Borderlands hit 2019 like a rancid fart with a whole bunch of new and somewhat updated content.
First, it was the 4K texture pack for The Handsome Collection, and shortly thereafter, DLC for Borderlands 2 that help transition the story into Borderlands 3.
Two months later, here drops the remake of the first Borderlands like a hot potato with all its DLC packs and a slew of added upgrades that the original didn’t have.
Now with Borderlands 3 here, the mayhem continues with a new plot, new Vault Hunters, new enemies, new guns, locations, it is just crazy.
FLYING OUT OF PANDORA
As always, you start the journey on Pandora (no surprise there) as one of four new Vault Hunters with brand new tricks and skills that pay the bills.
Zane The Operative is that guy that starts the fight, slips out quickly to start another fight, slip back out, finish the one he started prior, and then back the other one to mop up what’s left. With the skilful use of gadgets and rather handy Hologram/Teleportation device, you suddenly have new ways to cause trouble.
Moze The Gunner and her partner Iron Bear is a two-man, uh I mean Woman and Robot team, you do not want to be a target of. Moze is fully capable of handling reasonable crowds with enough force to undo the nuts on a Star Ship, but when Iron Bear jumps in, there is a flurry of rockets/grenades/bullets/rail bullets being hand-delivered to every sorry sod in the immediate vicinity.
FL4K The Beastmaster with his loyal beasts hunts relentlessly and take no prisoners, mainly cos Skags think bandits and psychos are human-burgers. Turning a 1 against 10 into a slaughter in an instant, FL4K will control the battle until all burgers, sorry, bandits, are dealt with.
Amara The Siren with her ethereal fists is a brawler ready for any fight, anytime and anywhere. From literally ground-pounding her enemies into the ground, Amara’s fists do the talking and all the bandits’ faces are the ears.
Ok, so after introductions and a quick Welcome to Pandora Meat-Puppet! I strangely felt at home once more in the chaos but also excited for what is to come.
As stated, you start off on Pandora, just the normal gallivanting of shooting and looting, but soon the story goes where you go off-planet to other systems, like that went fast, no first date? Anyhow, the new system all have their own style and atmosphere. Environments look particularly good with its open like map views, vibrant colours and a complete day and night cycle that changes the general colour pallet as the lighting does its thing.
You would think Pandora is super dangerous, but it seems the other planets in the system is equally Off Their Rockers, but in a different way.
Now that things are taken off-world, your new base is still Sanctuary but is now a Space-ship, and what a joy it is to explore it. It feels kind of like a jungle-gym when running around it, but it is mainly to keep track of where things are as mini-maps don’t show layers, just an up or down arrowing to indicate which level they on.
Maps, in general, is fairly large, not Sandbox large, just bigger than before, and some now focus just a bit more on the topography with pathways going up and down. Luckily your map-viewer is now full 3D and shows all the nooks and cranny’s you can go look for loot.
SO WHAT’S THE STORY, JACK…JACK?
Right, so the story continues not long after The Fight for Sanctuary with the new Vault Hunters looking for adventure. You soon learn of the new enemies on the rise, and they have a large following, like the really large following. The Calypso Twins, two Sirens on warpath, have gathered an army so to speak. Their mission? Also looking for the mysterious Vaults, at any cost. They are cruel, powerful and extremely dangerous.
The way they handle their following is almost the same way someone really famous on social media does. Constant broadcasts and repeat showcasing of content, they are always in your face.
Good thing the Vault Hunters have friends as the entire legacy cast returns, and with a few new faces to add to the mix, to take on the Children of the Vault.
Side Note: It is worth playing Tales from the Borderlands for just a slight extra bit of backstory.
Story progression is much more fluid, and dare I say cinematic at times, but expect some twists that will feel like someone dropped a fresh hot pizza, toppings downward. You get plenty of side quests but at times it’s difficult to tell the difference between Main and Side Missions. Regardless, either help settles in the plot and is huge fun taking on hordes of enemies.
Taking on bandits, psychos, beasts, Maliwan soldiers and the COV, is half the fun. The other half is 1-part Literal-Crap-Ton of Guns and 1-part I-Am-About-To-Go-Superhero-On-You!
Yes, Borderlands 3 returns with more crazy cool and mad powerful weapons to take on said moving targets in grand spectacle. The weapons now have more distinct qualities and features. From Under barrel attachments, homing darts for bullets, guns acting as grenades or even turrets, you will know what you are using even before seeing the name. two new elementals have been added, but sadly lost Slag from Borderlands 2.
Cryo slows down enemies or even freezes them in place, perfect for handling large groups.
Radiation effects all by dealing moderate damage like poison, and spreads just as easily.
Skill Powers is your super badass form, even if only for a while. However, in that brief time, you can deal heavy damage. Each Vault Hunter has its own set of skills unique to them, making each class a pure joy to play with. I will go as far as to mention that Borderlands 3 has the most balanced class system I have ever experienced, letting customize the playstyle for that class. This time you can unlock skills from all three branches of your Skill Power.
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
There are some memorable moments from the moment you start, right up till the end. These moments can be enjoyed solo or in co-op, but I love how the game can be played solo without ever feeling like you need help at any given point, so co-op is purely left for fun and that is perfect. The game will still scale it depending on settings and the number of players present. Quite useful is the Coopetition and Cooperative settings if playing matchmaking co-op, making sure you actually get loot and not scraps.
On an average play-through, you will spend around 30 hours until completion of the story, afterwards, you can then start earning Guardian Ranks, essentially Borderlands 3 version of Badass Ranks, that gives you a host of benefits to aid you in your ventures.
During your travels you will be accompanied by ambient music to set the atmosphere, to fast-paced beats when taking on boss fights, the music is excellent. A favourite is the Start Menu track, I am borderline obsessed.
Character modifying is now a staple, but now you can decorate your guns even with a little trinket. Good thing I don’t have a cat, that swinging trinket would have resulted in my TV getting a head-butt.
ANY LAST WORDS?
Borderlands 3 is highly enjoyable even with its fair share of issues, and if you can overlook them, you are in for a good time.
With 4 times the replay value, Borderlands is worthy to be in your collection.