The wait is finally over. Borderlands 3 is out, and the hype has been worth it. Thought Borderlands 2 had a hook? Well guess what, Borderlands 3 just might be better.
Major Spoilers Below for the Borderlands Franchise
Where We Left Off
At the end of Borderlands 2, we found out a lot of ridiculously crazy information. Not only did Handsome Jack have a daughter, but she was Angel, the Siren talking to us throughout the entire game. We also lost one of our favorite Crimson Raiders, leader Roland, which left many wondering what would happen to the Raider’s or Sanctuary. Gearbox did a wonderful job filling in these gaps with the temporarily free DLC Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary. It bridges the gap between the events in Borderlands 2, Tales from the Borderlands, and leading into Borderlands 3. We face a lot of hard truths about the game without Roland, and where the Raiders’ are planning to go with the new holographic map that displayed planets with Vaults.
Heading into Borderlands 3
We’ve all known Borderlands 3 was going to happen, especially with the Gearbox and 2K announcements. The only question that many wondered about was if there would be a time-skip, who the main Vault Hunters would be, and how it would connect with the previous games. While the Vault Hunters are fresh to the franchise, along with many ‘main’ characters and of course the Calypso villains, they all truly belong in the universe.
If you haven’t played Borderlands 3 and want to see it for yourself without spoilers, scroll no further.
Borderlands 3 starts out like any other game in the franchise, with an intro video-story, by our favorite storyteller Marcus. He explains the world, and welcomes us new Vault Hunters to Pandora. What we have learned is that Pandora is being taken over by the Calypso Twins who are forming a cult called Children of the Vault. Lead by Tyreen and Troy, they’re using the ECHOcast system to broadcast streams to their followers. These two baddies are the main villains, and they are looking to open The Great Vault. Stealing from the Crimson Raiders, they get the map of the universe. What we also learn is that Tyreen is a Siren, and so is Troy (who was born attached to her). What is very unique is Tyreen and Troy can absorb people’s energy, and specifically Siren powers.
While there is an introduction of four new Vault Hunters, Borderlands 3 is also bringing back some of our favorite characters:
Some new characters have been added to Borderlands 3 to bring more missions and stories. Below are some of the major characters added to the game:
While Borderlands 3 brought a bunch of new characters, there are some that we’ve certainly been looking for.
When going into Borderlands 3 there were some expectations regarding the previous installments in the franchise. Seeing how the game has improved from Borderlands to Borderlands 2, there were some expected quality of life changes. Now that we’re in 2019 there are certainly some improvements that were expected, and Gearbox did not disappoint.
Like with any game, there are some downfalls that have to be mentioned. With Borderlands 3, it mostly lies with performance, broken AI, and other smaller pieces that downgraded the experience.
Aside from the game improvements for quality of play, Borderlands 3 also has some great qualities that make the replayability very high.
Soundtrack and Voice Acting
The sound and voice acting for Borderlands 3 is amazing. The franchise has kept the same sense of humor that we expect in a Borderlands game, but making it feel more relevant and up-to-date. Within Borderlands you find speakers all around that feature dialogue from COV and music, along with natural ambiance environmental music. They all are very fitting for the surroundings depending on what planet you’re on, and where within it.
Another really great voice acting that I hadn’t expected was Tyreen and Troy Calypso. Based off the trailer, I was genuinely worried they would be cringey streamers. In reality the dialogues were very well written and clever. Not only are they actually villains with a sense of humor, I hadn’t actually started hating them until the end. Now, I’m not saying their writing was better than Handsome Jack, but I have to say they really made Tyreen and Troy bad-asses with their cult and how they handle themselves.
Overall, if you liked the voice acting of Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3 will not disappoint. In fact I would say there was more dialogue and interacting with the characters than in the previous games.
Graphics & Design
The world of Borderlands is beautiful. It’s a difficult life full of bandits and psychos, but it’s made well. Borderlands 3 brings us to so many new planets, all with their own aesthetics. Promethea is a booming city with Atlas Corporation, Eden-6 is very swampy with outskirts, Athenas has monks and is very Asian inspired with pagodas, Pandora is still a wasteland, and Nekrotafeyo feels very ancient full of historical relevance. They are all very distinct and have their own design, and it adds so much more to the game. Though I ran Borderlands 3 on low graphics the game was still vivid, and someday I will run it on high-end graphics just to see what has changed.
Alongside the world design, the character and item designs were extravagant. There is a ton of variance between the different kinds of guns (pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, assault rifles, snipers, and SMGs) along with the class mods, grenades, shield mod, artifacts, trinkets, gun skins, echo skins, etc. Overall there’s just a ton of customization and an abundance of options when playing the game.
One major aspect to note about the design is that for every gun you can inspect it to learn more about the parts, weaponry, and overall information about the gun. This is a huge menu that can easily be overlooked if you didn’t know it existed.
When Borderlands 3 was announced, fans had a lot of expectations. Knowing how much time Gearbox spent on the game and invested into the franchise, there were definitely expectations. I can say, Gearbox delivered. Going back and playing the previous Borderlands games will certainly become a struggle after seeing how great Borderlands 3 is, and the great changes that were implemented into the game.
Borderlands 3 is officially out, and you should certainly go play it if you enjoyed the other games. You won’t be disappointed.
Make sure your PC can run Borderlands 3 with the specs you can find here!
Also check out our unboxing of the Borderlands 3 Collector’s Diamond Loot Chest here!