A vault of goodness
This review is going to be a bit different to the others that I have done on this site. I was originally going to review Borderlands 3 after I completed it but unfortunately, I never got around to it.
The Borderlands 3 review has sat unfinished in my drafts for a while now and I was thinking of just deleting it. However, I had an idea. Why not repackage what I have already done and turn it into something different.
All of the “major” DLC is now out for Borderlands 3 and so I decided to a big bundle review. I’m reviewing Borderlands 3 and all of its major DLCs in one article.
Now I’m not going to give full 1000-1500+ word reviews for each part of Borderlands 3, otherwise this review incredibly long and you’ll go grey reading it.
Enough of me rambling on like a numskull, here’s the review.
The story for Borderlands 3 isn’t bad but it isn’t as cleverly written or as good as Borderlands 2. It starts off well but around the half way point you can tell that the story isn’t going to be fulfilling as the second game.
The funny moments aren’t as funny as the previous game. There are moments where Borderlands 3 tries too hard to make you laugh, with the end result being a low groan.
The story’s biggest weakness are the main villains. The Calypso Twins had potential to be great villains but they would never be able to capture the sheer excellent twattery of Handsome Jack. The twins try way too hard to be evil and edgy and most of their jokes and one liners fall flat. It’s a shame, because Gearbox can do a great villain but it feels like a step back in that department.
Borderlands has always had a solid gameplay foundation. The second game built upon the first game’s gameplay so well that many expected, myself included, how Gearbox would expand and improve on Borderlands 2.
Like previous games, Borderlands 3 can be played solo and co-op. Solo play is fun and the game is balanced appropriately for solo play. Unless you go straight through story missions, which you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t come across a gameplay wall. You should definitely do some of the game’s side missions, not only do give you XP but some of them are hilarious. You should definitely do them.
Each weapon manufacturer has a gimmick. Maliwan specialise in elemental weapons and guns that require a charge up. Vladof weapons usually have drum magazines and Tediore weapons have a unique reload animations, just to name a few.
Whilst the gameplay is fun and satisfying, there is one aspect that isn’t great and to be honest it doesn’t feel as good as previous Borderlands entries. Of course, I’m on about the vehicles. Driving around feels good but the combat in them sucks really bad. You don’t seem to do much damage to vehicles in vehicular combat at any level. Hitting enemies with your car also does next to do nothing. To me, the vehicular combat has taken a massive step back.
Music and Sound
Borderlands has always had pretty decent music in my opinion and Borderlands 3 is no different. The music for each planet is good and boss fight music is perfect to get the blood pumping.
The sound effects is another thing that the series has done well. Guns have always had great sound and Borderlands 3 improves upon that with not only better quality audio but also more variety. Voice acting is good, each character seems to have more emotion this time around which is good. Borderlands 2 gave the characters of the series, personality and emotions, and Borderlands 3 expands upon that very well.
Borderlands 3 is jam packed full of content for you to do. The campaign can last you anywhere between 40-60 hours. 100%ing can take you over 100 hours.
Like previous games there is co-op which means you can do multiple runs with several friends. There’s four characters to choose from, each with their own abilities and play style. I went with Fl4k the Beastmaster because he has a pet with him at all times that can help you in combat, it also helps that he is really cool.
There’s new game plus in the form of True Vault Hunter mode, which returns from Borderlands 2. Something new for Borderlands 3 is Mayhem Mode. Mayhem Mode modifies your gameplay experience. There are multiple levels, each increasing with difficulty. For example, you can get 100% more loot, money and XP but enemies would have 100% more health, double shields and a bunch of other buffs. That’s not the only thing that you have to put up with, you have to contend with random modifiers. Now you can re-roll these to get the ones that you feel you can deal with best but some of them are evil and make your Borderlands 3 experience a lot more challenging.
DLC 1: Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot
The first of the four DLC that were a part of Season Pass 1 was Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot. It was a fun DLC that is full of neon lights and robots. The story of this one is okay but I feel as though they could have done a lot more with it. A character from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel returns which is cool as I rather enjoyed the Pre-Sequel.
The biggest problem I had with this DLC was that I did the main story of it in around 3 hours. I didn’t do absolutely everything the DLC had to offer in those 3 hours but it needed to be longer. When it comes to side content, there is a bit to do but like the main story of the DLC; there needed to be more. You can do everything this DLC has to offer in under 10 hours which for me, isn’t good.
DLC 2: Guns, Love and Tentacles
Guns, Love and Tentacles was the second DLC and it was a massive improvement over the first piece of additional content. The story for this is pretty damn good and clocks in a decent run time as well, at around 6 hours. This DLC also offers a rather hefty chunk of side content as well that will keep you going for at least 10 hours.
What I liked the most about this DLC was its atmosphere and style. Guns, Love and Tentacles was obviously inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It has this wonderfully macabre vibe to it and it works so well in the Borderlands universe.
The biggest flaw this DLC has is the final boss of the story. The main story does a good job of building up the final boss only for the boss to be not only easy but a bit of a let down. There wasn’t really any strategy to it other than, avoid the boss’s attacks and shoot.
DLC 3: Bounty of Blood
Bounty of Blood was a very good DLC with a cool Wild West setting that works very well for Borderlands. The main story of the DLC is awesome but I felt it was a little bit too short, not as short as the Moxxi DLC though. The story for Bounty of Blood was exciting and intriguing but it just ended suddenly. Just when it was getting good, it decided to ramp up the speed of the story by 60mph and rush towards the ending. It’s a shame because if they the story kept at the pace it originally had, it would have been stellar.
The run time for the main story of Bounty of Blood is between 4-6 hours. You can add another ten hours if you do all of the side content.
I’d say this DLC is on par with Guns, Love and Tentacles and much better than Moxxi’s Jackpot.
DLC 4: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck
The fourth and final DLC of Season 1 is Krieg (I’m shortening it because screw typing all of that every bloody time) and it’s good but it feels like a bit of a step backwards. The story is very good and for fans of Krieg and the Borderlands story, this is probably the best one.
Krieg’s DLC is too short, I did this one in co-op and we did it in one setting, clocking in between 3-4 hours. We didn’t do all of the side content but I would imagine as it would probably be the same as the previous DLCs and clock in at around an additional 10 hours.
It’s a good DLC but for the final part of the Season Pass, I expected more. It should have ended with a bang but it didn’t.
Borderlands 3 is a great game, one that I have had so much fun with, both solo and co-op. However, it isn’t as good as Borderlands 2 but topping the excellence of the second title is a tall order for anyone to achieve.
The DLC and the continuous events that Gearbox have constantly and consistently supplied since the game’s launch have helped improve the game. Another thing that helped improve Borderlands 3 were frequent hotfixes and meaningful updates.
Just the game itself is worth the price of admission. There’s a lot of content in Borderlands 3 and a lot if is very good. However if you were a fan of Handsome Jack or after a decent villain, then the game’s villains may leave a sour taste in your mouth. If you can look past the villains and the writing not being as good as Borderlands 2, then you’ll have a great time with Borderlands 3.
Include all of the DLC from Season Pass 1 on top of the base game and your in for in of the best looter shooters ever made.
If you like looting and shooting, you’ll have fun with Borderlands 3.
Borderlands 3 (Base Game)
Borderlands 3 (DLC Included)
What did you think of Borderlands 3? Have you played the DLC? Are you thinking of picking it up? Let me know in the comments below.
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