My Thoughts on Borderlands 3.
I powered through the story mode of Borderlands 3 recently… but “powered through” means “playing it after my four-year-old goes to bed because there’s no way I’m playing that game in front of him and getting as much playtime in before I pass out from parenting fatigue.” So yeah. I only just finished story mode, and I have some thoughts.
First off, I really like Borderlands. I didn’t play the original game or the pre-sequel, but I played both Borderlands 2 and Tales from the Borderlands, and greatly enjoyed them. Borderlands 2 became one of the two first-person-shooters I play (DOOM being the other), and Tales from the Borderlands was a fantastic story-based game. I love the world, the art style, and the humor of the Borderlands games. I was very much looking forward to Borderlands 3, and overall it did not disappoint. I played it, enjoyed it, and I recommend it.
But I still have some thoughts!
The one thing about Borderlands 3 that’s bugged me about the series since I began playing it was the scale of the setting. The corporations of Borderlands supposedly span six galaxies. SIX GALAXIES. A setting of that scale is unimaginably huge. Warhammer 40K only spans ONE galaxy and it’s arguably the most overwhelmingly large setting in nerd culture. Borderlands has never quite grasped the scale of the setting it boasts. All the mega-corporations of Borderlands could fit into one solar system. Hell, they could fit on one planet, and Borderlands 3 makes these intergalactic mega-corporations feel infinitely smaller. For example, the Jakobs Corporation faces a hostile takeover when one person storms a swamp mansion on a backwater planet. That’s all it takes. A corporation spanning SIX GALAXIES shouldn’t have the vulnerability of an old-west ranch. Six galaxies is inconceivably huge. Borderlands feels like it spans six continents, at best.
One of the reasons I powered through story mode was because I couldn’t wait to kill the Calypso Twins. Handsome Jack, the previous villain, was a bad guy I loved to hate. The Calypso Twins were two annoying brats I hated to see. I’m not saying these characters were the victims of bad writing or voice acting. They were written and performed exactly how they were intended to be: annoying brats. It makes me wonder if that’s what it takes to make a villain that’s universally reviled? Villains are all the rage these days. It’s cool to cheer for the villain. Everyone loves the bad guy, and criminal behavior is often glorified in “edgy, gritty” stories. So, to create a villain you want everyone to hate, do you have to make them brats?
I never played the original Borderlands, but now I know how the people who played Roland felt in Borderlands 2. Dammit.
I love that the vault hunters actually have interactive speech in Borderlands 3. You may not get to choose what they say, but at least they speak outside of combat. It’s a nice touch that was sorely lacking in Borderlands 2. Now if only they’d implement a third-person view.
I love Moze. Seriously. I specced into Demoltion Woman and I haven’t felt this deliriously giddy over ridiculous violence since DOOM. As Torgue would say, “I’ve got one question, and one question only for you… EXPLOSIONS?!” The only thing I didn’t like about her were the choices for her customizable helmets and hairstyles. I mostly stuck with the default helmet. Didn’t matter much, because all I saw of her was a bouncing weapon, grenades, the inside of a mech, and EXPLOSIONS.
Borderlands 3 was a lot of fun. I’ll explore it some more, try out the other characters, and hopefully get a few more laughs out of it. Despite my nitpicking thoughts, it comes recommended from yours truly.