REVIEW: ‘Borderlands 3’ returns with great action-paced gameplay

Photo illustration by Steven Adamo

By Andrew Ayala

Seven years later and developers at Gearbox studios still manage to release an action-packed adventure-filled game with the release of their loot-driven first-person shooter “Borderlands 3.”
For those who are new to the game, the “Borderlands” series is based on groups of vault-hunters who try and find vaults that are said to have vast amounts of money and technology. In this game, all the different groups of bandits have set their differences aside and formed one giant gang called the Children of the Vault. It is up to the new set of vault-hunters to stop this group and help an ex-vault-hunter named Lilith obtain a map to an unopened vault.
Players spawn on a planet called Pandora, which those who have played previous games will recognize, and are thrown right into the action. This time around players choose between four characters named Amara, Moze, Zane and FL4K who each have their own skill trees to choose from. Players can either play solo or in groups of up to four.
Each character has three different skill sets which affect their progression and traits. Moze, for example, has a robot which she enters and pilots and is automatically equipped with rockets and a minigun. However, players have the option to follow other skill trees that will allow them to add a flamethrower or even claws to her arsenal. This was something completely new since in previous games players only had one skill tree to complete. It not only adds a new flavor to the game but adds diversity to the characters and the way they are controlled. They also allow players to switch between the way their weapons fire which can come in handy depending on the situation.
The settings in the game are shaded to perfection and characters still have the iconic comic-book style look they’ve had in previous games. Different locations have different background music and they all match the pace of the game perfectly. For example, when an intense fight with robots occurs, players may hear some heavy-bass house music behind all of the explosions and chaos. The gun fights are nothing but wave-after-wave non-stop animated blood gushing, leg-breaking action that those who enjoy first-person shooters will love. There is also a setting where players can censor all of the gore but still get the same story and actions.
Since this game is very loot-driven, players are encouraged to go the extra mile and check every corner of the map to find exclusive boxes which hold rare weapons that can be used or sold. Although there isn’t much to a first-person shooter, the writers manage to tell such a great story that players get lost in the story and gain the immersive experience that video games are meant to give.
There isn’t much down-time in the game unless the player is at Sanctuary III, which is the home base where players can upgrade their weapon slots, buy or sell items from their inventory and even gamble their in-game currency to try and win exclusive weapons and skins at Moxxxi’s. While other games have relied on loot-boxes that gamers purchase with money for their financial success, this is a game that takes it back to the basics and only offers Downloadable Content to buy.
The voice acting is done wonderfully as every voice matches their character and the narration is humorous at every chance. There seems to be the perfect balance of drama and comedy throughout the whole game. Those who have played the previous games will recognize certain characters throughout the story but the game does a great job at explaining who everyone is and welcoming even those who know nothing about “Borderlands” lore.
The developers at Gearbox studios managed to make a modern “Borderlands” game for all to enjoy. They executed their story in proper fashion which allowed them to use a previous recipe but add in new spices and ingredients to make it refreshing. This is the type of game that will appeal to the casual gamer who enjoys a good grind since there are over 30 hours of gameplay. “Borderlands 3” was released on Friday and is rated “M” for mature due to blood and gore, intense violence, sexual themes and strong language.

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