By Ronald Gordon
After experiencing the utter absurdity and humor jam packed into “Borderlands 3,” I regret not picking up the series sooner. I probably would’ve enjoyed the other games as much as I enjoyed this one.
“Borderlands 3” is a looter shooter with role playing style gameplay developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. Here, you play as one of four richly detailed heroes, known as Vault Hunters, who scour the Borderlands in search of Vaults, ancient constructs which are said to bestow great power and fortune on those who open them.
The story starts out with you picking your character and heading into the vast and dangerous land of Pandora. Of course, you’re not the only one looking for the Vaults and many seek to stand in your way. This time around, the major threat you’ll be facing off against is a pair of dastardly twins, the self proclaimed “God Queen” Tyreen and her brother Troy, who are also seeking the power of the legend and have a massive army of raiders and psychos on their side to help them. But that just means more fodder for you to mow through while you enjoy your trip.
There are four different Vault Hunters to choose from, and, as Harold Goldberg reported in The Washington Post, their backgrounds and powers are varied. Each one has a different set of skill trees and strengths, but all of them are capable of getting the job done. There’s Amara the Siren, a strong brawler who can summon ethereal fists made of spirit energy via the special tattoos on her arm (which is how all Sirens gain access to their powers); FL4K the BeastMaster, a robot with unmatched skills, a lust for blood and a love of animals, who commands the different creatures of the world and situates himself at the top of the food chain; Moze the Gunner, who has her “Iron Bear,” a big war mech that looks like it was ripped straight out of Titanfall; and finally Zane the Operative, a cunning man who uses gizmos and gadgets to flawlessly outwit his opponents.
The Vault Hunters have a variety of play styles, giving the player options to choose a Hunter that’s suited to their needs. I chose Moze because I like big guns and even bigger war mechs, and I’m glad to say that this choice has come in handy on most occasions. The Iron Bear has its own set of skills and upgrades to apply, and whenever I bring it out during a fight, I’m sure to dominate my opponents.
“Borderlands 3” isn’t like your average run of the mill FPS because of all the random wildness that comes with it. For instance, popular FPS games like Call Of Duty have hints of realism regarding how their enemies react and how their guns work: If you shoot someone, they die, simple. “Borderlands 3” goes outside the norm by giving you the option to juggle your opponents as their bodies ragdoll through the air from a shotgun blast (or you can even shoot them in the naughty bits for some extra Critical damage).
On top of that, the game brings with it a ton of interesting death quotes, my personal favorites being “You will remember my name! Which is-” or “Use my ashes in a Quinceanera.” Small things like that make “Borderlands 3” stand out among the other popular FPS games that sadly lack the goofy-looking crazy people who had the bright idea of bringing a spiked club to a gunfight – just one of the many outrageously funny things that seem to be mandatory in this series. Considering that “Borderlands 2” featured a character named Face McShooty who DESPERATELY wanted you to shoot him in the face and would adamantly rant, dance and scream until you did, you can see how the franchise keeps its reputation.
Hilarity of the game aside, “Borderlands 3” has a vast open world, open galaxy actually, with various beautiful, yet horrifyingly dangerous, landscapes. The art style is unique and mixes cartoonish character features, like the Badass Psycho’s wildly mismatched arms, with detailed designs in a way that only “Borderlands” can imagine. The music is uplifting and changes depending on the region you’re in, but it’s always something to jam to as you turn your enemies into bloody remains.
“Borderlands 3” is a great mix of an FPS game with plenty of different guns and gun types, and detailed RPG mechanics such as the skill trees and battle enhancements that people have loved and enjoyed for many years. I’m glad I got to experience this game and want to continue playing through it. The characters are hysterical and the enemies even more so, but the story is intriguing and the landscapes are eye-catching. I’d especially suggest it to those like me who haven’t picked up the series and want to enjoy a fun and action packed FPS with in depth and well built RPG aspects.
Sophomore intern Ronald Gordon is creating the City Tech College chapter of the New York Videogame Critics Circle.