Borderlands 3 Review. Let’s Get Into It

Borderlands

Borderlands

Borderlands is Gearbox’s signature franchise. For many, Borderlands 2 became a cult classic FPS when it released in 2012. A great co-op experience in a time where co-op game development seemed to be drying up. A sequel felt inevitable. 2K Australia gave us Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel two years later. A decent game in its own right but not the for experience we truly wanted. At last, seven years after the release of Borderlands 2, it’s here. There’s some very good news too! Borderlands 3 does not disappoint.

The Story and Characters

The Story and Characters BorderlandsBorderlands 3 is set seven years after the fall of Handsome Jack. In his place, a new Pandoran superpower has risen on a quest for godly power. The Calypso Twins. Troy and Tyreen aspire to be the greatest stars in the universe. Their plan? Unlocking The Great Vault. Whilst it’s unclear what The Great Vault contains, the Calypso Twins are sure it’s a certified route to interstellar dominance.

As with any great antagonist, a greater protagonist must stand up to fight against them. Welcome our four vault hunters. Amara is Borderlands 3’s Siren. Her three major skills are Phasegrasp, Phaseslam, and Phasecast. FL4K is the Beastmaster. He commands various animal partners to help him hunt down enemies. Moze is the Gunner. Her skill trees are all about pulling out a bigger gun than the opposition. Minigun, Grenade Launcher or even a damn Railgun. Take your pick. Finally, there’s Zane the Operative. He’s the class I chose to play as. A classic soldier type who puts his trust into futuristic gadgets like Digi-Cloning, SNTNL Drones and a big ol’ damage amplifying barrier.

Fans should be happy to see a sizable group of returning characters. Of course, most of the past vault hunters show up at one point or another. ZERO, Maya, Brick, and Lilith all play significant roles. Other vault hunters such as Mordecai appear briefly. Disappointingly, Gaige, Axton, Salvador, and Krieg don’t appear in the main story. It’s possible they’re in a side mission or future DLC. Tales From the Borderlands boys Rhys and Vaughan make a comeback but not Fiona, Sasha, Gortys or Loaderbot. I get Borderlands 3 already has a lot of characters but the decision to cut this many doesn’t sit right with me. Hopefully, the DLC can amend this.

The Gameplay and Progression

The Gameplay and Progression of BorderlandsWell, it’s Borderlands, that’s for sure. The gunplay, the movement, the abilities. All of it feels like something you’d expect in a its game. Innovation isn’t the primary goal of Borderlands 3. Rather, it tries to deliver a marginally more refined version of Borderlands 2.

The positive side to this is that you already know if this is for you. Did you enjoy previous Borderlands titles? If so, you’ll probably love this one too. The downside is that there’s very little new outside of the story itself. Even the new abilities of Borderlands 3’s vault hunters often overlap with previous games. For example, Zane’s Brain Freeze acts very similarly to Aurelia’s Cryo Freeze. A big change is that gun specific abilities are largely gone. No more “20% damage with assault rifles.” This lets each class be more flexible than previous games.

However, not everything changed from Borderlands 2 is good. Borderlands 3 likes to lockout core content until you progress through the story. Perhaps the best example of this is Guardian Ranks. Guardian Ranks give you modest stat boosts based on how many challenges you complete. Challenges are generally pretty straightforward like killing 1000 enemies with snipers. In Borderlands 2, this was accessible from the beginning of any new character. In Borderlands 3, you can only begin this once the main story has been finished.

It’s the same deal with artifacts. Artifacts are an accessory that give miscellaneous bonuses like extra critical hit damage and increased experience. In Borderlands 2, you could get these at any time. In Borderlands 3, you have to acquire the Eridian Synchronizer to even equip them. Strangely, they actually started dropping for me at level 25, even though I couldn’t use them until around level 30. For reference, I finished the main story at level 35. Basically, artifacts and Guardian Ranks are only useful in True Vault Hunter Mode.

