After many years of speculation for a continuation in the Borderlands series, Gearbox finally delivered with its most recent addition, Borderlands 3. Boasting improvements to gameplay, better character customization, and the same great humor that was present in all other titles, this was meant to be the culmination of all the improvements made to the series game-to-game. Being someone who played all of the games previous to this, I was fairly excited for its release. Having now hit max level and completed the story, now would be a good time to see how this new release holds up to its legendary predecessor, Borderlands 2. So, without further interruption, let the mayhem begin.
First off, the game is gorgeous. The series’ popular cell-shaded art style is back, and it received many improvements to not only make it look better but run better as well. Rather than making dull textures and cell-shading to give them detail, they are now fully detailed from the start, giving the game even more of a comic-book look to it. However, this is not without its downsides. This can lead to many loading issues, especially on console. (PS4 was used for this review.)
Textures may load in late. Glitches occur in the cut scenes. And graphical errors are aplenty. We (I played with three other friends as well through the story) also encountered many problems with the multiplayer as well. There were multiple times where my friends’ audio would cut out completely, and everything was reduced to a muffle. There was also a time I fell through the map immediately after a cut scene ended, which was both hilarious and frustrating. So, needless to say, the game does have a few issues regarding how it runs, but I don’t think that it’s enough to drag the experience down entirely.
The gameplay however, is where the game has made strides in its improvements. Borderlands 3 is an FPS (First Person Shooter) after all, so the gunplay needs to feel smooth and rewarding—which it does immensely. With the removal of certain elements like Slag, which was needed to defeat any high level enemy in Borderlands 2, the game feels much more open to experimenting with your play style and weapon choice. The two new elements, radiation and cryogenic, are welcome additions and only serve to add to the absurd amount of customization possible in this game. The movement and gunplay have received improvements as well. It feels very reminiscent of DOOM and Destiny, which really isn’t a bad thing, as those games are most well known for their movement and gunplay.
The story, however, will be a controversial point. I did not really care for the story, as I felt it was very predictable in how it played out, and I even predicted a few events throughout the story. The two main villains, Tyreen and Troy (who are racing you across the galaxy for ancient artifacts throughout the game) don’t really live up to the legendary status of the previous villain, Handsome Jack. Although, I did think that they were a decent pair of villains, and I thought Troy was more enjoyable than Tyreen. The overall plot, however, did not really impress me.
Borderlands 3 is certainly a step-up from the previous games. While I feel the story is a bit lacking, the overall gameplay and amount of customization available to the player make up for its small shortcomings. The game was a blast to play with friends, and the loot gained was both exciting and rewarding. If you have a few friends and have no games to play at the moment, I recommend this game immensely.
DeMere Strickland is the senior editor-in-chief of The Rambler. He is a member of the Class of 2020. His interests include video games, comics, and art. He lives with his sister and his mother.