Quick Game Reviews: The Borderlands Games

Borderlands – Great – The first person shooter/looter where it all began. Four classes that all feel different to play, each with an action skill that creates changes to how the game is played. A fairly basic villain and a bit of lore make for an intriguing if not totally fleshed out story which ends with a disappointing final boss but some seriously fun combat leading up to it. This game established the basic mechanics of the series and had many, many references to look for in the gameplay. A set of DLC which expanded on the main story and were build for pure fun, this game definitely got it right and is still a lot of fun to play today.

Borderlands 2 – Great – The incredible sequel that brought the series to true greatness. This game had more guns, better graphics and what was possible the perfect villain. With four new playable characters with their own skills it felt fresh and fun from the off. Having a story where you meet the characters from the first game with a few dramatic twists it was more than just an FPS with a predictable story. Now, the villain was the great Handsome Jack whose taunts and storytelling alongside informative audio logs shaped him up to be my favourite videogame villain and I’ll relay the game just to hear about how he took a guy’s eyes out with a spoon. Some of the best DLCs I’ve played were attached to this game with great stories, fun bosses and two extra characters. Then of course there’s the Commander Lilith DLC released seven years after launch which just tells more story and gives a new, less interesting villain for a few hours.

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel – Good – The sequel that is set before the second game to explain the story going forwards and backwards. Once again four new characters and four new abilities. Low gravity because it’s set in space and the addition of a buttslam ground-pound mechanic meant the pacing of this game was fast and fun. The story was all about the rise of Handsome Jack from visionary hero to evil dictator, the characters were developed really well and there were a decent amount of things to discover. The bosses in this one weren’t good, all the way through being more irritating than fun and this one just didn’t quite hit the sweet spot that it should have. There was only one major DLC which was amazing and there were two DLC characters but this definitely wasn’t one of the best entries to the series.

Tales From The Borderlands – Great – An almost cinematic story experience with QTEs and button prompts. A pure story without the established shooter/looter mechanics. This was all about introducing some new, well developed characters while finally ending Handsome Jack’s tale completely. Memorable characters, a few jokes and a few game changing choices mean this is definitely worth playing for any fan of the series or someone who wants a more movie-like game experience.

Borderlands 3 – Average – The latest entry which stands up to its predecessors but only on the first playthrough. I loved the game the first time I played it with new villains, four new playable characters and a story of how too much power and social media could destroy everything. Plenty of returning characters and a lot of lore kept it interesting even if a few fan favourites were missed. The shooter/looter gameplay was fairly well done although all guns do eventually start to feel the same and the second time I played through I didn’t find the villains charming, I found them irritating and some of the maps were just hard to navigate. There are also major issues with lag in split screen and a few things that seem unfinished. There has also been the awful decision to implement seasonal content. The DLC aren’t all out yet so I don’t have a full picture like with the other games but this one so far has been pretty disappointing. This wasn’t really the story continuation fans wanted and it wasn’t told in the best way possible, it felt more like a way to cram lore in before the real Borderlands 3.

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