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Borderlands 3

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 7 - 2019

Time to leave Pandora?

With the huge amount of promotion that went into the launch of GearBox’s Borderlands 3, there was no real chance that the game would be anything other than a hit. The launch of the sequel was made all the more sweet by the seven year wait, and all the more mysterious by the lack of reviews until after launch. There was never really any question that, at least to Borderlands fans, the game was going to be great, but the fact that reviewers were unable to access the full game until after launch does suggest that maybe the publishers 2K were worried about negative press. And why did they make us wait so long for a sequel? They shouldn’t have been worried though as Borderlands 3 is more of the same great loot-collecting shooter action that players will have come to love.


The fact of the matter is that Borderlands 3 is very similar to the previous title. I wouldn’t say that is a problem though, as the previous game was so great, but why did it take so long? Whatever the reason, it is only the fans of the game that will notice how familiar the game is. It is certainly not a fault with the game, although the years of development should really of resulted in at least some evolution of the formula.

But there are changes in Borderlands 3. Once again the player, or players as the game is best played with friends, will take the role of Vault Hunters, treasure hunters of sorts that are searching for ancient vaults filled with alien tech. It is the same set up as previous games, and Borderlands 3 follows the story on from the most recent Borderlands 2 DLC, not that missing this DLC will impact the players enjoyment of what is to come. This time around a pair of obnoxious twins are themselves hunting for a fabled vault, and have managed to build up an entire cult around them. So it is a race against time to find the vaults, and for this particular adventure staying on the planet of Pandora will not be enough. Soon enough, the player will be heading off to different planets, each with their own environment and set of adversaries to face off against. So far as changes go, this is pretty big as the apocalyptic wasteland of Pandora, while fun, is becoming a bit stale. It could be said that the new settings for Borderlands 3 don’t really play any different to the Pandora setting, but it really is nice to have something new to look at, and it adds another dimension to the game.

The four new Vault Hunters that players can choose from will be as divisive as ever. Returning players will find these new characters difficult to choose from as they are quite different from what has come before, but will quickly settle on a favourite. Amara has some pretty impressive magical abilities to play with, while FL4K has a companion pet that can be ordered around. Then there is Zane who plays with drones, and finally Moze and her very own mech. It will take some time to get used to their new abilities, even for returning players, but there is plenty of choice in tweaking the heroes into something more suiting to the players style.


This comes in the form of three skill trees each, containing both passive improvements to the character and new ways to mix up their skills. For example, Moze’s mech can be armed with a grenade launcher, minigun or railgun, changing up its role on the battlefield. The great thing is that players are free to unlock their skills in any order they wish, which can be a bit daunting when first faced with the multiple skill trees, but soon becomes incredibly gratifying as the players character evolves exactly how they wish. The new characters are all interesting, but haven’t had enough time yet to establish themselves in the same way as previous vault hunters.

The same could be said for the supporting characters in the game. There are some returning characters, along with a selection of new characters, but none seem to be quite as iconic this time around. Part of this could be due to the mission design, which doesn’t seem to make as much use of the often bizarre characters as it could. There is also seem to be a lot of busy work in the missions, leading to missions dragging on longer than would be ideal. Still, there are no complaints about the performances of the Borderlands 3 cast, and the usual level of slightly immature humour can be found throughout. More than any of the previous titles, Borderlands 3 is a game that knows it is all about outrageous, over-the-top fun.

It may seem at this point that I am finding issues with the game, and it is true that Borderlands 3 may not be as individual as expected. But these are just little niggles, design choices that I would not have made. All of the doubt is completely cast aside though when it comes to the guns. Firstly, the gun play is much tighter in this sequel and really is great fun. The real star though is the massive variety of different weapons to be found in the game. The Borderland games have always prided themselves on having a huge selection of firepower, and Borderlands 3 is probably the best in this respect. From the hundreds of standard shotguns or pistols with varying stats, to the more unique guns that can be used as grenades or simply set free to run around and shoot enemies on their own, the whole compulsion to keep on playing to find new weapons is as strong as ever. Seriously, the weapons are great in this game and come so thick and fast that players will often have more trouble trying to decide which to use than getting bored with whatever they have.


Borderlands 3 has that same instantly recognisable visual style that will please the returning players while mesmerising newcomers. A story recap will keep those newcomers up to speed about the world of vault hunting in the briefest way, and the fans will have fun getting to grips with the new characters and learning their ways. It has the same level of humour, although perhaps a little bit more silly, and leaving Pandora to explore new planets is a particular thrill. While the game may not have evolved as much as was expected after such a long break, it is simply the best co-op shooter of the moment and one that both Borderlands fans and general shooter fans would be total fools to pass up. Borderlands 3 is one of the best games of the year, so just pick it up.




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