Being one of the biggest influencers when it comes down to the looter-shooter genre? The Borderlands franchise has grown out to be one of the go-to genres for anyone who just loves RNG loot. While other franchises look on with envy towards the success story that is Borderlands and Borderlands 2? Everything kind of died down around it. A passionate community kept the game from dying off. And so it remained, until, out of nowhere? Rumours started popping up that Gearbox was working on a third Borderlands. My heart jumped when I heard that the rumors were true and the first teaser was shown. I feverishly followed each update and everything surrounding this next upcoming one. And then the day finally came, Borderlands 3 got released! Did Gearbox succeed and did they continue their success? Or are they a bit too late and should it be forgotten? Let’s find out in this review of Borderlands 3! *Sidenote: I waited this long for my review because 1, I truly enjoyed the game and 2, the game had some release issues which have been smoothed out already. Also, I am reviewing Borderlands 3 purely based on the game and not the controversy that surrounded the running up towards the release. Reviews should be based solemnly on the game and gameplay and not what surrounded it outside of this. This being said? Let’s get it on!
What do you do? You play as one of 4 vault hunters. Amara, Fl4k, Zane, and Moze. Each one is their own kind of personal mini army. Amara is your go-to Siren, Fl4k is a beastmaster, which means he can control pets. Zane is your common soldier class and uses clones to bamboozle the enemy, while Moze is your grenadier that pilots a big mech. As one of the vault hunters, you must put a stop to Borderlands ‘s new “big baddies”. The Calypso twins! These 2 social media addicts are causing death and mayhem across the universe (Yup! You read that right) and it’s up to you to put a stop to them!
- Loot Galore: As it was in previous Borderlands games, so it is again in this one. Borderlands 3 offers you an amazing range of new and rehashed weapons. And not only does it deliver on the diverse amount of loot, but it also gives us a new element for our weapons! This being Radioactive. And it does exactly what you’d think it would. It irradiates your enemies. This replaces the Slag element from previous Borderlands but, trust me? You won’t be needing Slag this time around to buff the damage that you’ll be doing! But on top of that, you’ll also be able to unlock an entire slew of skins, care customization parts, heads,… and so much more. So not only does Borderlands provide an entire truckload of weapons, but it also does its best to give us free cosmetics! Keep a spot open in your inventory just for these, because believe me? There are a LOT of cosmetics here!
- Quality of Life: I have to be honest, I totally adored Borderlands 2 but if there were a few things that bugged me? Then it had to be opening chests and manually selecting the ammo boxes or money piles. Now, that’s a thing of the past! When opening a crate or box now, whatever is in it, ammo, money, health? Will automatically be picked up and gets added to your inventory or cash pouch. Another one of the amazing improvements, for instance? Is the fact that if you’d miss an important weapon drop or cosmetic? It won’t be lost. You’ll be able to gather these at a certain vendor/machine a bit further along in the story. So no more accidental drops getting lost, or even worse? Weapons falling through the floor, to be forever lost in the eternal abyss that was whatever was below the map. It’s these kinds of small changes that seriously irked me in previous instalments, as to which I am totally glad to see gone forever!
- A lot of content: First off, the base game offers you a ton, and I really mean a ton of gameplay. There are so many main quests for you to follow along, and even more side quests for you to partake in. The landscapes are way bigger than in previous games and just the overall quality of side quests is improved. Okay, there are some questionable ones out there, but come on? With everything you’re granted here, it’s hard to not have one or two things go south or just feel underwhelming. You’ll even have on map locations for you to explore and complete to just unlock certain lore sections or gain some extra loot. Secondly, there are a few online game modes for you to run through as well. Apart from the main story mode, you’ll also be able to partake in circles of slaughter. These can be seen as Borderland ‘s horde mode. You compete in an arena that will be swamped with ever harder growing enemies, to culminate in one epic showdown. These are amazing if you’re missing money or just need some extra items. This is a 4 man mode, but they’re o so worth it. Another one of these modes, for instance, throws you in a dungeon. You’ve got to complete this one in a certain amount of time with you ending at a boss in the final chamber. Defeat him? And sweet loot is yours to be had! But that’s not all, there is even more! As of the moment that I am writing this review, the game’s first event has been announced. Yup, the game is getting free content as well as paid content. The first event is free and will be Halloween themed. So it cannot be said that Borderlands 3 will NOT deliver on the content side!
