Borderlands 3 Review
Gearbox has stuck to its guns (quite literally the bazillions of them). They have brought us a title that doesn't differ from its predecessors’ a great deal but refines everything that made them so good!
In this review, we're going to be looking at the story, gameplay and more importantly, all that sweet, precious loot!
We start off the game with the choice of four brand new vault hunters, who are always looking for those infamous vaults. I was pleasantly surprised how unique they all felt and it was a bonus when there was not a definitive choice as to who would be the best to play as.
In my two playthroughs, I’ve played as FL4K and also Zane so far, both in which resulted in me having two completely different experiences with the game. FL4K, in particular as he can have a constant pet companion with him, these are adorable and they treat your enemies like chew toys!
In terms of shooting (which you'll be doing a lot of), the combat feels amazing, this is definitely something they have been working on as the guns are now more weighty than before. The AI is far smarter as enemies now duck behind cover when you’re firing at them or jump up to vantage points to get a better shot on you.
There’s a bigger variety of enemies now too, from your bandits to more organised military enemies, it makes the game a lot more interesting to play. As well as these added difficulties, you then also have robots, mutants and creatures to try and deal with too but there's no need to worry, you come well equipped to handle whatever Pandora and Co can throw at you.
They've got this part spot on. Of course, they would! This is what Borderlands built its name on, all the guns, grenades and shields you could get your vault hunter fingers on.
I was always looking forward to what new gun was waiting around the corner for me and your loot can range from pistols that shoot a tracking grenade and then all your bullets will go to whoever that hits, to snipers that you charge up then fire a powerful elemental projectile at the enemy. Not to mention the legendary loot drops, they truly are the best example of this. Early on in my game, I got myself a legendary shotgun called “One Pump Chump”, I’ll let you imagine the weapon description… But the One Pump Chump was designed to be both a shotgun and a sniper rifle, this did incredible damage!
As well as always being on the lookout for brand new loot, you’ll also be on the hunt for brand new shields and grenades too. Sadly, the variation of shields hasn’t changed too much from its predecessor, Borderlands 2, you’ve still got your shields that explode as soon as they have been depleted which increases your weapon damage for a small percentage of your shield capacity but there haven’t been many updates on this area.
As for the grenades though, Gearbox has added lots of variety to these! There are now ones that bounce around the battlefield firing bullets until they explode, to ones that split into two, home in on two enemies and create an electrical connection, this looks both mesmerising and extremely painful at the same time. I loved it.
Borderlands 3 has you facing off against the Calypso twins in search of the great vault. The story takes you away from Pandora and to many different planets within the Borderlands universe so be prepared to get your space boots on. This also allows for a diverse set of environments from the Atlas cities of Promethea to the planet of Athena whose inhabitants are some very secretive monks.
The Calypso twins themselves seem to be characters based off Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2, the best gaming villain ever. Both characters do a good job of being the main antagonists in the game, their banter with the character occasionally made me chuckle and I did want to be rid of them towards the end. My only grievance with them is that I never really saw them as a threatening presence which is purely down to the vast number of jokes that they say, Handsome Jack had a far better mix of a comedic and serious conversation with the character.
The campaign is quite meaty and will take you roughly 30 hours to complete but will probably take you longer if you decide to opt into all the optional side quests and activities. Especially in a time where developers are leaning toward quantity over quality for side content, I was very happy with Borderlands 3 side quests as they always kept me interested in their unique little plots. There is a great deal of variation in these too, one even had me freeing someone who was trapped in a simulation and another had me competing in a battle royal where the prize is an intimate night with a man named “Killavolt”.
If you’re a fan of the series or are yet to have the opportunity to delve into the Borderland universe, I would 100% recommend this game to you as it’s more of what you already love (or potentially could love!). Bar a few performance issues when you’re in the menus, this is a fantastic entry into the series and I for one hope the Borderlands story doesn't end here.
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