One of the hottest gaming tickets of the year, Borderlands 3 is out later this week on 13th September, marking a hopefully triumphant return for the popular looter-shooter defining series.
I’m sure that many of you have been waiting with baited breath for reviews to drop, wondering whether or not the smattering of controversy that’s surrounded the long-in-development game’s reveal has affected the final product, curious if the wacky for the sake of it tone still holds up, and to see if Gearbox can strike gold once more.
The review embargo has now lifted, but unfortunately, we at TheSixthAxis can’t tell you damn thing about the final game. We don’t have review code. In fact, a lot of established sites around the world don’t because, as reported over the weekend by VG247, only US-based outlets received advance code, the publisher reportedly worried about leaks. So we reviewed something else instead… beer!
Anyway, you’re here for a review round-up right? So here’s a clutch of the reviews that have landed so far:
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.
Polygon – Unscored
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.
IGN – 9/10
If Borderlands 3 is what happens when a modern looter shooter doesn’t concern itself with the longevity of its item economy and daily quests then you can sign me up for Borderlands 4 right now. Being untethered from persistent servers and able to trade loot at will is a refreshing change of pace, but that’s hardly the only reason why this such an amazing co-op FPS. The sheer magnitude and diversity of its arsenal of fun and surprising weaponry is unmatched, and the striking amount of loving detail and variety packed into its energetic and replayable 30-hour campaign is what makes Borderlands 3 a high-point for the series – and the genre as a whole.
GameSpot – 8/10
Borderlands 3 has a few stumbling blocks when it comes to bosses, but these fights are overshadowed by the game’s rewarding gunplay and over-the-top humor. The game’s character-driven narrative acts as a satisfying finale for the loot-shooter franchise, and the new mechanics and features–especially the reworked skill trees and weapon manufacturer effects–give you plenty of agency in how you want to play through it. If you’ve never been a fan of the franchise, it’s unlikely Borderlands 3 does enough things differently to change your mind, as the game best excels at continuing what the series has always done: deliver a humorous tall tale of misfits looting and shooting their way to heroism.
PC Gamer – 63/100
An endless font of bad jokes and cool guns in the series’ most vapid story yet, Borderlands 3 skates by on watching numbers fly and goons explode.
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.
US Gamer – 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.
ShackNews – 9/10
The Borderlands formula might be a bit dated with its raunchy jokes and cheesy dialogue, but that doesn’t change that it is a formula that keeps reeling players back in again and again. Despite the fact that I’ve already logged over 40 hours in the game, I still can’t help but feel the want to dive back in with a new character just to experience it all again. But beating the campaign doesn’t bring the story to an end. There’s still plenty of great content to devour after that final boss fight, including True Vault Hunter mode, and plenty of great side quests featuring some of the best characters ever found in the series. Whether you’re an old fan who has played all the previous games, or a brand-new fan just diving into the series, Borderlands 3 is an absolute masterpiece that will bring you hours upon hours of fun.
Forbes – 9/10
Borderlands 3 does not feel like a total transformation for the series, just an evolution. And that may leave some part of it stuck in the past, but overwhelmingly, it’s a game that’s still a blast to play, particularly for those into the loot shooter genre.
XGN – 95/100 (Dutch)
Borderlands 3 has surpassed the bar that its predecessor had set. The story is grand in scale, the humor is on-point and updated to 2019, weapons are diverse and the new Vault Hunters are unique in every way. Every BL-fan must pick this game up.
Vandal – 9/10 (Spanish)
Borderlands 3 is bigger and better. It’s everything we expected for the third main entry, and even if it’s very conservative, it’s a fantastic game you will love with friends or even on your own.