Hey there, long time lover of the borderlands franchise and of gearbox them selves. Until now.
i have 500+ hours on borderlands 1, well over a 1000 on borderlands 2, 500 ish on pre sequel and roughly around 150 on borderlands 3. so this post is not from some casual player. i even met my wife to be through this game franchise, so least to say i loved the hell out of it till now. but in my eyes it feels like gearbox has finally gave into making as much money as possible, no matter the out come.
Overall i feel the game is just a disapointment to the franchise,
I’ll start with the story, as many others have said the antaganists are lack luster at best, i mostly find them anoying, although i enjoyed the fact it was longer, thus less farming the same content over and over to level up, The story it self was just boring overall, after laughing my way through borderlands 2 and to an extent borderlands the pre sequel, i think i laughed once in borderlands 3(Balex’s plushy codpiece), this was a disgrace for me, this is one of the things that seperated it from other looter shooters massively. i understand Anthony Burch did not have any input on this one, but surely you could have picked up another writer of similar caliber to cover his spot, there is others out there.
i’ll move onto the gameplay, lets start with the guns, i’m very up and down on this one, on one side im enjoying the fact there are so many guns, on the other side of things i dislike how many guns are so similar to each other, especially when lets say the Jackobs perk, ends up on a Vladoff assault rifle, i feel like this is just rehashed content and not new at all, surely you could think of things to do with the insane fire rate of a vladoff within the vladoff manufacturer itself, the amount of returning legendaries also frustrated me, many of these legendaries are top tier items, lyuda, butcher ect. it just feels meh, for me and i’m sure many others will agree, if you want to put 500 legendaries in the game, please atleast make everyones red text perk somewhat differ from the others, when you’ve got 4 guns in your inventory which basically all do the same thing, that 500 doesnt feel like 500 anymore.
The characters: this is where i’m the most butthurt so to speak, none of these characers (bar moze) are anything new, Fl4k is a combination of nisha and zero, even having exactly the same names as some of the other characters for skills, his pets are just meh in general, nothing crazy about them, dead all the time in mayhem mode, useless in my eyes, this is the characters selling point for people before the game released, disapointing, Zane is just willhelm + doppleganger, luckily his voice lines are good but not great and Amara feels like every other siren we’ve played, i thought sirens powers were meant to differ, thats what the game suggests with tyreen taking other sirens powers and using cool new abilities, but amara just feels like maya with a melee tree added in, though some of these characters do have 1 tree that we’ve never seen before, it makes me wonder what has happened to character development, Pre sequel characters blew my mind on what was possible, all of them, including high general claptrap were masterpieces in my eyes, all vastly differant to what we had seen before, athenas shield bounce rez for example, mind blown.
to my final topic of gameplay, we move onto the end game, or therefor the lack of it.
i really feel this game is suffering hard the same way pre sequel did, borderlands 2 was epic with its end game, as once you had geared your character by playing through the game, hitting max level and farming what you needed, you have Invincible level bosses, that you had never seen before to go test your builds strength and be rewarded with guns you couldnt obtain any other method, i’m very fond of this style, world of warcraft introduced me to this, that one part of the game was playing through and leveling, the other was its end game content that you hadnt seen before. Borderlands 3 sits where presequel does, that once you character hits max level, now you have to go back and kill the same bosses you’ve already killed over and over again, its boring, its not fun in the slighest, overall you improved the bosses in general and i thank you for that, the fights are fun, but as you’ve seen them once or twice playing through the game already, it really takes away from the awesomeness of “wow my build killed that” and brings it more to “that was a tad too easy”.
Mayhem mode: Now although i like we don’t have overpower levels no more, for some this was fun, but for me getting one shot almost and shooting bullet sponges so only the most broken combination of items was required, was unfun to me, Mayhem mode needs some work, as i’ve seen alot of posts going over this, the way the modifers are done, are just not interesting nor fun to deal with, lets start with reflect, in other action RPGs, where reflect is a mechanic. is usually classified into Melee or Ranged reflect, or even more so, elemental style reflect, so fire mobs reflect fire ect. But you guys have just a flat 30% of guns, when the game is litterally about using guns, makes me save quit every time i see this. its unfun, as others have mentioned the other modifiers cancel themselves out making them completely pointless at times, my suggestion is to take a pinch from Diablo, don’t put the modifiers on the maps themselves, that just leads to save quitting till good modifers are reached, add them to the anointed and badasses instead, so the trash mobs remain trash and the more powerful enemies have randomized affixes, thus making the game more interesting, certain combinations then when double or tripple negatives wont be so bad, as it will be just focus fire it down with your team.
