It’s been such a long time since we had full-fledged Borderlands game on our hands, despite all of the controversies such as Randy Pitchford’s meltdowns and 50’s FBI agents spying on streamers under the suspicion of prematurely revealing information on the game, we finally have the 3rd iteration of the original looter-shooter, Borderlands 3.
When you hit “new game” you are struck by the classical Marcus introduction that presents you with the exposition of the current events that plague pandora. The Calypso twins are the new big bad of the game and I would like to get my only disappointment of the game out of the way at the start of this review, the Calypso twins feel too plain, they do not spark any interest and they feel like handsome Jack running on fuel fumes, nstagram likes, and cocaine.
Other than underwhelming villains this is good old borderlands, it still has its charming toilet humor, quirky characters that have their weird deep moments that you don’t know how to react to and even a few may be expected, maybe not, surprises. The new additions to the cast are ok I guess, nothing to write home about but I guess my standard is a bit high from the previous game, hard to compete with a masterpiece.
Now that we got the story part of the game out of the way we can get to the most important parts of the game, gameplay. The game catches the thin line of feeling like home, but also bringing on some welcomed changes that give the game the breath of fresh air the 2nd game could use. the 2nd game gets the benefit of being released in 2012 and still holding up 7 years later, and it feels as if the developers scoured through the forums of the 2nd game and written down all the ideas that players brought up.
Even the graphics look familiar, but are heavily improved with the game engine we got a glimpse of in GDC 2017, everything looks extremely polished and although the game could be a bit more optimized (was played on a 2080ti on a 2k screen and was diving to 50 fps at times and averaging 90 fps) it does not ruin the experience and the beauty of the world of Borderlands 3. The game is a looker and the cell-shaded graphics are totally up to date with how a modern Borderlands should look.
Everything in the game is projecting “Hey fam, we know what you want”, the movement has been drastically improved and the slide and climb that were added are saving me the time I never thought needed saving, instead of trying to cheat my climb to a tower and hope I don’t fall off I just grab to the nearest visible edge and there I go, the slides feel almost as good as the slides in Apex legends, it could be more fluid but it is still a great addition (it does damage too!).
Guns are surprisingly overwhelming, never have I had the pleasant headache of thinking what weapon to keep and what weapon to sell to greedy Marcus, the diversity is absolutely astounding and even uncommon weapons can feel like legendaries due to secondary fire modes or maybe some added text that gives the weapon some extra spice. Unlike previous games the guns feel much more realistic to use, you feel like there was though put to “how would a nuclear beam wave feel like shooting?”.
The driving part of the game also feels like it was completely overhauled and the vehicles feel like heavy machiners with engines and just some cardboard with some physics plastered on, the control feels a bit heavier, like a real car feels like, as much as an alien planet car can feel real. We get the classic cars we know from the 2nd game, and we also get a few interesting surprises that I won’t spoil, but we have a decent customization variety to use and try out and it is also a change that I never knew I needed.
The fact that driving is more fun is important because the maps are not only humongous but are abound with secret activities, in addition to the echo logs you can find to discover the lore behind the world, there are also Typhon logs that upon hearing out the 3 that are in each map, Tannis will triangulate the secret location of a secret stash. We can also find secret mini-bosses, I won’t spoil the surprises (yes, plural) but I strongly recommend not leaving any area undiscovered.
A crucial change that we also get with this game is a hub in the form of Sanctuary 3. instead of running around the huge town, this time the main vendors and NPCs are found in the spaceship that is Sanctuary 3 and this is also a great time-saving decision by the developers, I hated running to get a quest from Scooter on one side of the map, and then running to the other side to buy inventory extenders from Earl (in this game he sells weapons and skins, inventory extenders are bought with the regular currency). Everything is quick to access and once you get used to the stairs on the ship, you will be spending less time on selly selly and more time on shooty shooty.
All in all this is a game that I don’t think any FPS or RPG lover can afford to miss out on, not to mention Borderlands fans, Epic exclusivity discussions aside, this is a must buy because playing it feels much better overall than the 2nd, some can say it’s a given, but the 2nd game still holds up as a great game even by today standards. the weapons, the variety of enemies, the crazy bosses, all of this make this game a sure Deal.
Borderlands 3 is available on the PS4 Xbox one and exclusively on the Epic store on Pc.