her iron bear. Each having its own play style. However, you can further customize these weapons by selecting associated augments. These let you change up the way the behavior of a weapon. Giving you even more variety to work with. Each hardpoint has 1 augment slot you can use our alter the weapon’s effect. Since there are 3 different augments you can choose from, you can have a lot of variations.
The demo itself was pretty short and straight forward. That is to be expected from a map this early in the game. Those often take you by the hand and guide you through the environment. For a show floor demo, it was a nice slice of the game. Publishers don’t want the lines to get too long. Therefore I ran through the demo multiple times. That said the level design gives you enough room to engage each combat zone in various ways. There are containers that are setup as obstacles but you can also use them to your advantage by climbing up on them. This way you take the high ground and jump down performing a slam.
One of the weapons of my demo character was a Jakobs shotgun. It’s an absolute beast. A lot of knockback on enemies which send them flying into the air. But also the new critical hit effect of Jakob’s weaponry is a highlight as bullets ricochet to nearby targets. So using the environment to your advantage was really fun. Sliding into combat, popping those shots at close range, and shedding the bandits into pieces felt rewarding. And if one of them managed to survive that 2 pomp shotgun there was also a bayonet attachment on it that let me finish the job.
‘Dakka Bear’ is a cool skill if you are playing co-op because your friend can jump on the back of your Iron Bear and shoot the turret that’s mounted on top of it. However, when you don’t have a co-op buddy you can spec into ‘Auto Bear’ this skill will allow Iron Bear to stay on the battlefield for a short time. Now you can jump on that turret yourself. We will have to see if ‘Dakka Bear’ is a cool skill to pick up when playing solo but ‘Auto Bear’ is definitely something I would pick up.
‘To the Last’ gives Moze the ability to throw grenades while in Fight For Your Life. If you threw a grenade before gaining Second Wind, the grenade is refunded. In Borderlands 2 I managed to get a lot of second wins because I threw a ‘Bonus Package‘ at the last second before going down.
The skill ‘Rushin’ Offensive’ could be fun. This gives you the ability to sprint and shoot at the same time. The movement in Borderlands 3 is smoother with things like sliding around cover. While you can still play the tank role in Borderlands 3 and aggregate all that damage as you did in the previous games. I think this skill will complement the new combat flow and up the pace even more. Run and Gun, becomes literal as you can potentially blaze through a combat zone.
Mouthpiece Boss fight
Mouthpiece is the final boss in the demo. While the fight was pretty elaborate, Gearbox still considers this to be a mini-boss. The arena of this fight is filled with mega-size speakers. Every now and then a selection of speakers will charge and blow a shockwave through the arena. There is an indication when which section of speakers will blow but half of the time I wasn’t paying attention to it and had too much fun killing of those tinks that rub around the arena. The fight isn’t very difficult but it’s still in the opening section of the game. The boss music is great. I like those housy tunes. Mouthpiece legendary drop is the gun that shoots out energy waves that look like an equalizer LED. I managed to play around with this gun at the Borderlands 3 reveal event and it is a powerful weapon.
Best vault hunter
Who’s the best Borderlands 3 playable character? Well, that’s still early to say. I enjoyed playing all of them. I think Zane is my favorite character at the moment because of his skills. That said, a character should make you feel like a Badass and I definitely had that moment with Moze when I equipped Iron Bear with 2 rocket launchers.