Game review: Go in guns-ablaze with loot and laughter

Borderlands 3 shows how great a game can be when it sticks to its guns and does what it knows best.
Borderlands 3 shows how great a game can be when it sticks to its guns and does what it knows best.PHOTO: 2K

It is hard not to have a good time when playing a game as high-octane as Borderlands 3.

Through an almost dizzying array of weapons, sharp controls and the series' characteristic brash humour and style, Borderlands 3 shows how great a game can be when it sticks to its guns and does what it knows best.

After more than five years since the previous main title in the series, developer Gearbox Software has successfully managed to identify and enhance many of the elements that make Borderlands's looter-shooter genre enjoyable.

The seemingly endless number of weapons in the game means that my arsenal never stayed the same as I made my way through the game's inter-planetary story, which runs for more than 30 hours.

From guns that shoot out electricity and those that spew out corrosive acid to flamethrowers that burn the enemies, I played the game thinking that I had found my new favourite gun, only to pick up another that made me change my mind.

This happened often too, thanks to the crates, chests and lockers that are abundant throughout the game.

Weapons also generously come from the wide variety of enemies you face in the game, which include swamp creatures, machines armed with lasers and brainwashed, gun-wielding heretics.

But while there is no such thing as too many guns in a game like Borderlands 3, managing the constant stream of loot is not always a great experience.

The interface used when comparing your guns forces you to stop the action and scrutinise the details of each weapon you get.

This means staring at lots of numbers, reading many lines of text and then going back and forth between screens to compare the guns. I found this especially tough in the beginning, when my inventory size was limited.

It is a shame that deciding on your weapons combination feels troublesome - a sharp contrast to the tight movement controls that Borderlands 3 has.

These controls make it a breeze to move around the game's varied environments, which range from lush jungles, desert wastelands and dystopian-looking cities.

All of these locales are rendered in the series's signature eye-popping art style that is a gorgeous mix of hand-drawn techniques and rendered models.

Also unique to the series is its over-the-top sense of humour, which thankfully hits more than it misses.

The excellent voice acting deepens the characterisation of the game's zany cast, and even if you are not a fan of this beloved 10-year series, the game does a good job of making sure you still feel for its characters.


• Excellent variety of guns

• Unique graphics that make every location stand out

• High quality voice acting and characterisation


• Choosing your load-out of weapons is troublesome and disrupts the action


PRICE: From $81.90 (PC; Xbox One; PS4, version tested)

GENRE: Third-person looter-shooter

RATING: 9/10