Borderlands 3 developed by Gearbox and published by 2K Games is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Years after the events of Borderlands 2, the devastation of Hyperion has left the place without rulers. The Calypso Twins Troy and Tyreen the new villains in Borderlands 3 have set off on a mission to become the gods of the Universe and open up the vaults that have been discovered on other planets. The two villains have set up a cult of bandits called the Children of the Vault who will do anything to please their gods. Players start off on an even more war-torn Pandora with Lilith who is now in-charge of The Crimson Raiders who are tasked with protecting Pandora.
I found the twins interesting, Troy is referenced as a parasite who leached off his sister in the womb and his sister Tyreen has to feed him and herself by eating humans. Throughout the game you learn that she can also steal the powers of any Siren and use them for her own villainous mission on getting into the vaults. Their personalities are based on from what I can tell, toxic streaming personalities who think of themselves as gods. There is a lot of humour in-between but I never felt very connected as they didn’t seem as prominently displayed through-out my story or as funny as Handsome Jack. Overall I didn’t really get as attached to it as I thought I would but to me Borderlands has always been about game-play and it’s looter shooter mechanics, the story is no where near bad but nothing special.
The side quests this time around do offer some humour and interesting moments in a narrative kind of way but sadly gets bogged down with repetitive fetch like quests rather than trying anything new.
Borderlands 3 has an array of fun things to do from the amazing array of weapons with some serious firepower or some that are just hilarious for example a gun that fires acidic cheese burgers and others when thrown shout Yeet and then each bounce on the environment results in it saying ow. The movement system has been upgraded so now you can skid across the floor and pull of some pretty cool moves like kicking the enemies when you reach them and even putting special items to buff the skid. You can now climb up on most ledges which really adds to the game by providing little platforming sections to score some epic loot or collectables. This time round combat felt like there was much more to it by adding new ways to get around and cause chaos. The controls are smooth and well done, the menu’s can get a bit busy but tutorials are offered for those unfamiliar to the Borderlands series.
Side quests, I’m very mixed on, some are interesting and offer a decent narrative but sadly the tasks always boiled down to, run here, pick this up, kill that. Other than the story missions that offered a variety, the side quests just never really provided any excitement at all other than XP, cash and loot. Some are interesting and it does let you explore more of the 4 planets you can visit, but nothing really screams out “this is a fresh new and fantastic idea”. The exploration of the Planets is interesting as a lot of effort has gone in to offer backgrounds on them, a variation in environments hazards, obstacles and theme definitely adds to the experience but the side quests just don’t add anything. The new characters all have an array of abilities, Fl4k has pets they can control and add buffs to, Amara the Siren, Zane the Operative and Moze the gunner. Each character has unique abilities to fit your play style. My favourite was Fl4k.
Sadly Borderlands 3 on the PC at-least for me has been an extremely buggy experience. Most of the time I find bugs funny and I never often talk about them unless they’re bad. Borderlands 3 on the PC has been a bit of a nightmare. At first switching Dx12 on made it so you couldn’t get past the loading screen on start-up, to fix that I had to go change the config files to get back to Dx11. While the Dx12 states it’s in BETA, perhaps it shouldn’t have been released in this state yet? Another issue was the controller kept locking to the left of the screen on the inventory menu, I’d have to restart the game once or twice to get it working again which again was a pain. The game-play itself though is very smooth, I didn’t run into any crashes myself but patches are incoming so hopefully the PC version will get fixed.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically Borderlands 3 is impressive, each Planet looks unique and has some incredible features. On the PC I played on the game ran at a consistent 60fps at 1080p and was very well optimised. The lighting on the cell-shaded style works in a very interesting way by almost mixing two graphical styles, one cartoonish and one realistic which I really liked to see. Each gun in the game is also really well designed and I never found them ever looking to much the same. The photo-mode is also a very welcome addition.
The soundtrack aids the chaos perfectly and really helps with the narrative as-well. There’s nothing like a good soundtrack to shoot the enemy too. The voice acting is hilarious as always and my favourite was obviously the gun that says ow. It’s a real shame though that the original voice actor for Clap-Trap wasn’t back but the new actor does a decent job at replicating the same feel and personality.
Borderlands 3 is a decent game, it has it’s moments where it becomes great but also moments where it becomes quite infuriating. I had fun exploring the Planets, messing with the guns, of course looting is obviously fantastic fun but the amount of bugs and instability really kind of breaks up the experience and the story doesn’t really add anything new or that interesting to boost this up into a high tier scoring game, none the less though it is a very fun game to play.
If you prefer a video review with subtitles, you can watch it below: