No doubt you have seen plenty of words like Mayhem, Hilarious and Irreverent to describe Borderlands 3. If I had to pick one word it would be…Family.
I know that sounds weird for a game built around looting and shooting in the most ridiculous ways but constantly running the core of Borderlands 3 is the notion of family in all its forms.
Whether that be the crazy murder streamers the Calypso Twins and their brother/sister dynamic that evolves as the main story progresses. The psychos, bandits and gangs of Pandora coming together as a death cult, or the bonds formed between the members of the Crimson Raiders as they share in heartache and triumph together. It doesn’t matter if the familial bonds are genetic, forged in war, or created through a religious collective. Family is Family.
There is so much more I want to go into regarding the theme of family in Borderlands 3. How it is beautifully weaved throughout the world. How the characters connect and interact with each other. To do so would be to step into major spoiler territory so, for now, I will simply say grab a copy and find out for yourself and let’s discuss it further in our Facebook group
Borderlands 3 sees you attempting to save the galaxy from the Calypso Twins. A pair of deranged streamers (think Twitch but with a Borderlands twist) who have managed to turn the bandits of Pandora into a messed up murder/death cult.
Using the bandit’s devotion and willingness to sacrifice themselves, Calypso Twins begin a crusade to open up the great vault and become gods.
As with previous Borderlands games you take on the role of a Vault Hunter. A badass with a gun and a penchant for shooting and looting. You have four classes of Vault Hunter to choose from. Siren, Beastmaster, Agent and Gunner.
Siren’s have immense powers, Agent’s use drones and decoys, Gunners have a giant mech suit and Beastmaster commands a range of pets. Each class of Vault Hunter as three skill trees and multiple actions meaning you can build your character to fit your play style.
Anyone has played Borderlands 2 will be right at home with Borderlands 3. The game plays more or less the same as its predecessor with a few new additions.
Some guns have a secondary function. This may be something fairly innocuous like an assault rifle switching between semi and fully automatic. It could be completely mental like a sniper rifle switching to a grenade launcher. Switching between functions is as simple of pressing down on the D-pad. Meaning you can flip between gun modes as well as weaponry on the fly in a firefight.
Another addition from Borderlands 3 is now the ability to vault. Gone are the days of trying to jump up on a ledge that is just out of reach and getting frustrated. Now a simple tap of X when jumping near a ledge sees you pull yourself up onto the ledge.
This addition, whilst simple, opens up all kinds of possibilities. From hunting collectables, solving puzzles or even getting a great position above the firefight and sniping headshots for fun.
Oh and one more thing, Borderlands 3 doesn’t just take place on Pandora. The Crimson raiders take to the stars, in the ship Sanctuary 3, and visit a variety of planets as you chase the Calypso Twins across the galaxy and attempt to thwart their plans.
Along for the Journey with you are some old friends such as Ellie, Marcus, Claptrap and Moxxi. Just because you have left your home of Pandora doesn’t mean you have to leave your family behind.
Borderlands 3 is great fun to play alone but as with any Borderlands game, it is immeasurably better when played with friends. Teaming up with friends, or even joining random people, is quick and easy.
There are some problems with online multiplayer at the moment such as massive slowdown when you enter your Echo menu. A problem that seems to get worse the more players are in your team. Hopefully, this is a problem that will be fixed with a small patch in the future. It is an annoyance but is in no way game-breaking.
The story, the humour and the easter eggs in Borderlands 3 are all brilliant and well crafted but definitely enjoyed with friends. Whilst playing alone is certainly fun, Borderlands 3 is best enjoyed within a group.
Borderlands 3 is an absolute joy of a game. The smooth gunplay, over the top weaponry, larger than life characters and brilliant, twisting, the emotional story, all flawless crafted and interweaved around the theme of family.
There is so much more I want to go into about what makes Borderlands 3 great but to do so would involve straying into spoiler territory. Now I know I could simply put a big spoiler warning at the beginning of this review but to do so would be disrespectful to the hard work and talent of everyone at 2K who created such a wonderful game.
Borderlands 3 is probably one of the easiest reviews I have ever had to give a score to. The only problem I have with Borderlands 3 is the menu slowdown in multiplayer which I am sure will be fixed in the next update so I am happy to ignore that for now
Overall Score – a solid 10/10
Now it just the small matter of running the circles of slaughter and the proving grounds to get better gear in time for the Bloody Harvest event in a couple of weeks.