Visuals and Performance

Visuals and PerformanceFrom what I gather, the console version of Borderlands 3 hasn’t been received too well. For starters, local split-screen doesn’t work properly. Classic 2K Games. If it makes you console guys feel better, the PC versions hardly perfect either. Sometimes the menus just don’t quite function as expected. The mouse doesn’t line up properly and you have to double or even triple-click to get a response. My friend who I played along with had an infuriating bug where his cursor would appear on screen, but he couldn’t look around. This took half an hour to fix.

In its current state, Borderlands 3 is still playable but it’s a closer call than I’d like. Certainly, a patch or two is going to be needed. On the bright side, Borderlands 3 suffered from very few framerate issues. On medium, 1080p I managed to sustain a comfortable 100 FPS. When I switched everything up to high it still sat at a solid 70 FPS. My friend, who’s PC out-specs my own, managed 70 FPS on Ultra, 4K. Borderlands 3 is a taxing game and lower systems may struggle. This would likely explain the issues present on six-year-old consoles.

The trailers misled me into thinking Borderlands 3’s visuals weren’t all that. Make no mistake. This is a gorgeous video game. The cell-shaded art style has never looked this good before. Details on environments, texture quality, draw distance, anti-aliasing. It’s all interwoven into each other perfectly. Coming together in harmony to produce one of the best-looking games I’ve ever seen. Borderland’s visuals may be an acquired taste to some, but they strongly resonate with me. This looks like a game driven by passionate games artists. I love it.

Final Verdict On Borderlands

Final Verdict for Borderlands 3No doubt, there are issues. It’s disappointing to see how buggy Borderlands 3 can be. I imagine some game-breaking exploits will be found sooner than later. Although, sadly, that’s not new for Borderlands. I’m also somewhat let down by the absence of many characters I’ve grown to love in the Borderlands universe. However, these flaws are minor in comparison to the overwhelming positives. Borderlands 3 is a spectacular co-op looter shooter that looks and plays better than anything else on the market. Give me some quality DLC and a few patches and this could very well be yet another gaming cult classic.

GOG Spring Sale: 90% Off of More Than 500 Indie and AAA Games

spring sale for video games

What a great news! Wait, what is GOG you ask? GOG, a subsidiary of CD Projekt, is a software distribution platform serving DRM-free video games and movies. They have a kit if games ranging from critically acclaimed indie games to big and awesome triple-A video games. Guess what, their prizes range from as low as $5 to $10 for old games and for newer games, they can range from $5 to $30. You can get The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for only $30! Can the prices go any lower? Oh yes! Enter, Spring Sale.

All Hail the Spring Sale (March 6 – 12, 2017)!

Adorable...Here, take my money!
Adorable…Here, take my money!

If you’re wondering which games do they have in store for us this Spring Sale, let me give you a sneak peek. For the indie game lovers out there, here are some of the indies they have for Spring Sale:

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – $2.24
  • Undertale – $4.99
  • World of Goo – $2.49
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer – $3.74
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – $3.74
  • Braid – $3.74
  • Bastion – $3.74
  • Invisible Inc. – $6.66

If you are not an indie game lover and more of a triple-A kind of a gamer, these games might be right in your alley:

  • Mirror’s Edge – $4.99
  • Metro 2033 Redux – $4.99
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (GOTY) – $29.99
  • Deus Ex GOTY Edition – $2.99
  • Dragon Age: Origins Enhanced Edition – $4.99
  • Dead Space – $4.99
  • Tales from the Borderlands – $6.24

…And a lot more!

Personally, I’m planning to buy Divinity: Original Sin, Invisible Inc., World of Goo, Bastion – yes, I know. I’m more of an indie-loving guy – then, for the triple-A games, Witcher 2 and 3, and I’m still thinking about getting Medal of Honor or Hitman. Definitely Hitman. There are also some story-rich games like Gemini Rue, Alan Wake, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and a lot more.

Want to link your Steam Library?

