Review: Borderlands 3

After 7 years of waiting, the Borderlands series returns with a sequel to the second part. In Borderlands 3, we are introduced to a number of new vault hunters, new antagonists and an all-new story in which players will leave Pandora.

Borderlands 3 players will have the option to depart from Sanctuary, this time a spaceship, to other locations and planets. This ensures that in addition to the plains of Pandora, we also get to see some other locations that all have their own atmosphere.
Although the old vault hunters and other characters do appear in the story, this time we take on the role of new vault hunters. Players can choose between a Siren, an Operator, a Beastmaster or a Gunner class. These characters bring new skill trees and action skills with them. In it we come across a lot of new features for the series. Players can adjust their action skills in different ways and thus combine different skill trees.
But does Borderlands 3 really bring anything new besides these features? In short: No. Borderlands 3 lingers in the eternal meme references and humor that often remains on a poop and pee joke level. We are of course 7 years further since the release of the second part. While Borderlands 2's audience has gotten older and more mature, Borderlands itself hasn't gotten that at all. Humor is of course something subjective so should not really count in a review. That will not happen here.

Gameplay & Story

So what do we pay attention to? First, the gameplay. And that's where this third installment really shines. The gameplay is great. Weapons sound and feel good to get started with. The sounds (when they work, but more on that later) are fantastic. The combat in Borderlands 3 has therefore not been boring for a moment.
However, the story does. Handsome Jack has had to make way for the Calypso twins and will not return in this game. The Calypso twins are a bunch of streamers whose popularity calls for bandits to fight for them. In this way the twins have become a kind of gods. Wanting more power, they look for the vaults. It shouldn't be the case that they manage to open the vaults, so you will have to do something about that. You will do this together with a team of new and returning characters. While this would normally be a great development, it's weird to see characters that used to be playable and had no text now in vulnerable situations.
In addition, each character is very annoying. Characters come and go and actually do little to push the story in one direction. Borderlands 3 seems to expect that we are already attached to the characters that are now returning. When these characters in previous parts did not have a story or text, it remained difficult.
The characters in Borderlands 3 do little more than make arrogant or intensely lame comments. And the Calypso twins don't change that at all.
The quests you will encounter are not spectacular either. The familiar fetch and kill quests return and rarely do anything to spice things up. The quests range from opening a civilian tent to freeing a character from a toilet. The best quests in Borderlands 3 are the quests with the least text.
The new locations bring new enemy types and bosses. However, the new enemies don't do much new and look more like the same enemies with different skins. The boss battles sometimes interrupt that with some cool mechanics. However, most of the bosses are the standard bullet sponges that run after you while firing. In addition, some bosses have AOE attacks that cannot be avoided. A cheap way of ramping up the difficulty that really only adds to the frustration.

Performance issues

While there are likely some patches coming to fix the issues, Borderlands 3's performance isn't what it should be either. Long loading screens, the disappearance of all the sound, clipping through walls and the total hanging of the game come to some extent on all platforms. Not what we expected from a major dev like Gearbox.
Borderlands 3 shows exactly what is wrong with the current state of triple A developers. Creative risks are avoided in every possible way so as to play it safe. For example, there are few innovative elements and all games are more or less similar. Borderlands 3 is therefore little different from part 2.

In summary

Basically, this third installment shows that Gearbox knows how to make a shooter. The gameplay is good and the weapons make for a great experience. Gearbox has shown in part 2 that storywriting is also successful. However, they don't show that here. In theory Gearbox should be able to deliver a great game. They don't do that with Borderlands 3 unfortunately. Part 3 is exactly what part 2 is with some new additions and will suffice for die-hard fans. However, anyone who is a little more critical and, after 7 years of waiting, had higher expectations, will be disappointed.
That's not to say this third installment is a bad game. Borderlands 3 plays nicely and will be even more fun with a group of friends. Those who can accept the story and simply go out to collect loot and turn enemies into red clouds will be well satisfied with this third part in the Borderlands series in which the multiplayer and the various options there are a major addition. be on the experience.

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