Borderlands 3 reviews round up – Critics divided on Gearbox’s latest looter-shooter

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Borderlands 3 is out this week, and it’s one of the biggest, most anticipated game releases of the year. From everything we’ve seen before, it looks like…well, it looks like more Borderlands. Nothing revolutionary, but a game filled with nice quality of life enhancements that build on the game and world established in the sublime Borderlands 2.

And, now that reviews of the game are dropping, that’s precisely what it seems to be. Only perhaps a little worse. Reviews are mixed, with some praising the game for being more of the same, and others criticising the writing, the story and just how damned familiar it all is. Truth be told, is that there aren’t very many reviews for the game available, apparently because 2K and Gearbox were very picky about which outlets got to play the game in its current, pre-day-one-patch state. They cited security concerns, but there might be more to that. The game will, of course, sell like hotcakes no matter what reviewers say about the game, but if you were expecting a revolution, you’re ll be disappointed.

Here’s what (very few) critics have to say:

PC Gamer – 63

“Between the bugs, the extended non-jokes, the self-aggrandizing jabs at game design trends, and a few cameos I won’t spoil but that made me audibly groan, Borderlands 3 has a lot in common with Gearbox fan events as of late. There’s a lot of loud, extended posturing while holding what everyone really came for hostage. It’s a shame, because Tales from the Borderlands found a delicate balance of absurdity, self-awareness, and genuine heart. A better Borderlands is possible, it’s just not Borderlands 3.”

Polygon – third time’s a chore

“Borderlands 3, if it works well at launch, is a competent game that feels like a passable continuation of the franchise instead of an evolution. It’s the same general idea with new vault hunters, but with little of the joy and danger that I fell in love with in earlier entries.

The franchise used to feel adventurous. Now, without any fresh ideas or concepts, it’s little more than a holdover from a different time. Borderlands 3 feels safe, oddly careful (especially for a game about anarchy), and, worst of all, corporate.”

Game Informer – 8/10

“Borderlands 3 is a love letter to its fans and a celebration of the style of play it first popularized. Filled with characters from previous installments, and unapologetic in its silly humor and bombastic action, it’s an amusing ride that seems hesitant to innovate. If more of what you loved before is your chief desire, Gearbox has granted that wish through a game of impressive scope that charts some very safe territory. “

USGamer – 4/5

Borderlands 3 is more Borderlands, and all the loot that entails. This proper sequel improves upon the formula with more guns, but more importantly, a stretch of unique planets to kill enemies on. The new planets offer more visual variety and a great evolution of enemy encounters. The tuning is clearly meant for more than one player, making a punitive experience at times for the solo Vault Hunter. Despite the formula growing a bit stale, Gearbox has expanded upon it in the right way, resulting in a great Borderlands experience.

Destructoid – 9/10

Borderlands 3 takes most of the good bits of Borderlands 2 and either rolls with them or improves upon them. It didn’t need to reinvent the wheel either, as Gearbox pretty much had the formula figured out the second time around.

Last Updated: September 9, 2019

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