Want to connect your Steam library with GOG? They got you covered with GOG Connect. With this tool, you can permanently import your games in Steam to your GOG library. But, a little heads up, my dear gamers. They only have a limited number of eligible games and are for a limited time only. This is because not all developers and publishers agree with the whole DRM-free idea.

I believe that this is a great opportunity to try out games that we weren’t able to play in the past. How about you guys? Which interesting games are you planning to but? We are curious and are eager to hear from you, guys. Comment your games down below and let’s have a fun conversation.

PS Plus, Games With Gold Freebies For March 2016

With March swiftly approaching, both Sony and Microsoft have detailed their free games of the month.

From the zany hit that is the original Borderlands, to the excellent Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, this month is definitely one of variety and a welcomed great change of pace.

Without further adieu, here are the freebies for PlayStation patrons.

 

  • Broforce – PS4
  • Galak-Z – PS4
  • Super Stardust HD – PS3
  • The Last Guy – PS3
  • Flame Over – PS Vita
  • Reality Fighters – PS Vita

A lot of past PS Plus line-ups consisted of mainly 2D platformers, yet this month we’re graced with not one, but two space shooters! Galak-Z is a game I’ve been eyeing up for a while now, and Super Stardust HD is one of the best shoot-em-ups on PS3. While I personally voted for Assault Android Cactus during last month’s Vote To Play, Broforce seems to be quite fun.

For Xbox owners, here are the games you will receive for March.

    • Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments  – Xbox One
    • Lords of the Fallen  – Xbox One
    • Supreme Commander 2  – Xbox 360
    • Borderlands – Xbox 360

March is certainly a good month for Xbox users with Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments leading the charge. The game failed to gain the popularity it deserves, so anyone who missed out definitely needs to jump on it, as it is a very polished and consistently entertaining adventure.

And while I can’t say the same about Lords of the Fallen, having an RTS like Supreme Commander 2 is such a breath of fresh air that I think we all might need.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out the video above for the dates of availability, as Microsoft has a tendency to throw off the best of us with their strange schedule.

Bring Back Bioshock – The Bioshock Collection

2K Boston’s/ Irrational Games first person shooter game, Bioshock, is undoubtedly one that should sit firmly and proudly in any gamer’s collection. Receiving universal acclaim for its mind-boggling story line and intense and quite frankly disturbing gameplay, Bioshock definitely became a game difficult to compare to any other.

Most recent gaming consoles (PS4/ Xbox One) have provided developers the opportunity to remaster and recreate some fan favourites. Among such games is the Tomb Raider reboot (Square Enix) which made a comeback with Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Devil May Cry 5 (Capcom), The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog) and even 2K’s own Borderlands series came to newer gen consoles in the form of The Handsome Collection, including both Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-sequel. With such great titles making such successful comebacks, it is almost strange that Bioshock hasn’t crept its way into the running, well, until now – kinda. It has been covered by IGN that a ”retailer may have accidentally leaked The Bioshock Collection”. That said, let’s savor our excitement – I’m almost sure I can hear millions of eager fans fidgeting in their seats, so let’s revisit what made Bioshock such a gruesomely great game and why there is every reason it should be remastered for fans on up-to-date consoles.

bioshock

 

Completely Deranged

One of the most renowned aspects of Bioshock is the utterly mental story line. Although seemingly simple at the beginning, as the game proceeds it becomes evident that with a ton of scientific jargon and DNA related technicalities, that unless you are scientifically inclined, the game is going to toy with your mind a bit – or a lot.

To enlighten those unfamiliar with the Bioshock basics, the game is set in the once intended utopia, Rapture. The city is based miles and miles deep within the North Atlantic Ocean. Pre-game, Rapture suffers at the hands of a civil war, resulting in the ultimate corruption of the underwater city. A valuable substance, ADAM (discovered in the process of Rapture’s creation) which allows genetic alterations once consumed, became exploited and fought over by residents who began splicing themselves extortionately, resulting in deformities and physical disfiguration. Most residents either became ‘Splicers’ or died at the hands of them. Primarily identified by their distinctive diver suit appearance and low, echoing whale like calls, Big Daddies sit at the top of the splicing food chain. Accompanying them on their ADAM patrols through Rapture are Little Sisters. These once little girls of Rapture have been corrupted by exposure to and consumption of ADAM and must be either saved or harvested by the player, once of course they’ve gotten through the rather terrifying Big Daddies first.

