Developer: 2K Games
Platform: Windows (reviewed), Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: Sept. 13, 2019
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Links: Epic Games Store | Official website | AmazonWe've had to wait seven years to get a new numbered game in the Borderlands series and almost five years since the (surprisingly fun) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel that was supposed to hold us over in the interim. Now that we're a few days past the retail launch (our review codes arriving only hours before the game went on sale) and have plowed a fair share of hours into the game, we're struck by just how little Borderlands has changed in that intervening time, both for good and for ill.
On the good side, this means that Borderlands 3 still provides the same kind of slick, fast-paced, varied, and just-plain-smooth shooter experience that the series has always provided. As usual, the game provides a seemingly endless variety of weapons that, crucially, all look and feel entirely distinct from one another in a number of ways. Experimenting with new gear to find the correct mix of damage impact, accuracy, magazine size, reload rate, and special abilities is a never-ending and continually fascinating process.
Earning access to a new weapon that fits your style just right still provides that adrenaline hit in a way that can't be matched by finding yet another identical shotgun in most other shooters. And many guns now have a secondary fire option, greatly increasing the level of personal tuning by offering new pros and cons.
That variety now also seems matched by the game's environments. The neons and blues of planet Promethea's urban guerrilla warfare provide a welcome change from the brown and gray desert environments Borderlands is generally known for (Pre-Sequel also showed a lot of promise on this score). Even in the relatively early going, it feels like there's going to be plenty of new planets and side-quests to keep players busy if they want to hit that rarefied 100% completion.
Vehicle navigation is another treat, with a good variety of zippy ATVs to get you around quickly. These vehicles seem a little overpowered, if anything, with artillery and shielding that can easily barrel through any ground-based enemies. Speaking of overpowered, I've had a great time calling in Moze's special skill to summon a massive bipedal "Iron Bear" mech to make quick work of huge groups of enemies. It's a great change of pace when you're tired of dodging incoming fire and hiding behind random bits of cover.
What hasn't changed at all over the years is Borderlands's writing, which alternates artlessly between corny, cringe-y, and "extreme" in the '90s skateboarder sense of the word. That's not a huge change from previous games in the series, to be fair, but it comes off as more dated and juvenile with the benefit of seven additional years of perspective.
If you think the word "ass" being used ad nauseam is funny in and of itself or that a guy in his underwear who says "bro" over and over again is the height of comedy, you've come to the right place. Otherwise, most of the attempts at character moments feel forced and sophomoric in a way that would probably make the average teenager groan.
Sloppy around the edges
Even a few hours in, Borderlands 3 has shown enough enemy variety to keepRead More – Source