Seven years ago, Gearbox left us on a cliffhanger in Borderlands 2. The great and mysterious vault was opened and the key showed a map to even more vaults to be found in the universe. Handsome Jack was defeated, and the vault hunters were going to take on the universe. But, it didn’t happen quickly, and after years of waiting and biding our time, players from around the world are finally able to return to the Borderlands universe. The Crimson Raiders, a group of ragtag soldiers and odd characters, and their leader Lilith, are facing down another threat to the universe, the Calypso twins, Tyreen and Troy. They’re the parody of today’s streamers: homicidal, power hungry, a little bit insane, and always recording. You also meet the four new Vault Hunters: The Operative, Zane Flynt; the Beastmaster, FL4K; the Siren, Amara; and The Gunner, Moze. All four have unique skill trees, as is the Borderlands standard, each tree diving into the skills and abilities that you can mix and match to suit your playstyle. Whether you want to be the absolute apex predator of the universe, or the support who can live through anything, choose carefully, and look ahead in the skill trees to see what best suits you.
So far as basic gameplay mechanics, how the weapons feel, the fluidity of gameplay, it’s honestly a fantastic ride. The enemies are diverse but it does feel like there weren’t many design changes from the second game to the third. The true diversity of the game comes in the environments and the bosses you find in the story. Each boss has its own aesthetic, with mechanics varying from dodging and maneuvering out of the way, to knowing when to just break the shields. With how varied the weapons can be, and the number of damage types you will face, you will constantly have a revolving inventory of weapons as you level up and grow out of some low damage weapons.
The game’s art style is the Borderlands standard. Cell shading and a gritty futuristic tone cover the entirety of the game, so fans of the series can take comfort. As someone who has played through the previous games, it was like meeting an old friend again, only they started doing some basic hair care and maybe they lost a few pounds. Same soul, just a bit better look. Story wise, the game does its best to rekindle the memories you had with the previous games, reintroducing old favorites from the other games. However, the new villains feel like too much. The parody they create is entertaining initially, but it begins to wear on you. The humor is everything you can expect from the series, but it doesn’t surpass the second game. Now that doesn’t necessarily make it bad. If you are a fan of the series, you’ll be a fan of this game. It’s a great game to fall back on and just relax with, but one of the major issues I have is what many players had on launch. Multiple reports of crashing at loading screens, missions not progressing correctly, and audio issues plagued most players, issues that should have been tested out. Gearbox has been constantly releasing patches and fixes to improve gameplay. With nearly 48 hours already logged and the story completed the key to enjoying it is playing with friends. Party up, get together, and just make some mayhem. If you’re a fan of Borderlands 2, you’ll enjoy the third. I’m giving Borderlands 3, 3 and a half psychos out of 5. A fun game all in all, but if you don’t have the nostalgia for it or the friends to play it with, it loses a lot of its value.