- Visually appealing: Being a recent game this time around, the visual art style has been updated as well. While it clearly looks like a Borderlands game, it got every sort of upgrade that you could imagine. The characters look more believable, the colours are more lively, and just the overall look and feel of the game feels like it’s right. Lighting is used in the right places, creating a wonderful atmosphere…
- Finally leaving Pandora!: You read that right everyone! Even though Pandora is a big planet for you to run around on? After 2 games it might’ve been a bit asking too much to just accept that we’re not seeing a different area. So instead of a new area? Gearbox decided to give us an entire universe! After a certain point in the game you’ll be blasting off and you’ll be getting ready to explore entirely new planets! And these are as diverse as they can get! One is a jungle planet, while the other is a technological planet. There are a few more out there, but I’ll leave those up for you guys to explore instead of me telling you all about them!
- Gunplay: The overall gunplay is just as you would expect it to be! It’s good, and feels just as it should feel! It feels wonderful, the guns have heft and weight to them and they sound just absolutely amazing. If you’re used to the gunplay in previous Borderlands games? Then you’ll feel right at home with Borderlands 3!
- The Calypso Twins: While we are still settling down from having Handsome Jack being our number one villain, Gearbox has tried to give us a new baddie to hate. Though I sure did hate them, often I hated them for the wrong reasons. They aren’t as much evil as they are just horny for media attention. They don’t really do much other than just being plain annoying! Okay, they have their moments but these are few and spread widely apart from each other. I don’t know if it’s because they had such an amazing and charismatic character with Handsome Jack? That these 2 social media buffs just pale in comparison? But something just doesn’t feel right when they’re on the screen or blaring through your echo device. Don’t get me wrong, they are the main villains of the game! It just doesn’t feel as if they were such a threat during most parts of the game.
- Side Quests outshining…: While the main story missions are there to go through the main campaign mode? I couldn’t help but feel that the side missions and quests are actually more fun and rewarding than the main storyline ones are. I mean, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t the main storyline be the focal point of what makes a game tick? Yet, it seems like it’s a topsy-turvy world here. Oh well, it isn’t such a big deal anyway. Since the best parts of the game are available after you beat the game.
- 4K Frame Drops: While the performance mode never fails and always gives credit to the set promise into giving us a stable and smooth frame rate? The quality mode, on the other hand, does tend to dip below enjoyable FPS standards. While this has already been smoothed out quite a bit, I still get some dips in the fluidity of the game. Especially when navigating through the menus of your echo device. Then it really starts to become choppy… And I’m sure this will be patched up in the upcoming patches, but come on? This should have been obvious during the development of the game! This is why you do beta tests as well guys, come on! The state shouldn’t have been this bad if you just would’ve had a closed beta test. Just saying…
- Old crew love?: While some characters of the old crew make an appearance? I got the impression that they were just put there to be paperweights. Most of them barely get a word in! Was it that much to ask? To give them a worthwhile sending off? Or at least, give them some more meaning than just the sliver of screentime that most of them got? They deserve respect! They carried their own Borderlands game, give them some love at least!
- Some enemy types: Oh my goodness… I raged a lot during my sessions in the circle of slaughter. Why you may ask? This was due to a certain enemy type, the Rakk. These guys are annoying because they are notoriously hard to get a good bead on them. But overall they shouldn’t be such an issue for you to dispatch. But in this mode? My goodness! They get increasingly harder with each passing moment. Add on top of that, that they can evolve to be even bigger bullet sponges? And you’ve got yourself a mix that would set off even the calmest of gamers out there. They often come in packs and can act quite buggy. At times they would just glitch through the map and become stuck. This wouldn’t be such a big issue if they would just get killed by the borders of the map? But nope! If these get stuck there? It’s an entire reset of your circle of slaughter amigos! So, gearbox? Just remove those flying butt nuggets out of the game? Okay? Well alright then!
Gearbox? 2K? You did the Borderlands franchise right! Borderlands 3 is a straight ace in the hole for my part! Not only did they create a worthy successor for the Borderlands universe, but they also created a game that has a lot of future potentials! If they stick to their promise about the free and seasonal pass content updates? Then I’m sure that Borderlands 3 will become the next go-to game for anyone out there that loves the shlooter genre! If you were still wondering if it’s a worthwhile game to pick up? Then trust me, it truly is! It’s fun, it looks and sounds amazing. And it’s just brimming with content! Borderlands 3 is truly one of my top 5 games of the year 2019 so far!
Developer: Gearbox Software Publisher: 2K Studios
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 and PC
Alexis spent 20 hours causing mayhem on pandora and so much more…
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: 50+ hours maybe? Dunno…
Perfect for: Co-op players, gamers that like RNG in their loot, loot farmers, shooter looter addicts, anyone who has an affinity for the FPS genre.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here