Gamers exchange the world over can rejoice as the long-awaited new chapter in the Borderlands saga has arrived with Borderlands 3. The game takes place after the events of Borderlands 2 and the Telltale series of games which cast players as one of four new Vault Hunters who seek to find one of the Great Vaults which have been the main objective of the prior games in the series.
The four new characters break down as follows are Amara the Siren, FL4K the Tracker, Moze the Gunner and Zane the Operative.
Characters have unique abilities which can be adjusted as the game unfolds as players will gain skill points to allocate to various abilities as they level up throughout the game. Each character has a special ability that is deployable after a certain amount of time and really can turn the tide of battle. Moze for example can deploy a mechanized unit known as an “Iron Bear” which is capable of unleashing a devastating arsenal of bullets, rockets, flames, and increased protection which makes it ideal when taking on some of the bosses in the game.
One of the new features in the game aside from being able to have better ability to mantel or destroy cover objects is a greater range of destructible containers which helps turn the tide against the relentless and overwhelming numbers that players can face.
Well I played a significant chunk of the game on my own; the game does allow up to four players to play with one another and this came in very handy during a couple of battles Where I simply did not have enough firepower to complete it on my own.
There were some frustrations with the matchmaking system which did not allow me to select games to join and I was basically dropped in blind to games near my character level. This caused me to have to repeat a mission multiple times and then endure having to re-do the mission I needed help with three times due to various glitches and crashes.
Further complicating matters was that in joining a game blind, that now became the jumping off point for continuing my game. It took a little bit of searching to find one roughly where I had left off; so I could continue on.
The key for me turned out to be asking for assistance from players on my friends list as well is those who were listed on my recent contact sessions.
The game tasks players to go up against Twins who have started a Cult as they attempt to unlock the Great Vault and use the power to control the galaxy and kill all those who oppose them.
As anybody who is played any games in the series knows; there are all manner of enemies and creatures for players to battle as well as vehicles and NPC characters to help out and move the story along.
This time out players have a spaceship called Sanctuary which allows players to venture away from Pandora and experience several other planets in the Borderlands Universe. Each planet has its own unique look and bio system ranging from a Louisiana style swamp location to high-tech cities as an example.
The graphics in the game are absolutely stunning in the amount of detail is simply breathtaking to behold. The level of detail in something as simple as a mansion is worthy of just walking around having a look were it not for the numerous things trying to take you out. The game has incredible amounts of loot that players can accumulate which can be used for various upgrades. 2K and Gearbox promote that there are over 1 billion weapons available in the game which leads to some really difficult choices as to which ones players keep, discard, or placed into storage.
While one may offer a bigger punch; it may be slow to reload, have limited ammunition, and increased accuracy. There is definitely a lot of experimentation that goes on and the same is true for the skills tree which even after completing the game is still fairly open which will entice me to go back and complete side quests while I wait for the DLC and maximizes the potential of my character.
The game is exceptionally long which is not a bad thing save for a couple of times when I thought the game was wrapping up only to be signed more back-and-forth or other missions to advance the story. This is not a bad thing as the universe is incredibly immersive but I found myself eager to see what the outcome of the story was rather than what seem like a series of missions designed to extend gameplay.
That being said; Borderlands 3 was hands-down the best gaming experience I have had this year and is an early contender for game of the year award despite the glitches and matchmaking frustrations that hampered some of my enjoyment of the game.
Start to finish I was absolutely captivated by the game and I’m eager to go back in and experience more of this incredible universe as I look forward to the free and paid updates that are coming soon which will hopefully keep me satisfied until the next chapter in the series is released which hopefully will not be as long a wait.
4.5 stars out 5