The player takes the role of Jack who, after a plane crash, finds his way into a lighthouse and, in using the bathysphere there, arrives in Rapture. The player must traverse the demolished city, fighting through hordes of spliced psychos and Bioshock’s iconic Big Daddies in order to escape.

This brings us to the first reason Bioshock should find it’s way back to our screens remastered. There is no other game like Bioshock. The whole ideal behind the game is very sinister and wicked and it makes the game very interesting to play. Featuring several characteristics of survival-horror, the thrill factor spurs you on during your playthrough and although you are dreading the next splicer that hurls itself at you unexpectedly or the next Big Daddy you have to take on unprepared, you will continue to play.

bioshock big daddy and splcier

 

No Escape

To add to the ongoing list of reasons Bioshock remains to be one of the most extraordinary games of all time is because of it’s widely credited setting, Rapture. In being situated thousands of miles below the surface of the ocean, consequently generated is the disconcerting feeling of no escape. For a player caught up in Bioshock’s proceedings, this simply adds to the dark atmosphere throughout the game, also contributing to the fear factor considerably. Bioshock’s well developed gameplay in combination with the almost evil atmosphere that Rapture creates, the game is immersive, making you feel as if you yourself are fending for your life in Rapture’s wreck.

Rapture is a perfectly developed setting also in respect to its association with the ocean. This I mean not only literally, in regards to its location, but also in respect to the resounding whale calls the Big Daddies produce, the glass walkways that exhibit Rapture’s once beautiful sights, the many species of fish that can be seen looming all over the city like vultures in a desert, it all reconciles to make the setting increasingly eerie and unpredictable and for a keen player, this makes the game far more enjoyable. It would be truly wonderful to be able to experience all of these feelings again in a remastered version of the game.

bioshock 3

 

The Remains Of A Utopia 

Rapture was Andrew Ryan’s (a main character within Bioshock) intended Utopia, what it became was the complete opposite. A city that was once supposed to manifest a perfect way of living was reduced to what could only be described as hell.

With Splicers making up the foremost part of the broken city’s population, it is almost uneasy for the player as the enemies have few limits, nothing is standing between them and you. There is no law, rules or regulations, Splicers are quite simply relentless and it really draws out the true horror factor of Bioshock. The setting presents to the player the rawness of these villains, blood spats on walls, messages written in blood, gruesome dead bodies displaying the aftermath of attacks. All of these scenes are scattered throughout Rapture and it does so well to keep the player on their toes. Collectively and in contrast to safe haven Andrew Ryan aimed to achieve initially in Rapture’s creation, all of the fear becomes amplified and, again, it effectively produces the immersive environment that few other games have even come close to developing on such a great scale.

We need a game like Bioshock out there, we need the Bioshock Collection.

bioshock 5

 

Back To Rapture 

Bioshock has been overwhelmed with all means of praise since its release, even receiving several Game Of The Year awards. It is a unique game on a number of different levels and in being so, it owes itself a remastered version. Fans deserve to revel in and thoroughly enjoy this title again, enhanced and buffed up for up to date consoles. I know I’d happily sit through another playthrough of being toyed with by a Splicer flickering lights of the room I am in, or coming face to face with a Big Daddy with nothing but a wrench – I kinda take that bit back.

All we as anxious fans can do for the meantime is tame our excitement if possible and keep checking to see if these rumors are in fact true.

 

 

Tales of Borderlands New Episode Revealed

Telltale, the company behind the much acclaimed Borderlands franchise, has announced the fourth episode of Tales from the Borderlands, which is simply known as Escape Plan Bravo.

