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The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

Video Game Review: Borderlands 2 & 3: One and A Half Sides of The Same Coin


“Borderlands” is definitely one of Gearbox’s most popular series and after just a bit of gameplay, you can see why. “Borderlands” can give you so many experiences: mowing down hordes of enemies at your leisure, meeting characters of equal parts insane and hilarious, and dealing with a world of bandits, monsters, and evil space corporations.

Among the fanbase of the “Borderlands” series, a fan favorite game seems to be “Borderlands 2.” Released in 2012, “Borderlands 2” holds the great value that are seen across the series. Things like amazing gunplay, a massive variety of enemies, lovable characters, and an iconic cell shaded art style. Amongst all these positives, the game even manages to hold an amazing story.

Some particular segments of the story can be annoying to get through, but overall, the story is great. As the new group of vault hunters usher into the lawless planet of Pandora in search of a new vault. A new villain, CEO of the Hyperion corporation, Handsome Jack is already close. We see as the playable characters of the first game comeback as highly important non-playable characters now, with each one getting at least one story mission that they are absolutely integral to.

The game really lets the story shine when it needs to. It gives very serious moments time to breathe before it does jokes, and when jokes do happen after a serious moment, it is from the villain who speaks to you throughout the game, constantly teasing you.

“Borderlands 2” also features three great skill trees for each character. The gunplay has held up strong over the years. Overall, I’d say “Borderlands 2” is a 9 out of 10.

Where “Borderlands 2” crushed it, “Borderlands 3” didn’t fare as well. Being the most recent main game, it obviously has the best gameplay. The weapon detail and sound effects are immaculate; it really gives the feel of an actual futuristic gun.

The new cast of playable characters have far more voice lines to show who they really are. The new skills are super fun to play with, and the new bosses are very fun to fight.

Where “Borderlands 3” really dropped the ball was the story and specifically, the characters. The bandit clans all across Pandora have united themselves under one cult, The Children of The Vault. They follow two new villains, Troy and Tyreene Calypso, who aren’t really the best. They do the same talking with you throughout the game that Handsome Jack did, but it feels less like a true threat is making fun of you, and more like a pair of school bullies sending you slightly unpleasant messages.

Some of the major characters from the last games are very uncharacteristic in this game. One of the new main characters is especially childish, and yet they are given a ton of responsibility in the story, and shake the resolve of other characters that would never realistically do so in the face of a teenager throwing a tantrum.

The pacing of the story is definitely a little off. The game finds some pretty bad times to make jokes, like the eulogy of a fan favorite character.

The rating for “Borderlands 3” could vary person to person. It really depends on how you feel about the importance of a game’s story. I rate it a 6.5 out of 1o, it has absolutely amazing gameplay, but a massive story flaws drag it down.

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