While I’ve played the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2, I somehow just couldn’t get into the end of the game. Perhaps it’s the annoying ClapTrap companion bot that just wouldn’t shut up (I think that’s the purpose), perhaps it’s the amount of ammo that I always managed to run out of on most battles, or maybe because there isn’t much of a story – I’m not sure which.
But Borderlands 3, thankfully, is unlike its predecessors and the game actually managed to keep me going for weeks and get me hooked into its story and universe.
Borderlands 3 give you four main characters (the Vault Hunters) to choose from, each with different skill sets and trees to specialise. They are all unique from one to the other and so well designed that it took me a long time just trying to decide which character I should play first. Sure, they all have different playstyles that it should be easy to pick one depending on your playstyle. Like to get really close and personal? Go Amara. Like playing as a Hunter in MMORPG games with pets? Go FL4K. Run and gun? Go Zane (which is what I picked at the end after watching tons of character guides and tips).
But even limiting these choices based on your playstyle alone isn’t fair. Each character also has 3 different skill trees that you can focus on – meaning, you can play the same character but with a completely different playstyle.
For example, I said earlier that Zane is a “Run and Gun” guy, but he also has a portable shield skill, meaning you can focus on standing behind a shield that boosts damage and investing on skills that throw grenades at a random tick.
Each Vault Hunter may have a distinct playstyle, but it can be further adjusted based on the skill trees you are investing on.
In fact, these characters and skills are so finely crafted by the developers that I just feel like trying to play an entirely new character – even before completing the game (in fact, I just did last night!).
As a shooter, Borderlands 3 offers a simple formula of a shoot and loot, then repeat. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, however. Oh, it’s fun.
You have access to many different weapon types like pistols, SMGs, shotguns, etc, along with grenades and shields.
And if that sounds simplistic, it’s not. Each weapon has random characteristics, elemental ammo (depending on the weapon manufacturer), and unique abilities that will trigger when you shoot or reload the weapon. For example, this rifle throws a small, crawling brain that acts as a mobile turret when it still has ammo left and go for suicide bombing after.
Each quest reward, loot chest, and boss will literally drop these random goodies which make Borderlands 3 unique. If you like playing Diablo 3 and get addicated with its looting system, Borderlands 3 has a similar vibe. Finding that perfect weapon that has the characteristics you want is enough to keep you coming back for more.
Unlike some other games, you are not swamped with too many quests and each has quite a good, short storyline, which makes Borderlands 3 quests more than just a “kill X” or “fetch Y” types of quests.
But Borderlands is still Borderlands. It’s full of annoying NPCs that talk too much at times. Though on the other side, these banters can make you chuckle every now and then. Remarks during battles like “I’m not hiding, I’m crouching!” will surely puts a smile as you run closer and blast your enemy on the face with an acid shotgun. The annoying Claptrap is back, but thankfully he’s not always running by your side like before.
Some of you might ask, what’s next? What can the game offer me after completing the main story?
Well, you still have a plethora of options to do. The game offers multiple options for players to choose from. One option is to increase the game difficulties by turning on the Mayhem Mode with 3 different difficulty levels. The enemies will get progressively stronger in higher levels, but drop better loots and give higher experience.
There is also a “True Vault Hunter Mode” where you can replay the campaign story all over again with your current character plus all your equipments and level intact, but the enemies will scale automatically to match your level.
And, there are more endgame options – feel free to check out this great article from Rock Paper Shotgun for details of these options. I’m sure Gearbox may have plans to add more stuffs in the future.
While I haven’t finished the game myself, a friend has – many times, with different characters and run-throughs.
He seems to be enjoying himself and we’ve also played cooperatively a few times so if you have a few friends, you can play the game together with different builds to support one another! While playing cooperatively is fun, I prefer to finish the story first at my own pace before hooking up with others – but it’s your call.
Whether you are playing Solo or with friends, Borderlands 3 is really fun to play and has plenty of replay values with varieties of endgame contents, randomly generated weapon attributes, and different character builds to try and replay all over again.
If you are looking for a fun shooter game, definitely don’t miss this one.
Disclosure: Borderlands 3 review license was supplied for reviewing but all opinions are mine and not paid