Besides a giant horse statue, you can also expect Handsome Jack telling Rhys to punch some guys in the face, so yeah, not that different from past episodes, but for more information – and mind the spoilers in case you haven’t played previous episodes before – here is what Telltale has to say about it:

“In this penultimate episode of the season, captured by Vallory and her goons, Rhys and Fiona are forced to continue the search for the Vault beacon – at gunpoint. The beacon is on the Hyperion moon base – Helios – while our heroes are on Pandora… so there’s the pesky cold void of death known as ‘space’ to overcome. Even with assistance from a familiar face, and with a worryingly helpful Handsome Jack hitching a ride in Rhys’ head, getting on board the ominous ‘H’ is going to take every drop of guile, and quite possibly all the spunk you’ve got.”

Escape Plan Bravois due to be realesed on August 18.

For more on Borderlands and Escape Plan Bravo -related, stay tuned to VGamerZ.

Playstation Flash Sale: Sci-Fi Madness

As an avid discount gamer, I get anxious for all of the new flash sales Sony is dropping on a pretty regular basis. They cover a wide variety of genres and the sales are generally pretty great. That’s why, from now on I will be covering each and every flash sale until the end of our solar system, when the sun inevitably explodes and swallows us whole.

On that gloomy note, don’t miss out on the great deals while you still have a planet to inhabit! Here is a rundown of some of the best choices.

Flash sale
Alien: Isolation + Season Pass Bundle – For those of you who like discounts and disembowelment.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved – Calling all Masochists. The wait for Dark Souls III will be  a long one, so if you are missing being mad and smashing your controller into tiny pieces, this is your new best friend.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – If you need to waste five hundred hours for some strange reason, Borderlands always has you covered.

Final Horizon – Remember disappointing your parents with low grades that can be in part blamed on Kongregate’s excessive tower defence library? Relive the agony with this gem.

Gradius Collection – Do you think the PSP is the best handheld ever made? Do you want to prove to your friends that the PSP is indeed the best handheld ever made? Do you want to make the PSP a relevant handheld in 2015? Gradius is for you. Nothing screams ‘Best handheld’ like playing ported games from well over a decade ago.

For the entire list of deals, jump on over to the official Sony blog post and prepare thy wallet.

Borderlands Creator Reveals New Info For Battleborn

Borderlands

Borderlands

Borderlands creator and famous developer, Gearbox, reveal new details regarding their latest game, Battleborn. Battleborn, as you expected, will have some of the core features of the Borderlands franchise as Battleborn is a FPS title that can be played in co-op mode with a friend. Although Battleborn is said to have some MOBA gameplay elements.

Battleborn, as diverse the characters were in Borderlands and how each had his/her own personality and fighting style, will be no different as Gearbox said that the game will feature 25 playable characters instead of the 4 that Borderlands had to offer. Each of the 25 characters is said to have a unique personality and style.

Gearbox VP Steve Gibson explains more concerning how the game came to mind, the game’s genre mix and how the characters were developed.

“Coming out of the success of Borderlands, we started to ask ourselves, what are our strengths as a studio?” Gibson recalls. “What are those strengths and how do we blow them up even further? The first is that we’re good at taking elements from different games and mashing them together. In Borderlands, we took Diablo and made it into a shooter, for example.”

Battleborn is kind of a mix of three different genres: Street Fighter, elements of real-time strategy games, plus the role-playing shooter thing that we invented in Borderlands.”

“Our other strength is character building,” Gibson continues. “One of the main things fans took out of Borderlands was how much they loved Claptrap and the other characters. So we thought, okay, let’s build a game that leverages both of those, blending genres and building characters.”

Gibson also explained Battleborn’s story further, the main story of Battleborn revolves around the end of all the stars in the universe with the exception of one final star that every race gathers around. They eventually find out the other stars’ death wasn’t just normal but an evil force was behind it and now the evil force is set to destroy the final star in the universe. This is where you step in and since the game will offer many different characters, they will be divided into factions that each has an ideal plan of survival. Factions will fight against each other and this is your PvP mode ladies and gentlemen.

