Gearbox Software are back "guns-a-blazing" in the latest instalment to their "Looter/shooter" saga simply titled "Borderlands 3".
It takes the first person shooter genre and adds a kind of "Diablo" style loot mechanic that keeps dragging you back in to see what types of weapons you can collect and this time some of the guns are so bizarre it is just brilliant.
Once again you take on the role of a Vault Hunter, a kind of merc for hire that is ready to collect all the riches of the planet Pandora and dispose of some bandits and alien dogs along the way.
A lot of the popular characters from the series are back including Lilith who has become the leader of the Crimson Raiders that fights to protect from the hordes of bandits and corporations. She is also out to stop the games antagonists "twin siblings" (that seems to be in fashion at the moment eg: Far Cry: New Dawn) Troy and Tyreen Calypso. The pair have united the clans and are seeking out Vaults to use for their own evil purposes.
There are SO MANY different types of weapons in this game, like, hundreds or even thousands of unique features that range from pistols that fire acid infused bullets to legendary sniper guns that explode on impact or fire 3 bullets for the price of one. The different gun manufacturers have different perks as well so you'll find yourself having favourites much like your preference of NIKE shoes over ADIDAS or vice versa.
There are 4 characters to choose from when you start up, each one has different perks and styles of fighting:
- Moze as THE GUNNER: Who can form a large powersuit Mech – Iron Bear.
- Amara as THE SIREN: A magic user basically who uses ethereal Siren powers.
- FL4K as the BEASTMASTER: Who can command loyal beasts to attack enemies.
- Zane as the OPERATIVE: Zane is a bit of an all rounder with weapons and has a drone for a perk or you can use the ability to holographically duplicate yourself, like Arny in Total Recall.
The tone of the game is fun and irreverent, with jokes a plenty it must have been an absolute blast in the writers room. A fair chunk of those gags come from the many celebrity guest voices that include, Ice Cube, Pen & Teller and The Talking Dead's Chris Hardwick. Each character is well thought out and beautifully animated.
I'm going to put it out there, I can't stand cell shaded graphics. It's an unnatural detest that I have for the style. But with Borderlands I find myself forgetting the look and almost admiring it. Still given the choice to play this game with graphics more akin to "Rage 2" I would jump at the opportunity. Cell Shaded just feels cheap and nasty.
As you play the game you'll be able to unlock skins to adjust the look of your character. As there are 4 main characters to choose from it would get a bit silly in multiplayer situations if everyone ran around looking exactly the same, so this is a good opportunity to put your own originality imprint to your Vault Hunter.
Multiplayer is easily the best way to play this game, it's built from the ground up for co-op play. The best thing is regardless of your level or mission progress you can play with anyone at anytime and the management of your settings to allow for unique weapon drops means that the quickest friend wont end up with all the good loot.
Borderlands 3 is a brilliant addition to a franchise that has continued to grow from game to game without losing the core fun elements that help it stand out from other first person titles. It's fast when you want to play fast, slow when you want to play slow and always ready to drag you back in to it's vibrant and expansive world.
Borderlands 3 was reviewed for PC on an ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo on Ultra Settings.
It's also available on Xbox One and PS4.