The biggest takeaway I had from Borderlands 3 was the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The developers were certainly content with playing it safe, for better or worse. If you’ve played the previous Borderlands games, and loved them as they are, then you’ll certainly get a lot out of this game.
Here you’ll experience that same craziness you expect to see, and it’s just as thrilling as before. My main praises are also the main focuses of the game- the action and the loot. What more can you expect? Each battle you take part in will get the blood pumping, and the controls, general gunplay, and fast-paced nature is always a joy. Each character has their own special attacks- for example Moze, who can summon her Iron Bear, can rip through enemies like no tomorrow.
The other best part of Borderlands 3 is of course that beautiful shiny loot! After every fight (especially bosses), or chests/containers you find, discovering newer and better loot is always the highlight. There’s a near limitless amount of guns. So every time you gain a new gun, and because they’re all different, it brings a new element/dynamic to each fight. This keeps the action always feeling new and fresh.
As I was alluding to before, about how the developers kept things similar to previous games, I believe that was also its downfall in some ways. During my playthrough, I always had that “I’ve done this before” feeling. Almost like this is a Borderlands 2.5, or maybe a large expansion. They didn’t show any ambition or innovation, or try to evolve the series at all.
This game could have come out in 2012 and would feel right at home. So many franchises have evolved to keep things new (God of War, Resident Evil, etc), but Borderlands 3 perhaps plays it too safe.
Another issue I had was the main story. It was just so standard and expected, it hardly got me invested. The main missions too were also fairly repetitive. You basically followed the waypoint marker throughout the area, and fought enemies along the way. Rinse and repeat. There was no creativity in them, and eventually started to drag on because of how long the game is. On the plus side, you’ll be travelling to multiple planets, so you’ll be treated to a good variety of scenery, instead of just the same gritty environments of the previous games.
This game had a lot to live up to in terms of villians, especially since Handsome Jack from BL2 is one of the best villains ever. I think the Calypso twin didn’t really come close. I found them rather cringeworthy, to be honest. I know the developers wanted to bring them to the modern age, but making them social media influencers/streamers was just awful. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but having any form of social media in games just feels like they’re trying too hard to be ‘hip’.
I remember every time Handsome Jack spoke, I hung onto every word he said, but whenever the Calypso twins spoke, I couldn’t wait for it be over!
To end things, I will praise the game for its content, for there is plenty to keep you going! Each map will have its own set of side missions, challenges, and more. I mainly focused on finishing the story, and that took me long enough, but there is so much more to go back to if I wish.
So while there are some things that dragged down the experience for me here, the sheer amount of content, guns, and fun action, will be enough for most fans to enjoy with this game.