Borderlands 3 – FL4K The Beastmaster
The fourth and final Vault Hunter in Borderlands 3 to be revealed is FL4K. FL4K is non-binary and an emergent AI who feels a connection with the wisdom of animals. At a recent hands-on event, I was able to spend a few hours playing as FL4K, testing out their skills and messing with their Skill Tree. I have to say, FL4K is definitely my new favourite.
Unlike the other Vault Hunters who use gadgets and tech, FL4K’s abilities mostly relate to and revolve around their pet. FL4K is able to choose one of three pets to accompany them and can switch at any time.
Each pet has their own unique abilities and strengths and each can be combined with FL4K’s three action skills to great effect. Which pet you choose and which Action Skill you combine it with will come down to your playstyle and preference.
However, FL4K seems, thus far, to be the most versatile and interesting Vault Hunter to play as.
Borderlands 3 FL4K
If you’ve been following Borderlands 3 and/or have checked out FL4K’s Skill Tree online you’ll know that his three pets are;
- Mr Chew the Skag
- Broodless the Spiderant
- Meat-Thief the Jabber
My personal favourite is Mr Chew because he reminds me of a dog and I’m a dog-person but each of the pets is useful in their own way. Each pet grants FL4K a passive buff with Mr Chew granting additional Damage, Broodless granting Regenerating Health and Meat-Thief increasing movement speed.
Players are able to direct their pet to attack specific enemies or can let the pet do their own thing. Many of the passive skills in the skill tree improve FL4K’s pets and they all apply to all three pets.
Improved Pets only relate to one of the three pets though, so if you want to improve a specific one, you’ll need to spend your Skill points accordingly. Additionally, Action Skill Augments relate to each Action Skill, so pick your favourite and level it up accordingly.
Of FL4K’s three Action Skills — Fade Away, Rakk Attack! and Gamma Burst — my favourite is Fade Away. Rakk Attack! has FL4K shoot two Rakk from his sleeve who dive-bomb enemies and Gamma Burst sends their pet through a Rift that irradiates them, giving them Hulk-like powers.
Both are fun to use and have their uses, but Fade Away is my pick.
Fade Away gives FL4K invisibility until the Action Skill meter is empty or until FL4K fires three shots. Each of the three shots FL4K fires is a guaranteed Critical Hit which can deal enormous damage.
I coupled Fade Away with Mr Chew and a Jakobs Shotgun. The shotgun was built like a sniper-rifle and only held one shot at a time. It dealt incredible amounts of damage, even at a distance and so it was basically a sniper shotgun.
In Borderlands 3, Jakobs weapons have a perk that ricochets a shot to another enemy when getting a Critical Hit. When I used this shotgun with Fade Away, I was getting guaranteed Crits on multiple enemies simultaneously and causing some serious carnage.
It was so good in fact that when I had to jump forward a few hours in the game and I no longer had my Jakobs shotgun, I missed it dearly.
FL4K, aside from having a great set of skills and adorable, monstrous pets, is endearing and wonderful to listen to. As you play, FL4K talks to their pets, calling them over, doting on them and generally being a great pet owner.
FL4K also has lots of great trash-talk to say to enemies and because they are an AI, lots of their references are not quite right. It’s really funny and adorable to listen to FL4K as they make their way around these alien worlds, especially because they are as foreign as everything else.
After playing as Zane in previous preview sessions, I was sure I would use him when I played Borderlands 3. Now, I’ve changed my mind.
I am definitely going to be playing as FL4K. FL4K’s skills are my favourite, their attitude is my favourite and overall, FL4K is charming and lovable. I can’t wait to see where their story goes and if they complete their journey of self-discovery.
Borderlands 3 will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on September 13.