“If you could imagine such diverse races coming together, they would all have different ideas about how to proceed,” Gibson explains. “They will then naturally fall into factions, and inter-factional fighting is where the player-vs-player multiplayer modes come in.”

Here is where things get interesting and new, Gibson states that you won’t have to play with each one of the 25 available characters to level it up, unlike Borderlands, but their will be an overall progress linked to your account.

“In Borderlands, if you maxed out your character, you wouldn’t want to then start from scratch with someone else,” Gibson says, “so we found that out of the four characters, people were only experience one.”

“We’re building 25 characters; it’d be a shame for someone to play just one!”

Also each one of the 25 characters will have their own look, abilities and a distinctive and deep background story. He also stated that during conversations, each character will reply according to their race’s opinion and their life which is pretty difficult but amazing if pulled off correctly.

“The design guys have done a tonne of background work for each of these characters, and as you play them you’ll learn more about them,” Gibson says. “We have way more dialogue in this game than we’ve ever had in any previous game. They will comment on how they feel about the world, but they will also respond to each other.”

“This means that if one guy says something, there are 24 possibilities for which other characters will respond. This is true for every dialogue exchange in the game.” He shakes his head. “It’s bonkers.”

“I said to the design team, do you understand the mathematics of this? How big a voiceover budget do you have?” Gibson laughs. “We’ve been working on this game for a long time!”

Battleborn is said to release early-2016 and it will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Tell us what you think of Battleborn and if it can be even better than Borderlands, I personally think so. (Credit: Stuff.co.uk )

Gear Up Because Battleborn is Going to Blow You Away

Battleborn

With seven characters announced and more to come, I can’t tell you how excited I am for the upcoming game : Battleborn. This game has 25 playable heroes and no hero is even close to being the same as they are all geared up with unique weapons and powers. There is even a leveling up system where you can level up your hero and fully unlock your hero’s true power. The game overall looks like a better Borderlands. Don’t get me wrong. I love Borderlands but to have more choices to pick from when it comes to characters, well that’s a major gaming fantasy.

While a trailer and a few gameplay videos has been released for this game, it is enough for me to write about it and pre-order the game. Not only is the art stunning but you can play competitive multiplayer with up to 10 players online. Multiplayer has three different types of battles to choose from such as :

Incursion
A base defend mode where you must defend your base from the waves of minions while still trying to destroy your opponent’s base.

Devastation
A capture-the-flag type of game as players go head to head in a death match while capturing and holding objectives on the map, to secure a win.

MeltDown
Players protect their minions and guide them to the middle of the map where points are scored by the minions throwing themselves into an incinerator. The team with the most points takes the game.

Not only is there multiplayer but there is a story mode that can be played with friends online or splitscreen.

Needless to say, there are a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to Battleborn. From the gameplay, to the co-op, to the characters, I can’t wait to get my hands on this game and review it.

Check out the official Battleborn site for any updates or news on this thrilling upcoming game.

First Tales from the Borderlands Details Revealed

Borderlands

SXSW is a thing that happens, and like all things that happen, it did in fact take place this year. Of all the panels and conferences within SXSW, I am here to grace you with the most important aspect of the event: Tales from the Borderlands.

Key members of both Telltale Games and Gearbox Software sat down to discuss their upcoming collaborative project that takes the narrative, character driven aspects of Telltale’s best work, and Gearbox’s absolutely bananas world and characters to deliver the best of both worlds.

The video below, though quite lengthy, sheds much light on several aspects of Tales from the Borderlands, including its spot in the lore, the types of things you will be taking part in, and much more.

To say that Tales from the Borderlands is promising is to understate how much potential this project actually has. As mentioned at the panel, Telltale has a rich history with comedic games.

The video below, though quite lengthy, sheds much light on several aspects of Tales from the Borderlands, including its spot in the lore, the types of things you will be taking part in, and much more.

Borderlands blessed everyone in 2012 with one of the most hilarious, clever, and self aware games we’ve had in years, so combining that humour with Telltale’s writing prowess has me on the edge of my seat with excitement.