The drop rate: This is another frustrating one for me to deal with, with how many drops were at the start and how you’ve nerfed them twice now, makes me think you guys did this on purpose, gave it a crazy drop rate off the start so we would tell all our friends how awesome the game was so they would buy it, only for you to return it to borderlands 2 level after a few months, where killing a boss rewarded you with nothing for the most part and legendaries were quite rare. Now this is what i have a problem with, in borderlands 2 this wasnt so bad, as majority of the drops, were specific, you knew full well if you stuck at it on a boss/named enemy you would get the item you seeked, sometimes took a few hours, but the none less it wasnt that bad. But it seems majority of your drops this time are much more similar to borderlands 1 style, where everything is a world drop, considering you have like 500 legendaries, lets call it 400 world drops, tons more cosmetic items that most people just do not care about, bringing this upto roughly 600-700 items that could potentially world drop. a low drop rate is not needed nor wanted, it would take years to bring a character in line with what you have planned build wise, even the most dedicated hardcore players like myself wont put up with this over time, you could say you could save the items in your bank for future characters, much like POE does. but with 50 slots across all characters, yea that aint happening, i just dont understand this, if the game was server based, it would make sense as millions of players have seemingly un ending inventory would be very costly upon your end, but thats not how it works, the bank is saved to profile on our pcs. so why do we have limited inventory? if its performance related, then let us decide how many items we can keep, heck have it as a setting in the options, with a warning, that a bigger bank uses more memory and could potentially cause game lag much like with video options. Not everyone has a base console, alot of people have a PC that cost them a few thousand pound, to make sure anything performance wise is a none issue. it will just lead to people using save editors like gibbed, to make their builds and even showcase them on youtube, i’m sure we’ve all had a playthrough of borderlands 2 where someone seemingly with us has had near perfect items all the way through and just smashes the game from start to finish due to it, can we please sort this out so we can avoid that?
The launch: Now i don’t feel this is completely gearboxes fault, but by a byproduct of sticking it on the epic games launcher and the anti piracy (denuvo) they have used, i feel that when choosing the epic games launcher as the launcher of choice, the exclusive deal had a set deadline to release the game, thus when released feeling it was unfinished, untested and buggy as hell.
Now i completely agree with their decision on sticking it on there, as much as alot of you will hate me for saying, but just put it into a simpler context for yourselves, we all work, if someone said to you, heres a 17% payrise, you’d take it without even considering it, if you had to do nothing else differant really. well i know some people wouldnt, but the majority of us would. Using denuvo on the other hand was a costly choice, this program although powerful and extremely good at what it does, is also alot of the reason games with this have performance issues, i don’t understand how it works fully, but to understand how an authenticator works and the encryption process i would believe it is similar. its not a perfect system though, only a time frame before the inevitable happens and someone cracks it, So the peformance issues it causes, was it worth it in the end?
to other things why i feel the game was unfinished at launch, the free content update coming next month, the maliwan takedown, essentially a raid, the whole end game content, you would of thought that you would want this in the game before it releases, considering the state of the end game, also if we look at other borderlands games, this form of content is usally in paid dlc format. i mean seasonal events and stuff added with those, we’ve always had for free, year after year without fail. but never a fully fledged raid or boss. but as i say above, not directly gearboxes fault here in my eyes, so i wil not fault them for this, deadlines at times are hard to reach. Just wished companies these days would delay things like they used to if they were not ready, pretty much all of us agree, we’d rather wait an extra few months for a finished product than get it out early for the sales that is unfinished and buggy.
before i finish this extremely lengthy topic off, i just have one thing to add, i love the fact we now have save points near bosses to make farming them easier. i just think you missed one massive feature that would have made this insanely good, borderlands is primarily a co op game, its at the top of every co op games list. thus, when you save quit, it would of been better to keep your party with you, so everyone save quits and everyone enters the world again, than everyone has to rejoin the host over and over again, its a bit tedious.
Overall i feel like i’ve paid full price (£60) for a beta test, not acceptable in my eyes and that gearbox this time around has not done a service to their fans, but mostly just made a shiny piece of rubbish to sell to the masses for profit, considering we waited 7 years for this, it breaks my heart, i’ve defended gearbox over the years multiple times over. saying they were the one true gaming company left that was dedicated to making games for the people. After this it has left me without that desire no more. I’m sorry gearbox, but your games are no longer an instant pre-order for me. from this point onwards, i will wait a few month to see what the reviews say before considering to buy your games, i feel like i’m not going to be the only one either.
TLDR: i couldnt wrap this up in short form, its too much, give it a read, i’m sure theres many points here that many users will agree with or have something to say about.
Many thanks to all of you that have read the entirity of it