Which Borderlands games are worth reloading in 2021 and beyond?
In a savage wasteland, four gunslingers, known as ‘Vault Hunters’, must travel through the apocalyptic landscape known as the Borderlands.
Since its release in 2009, the series has been praised for its comic book art style as well as its addictive looter-shooter gunplay.
With the series getting a spin-off instalment in the form of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, set for release on the 25th of March 2022, let’s take a look at how the Borderlands games hold up more than 12 years after the series made its debut. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Borderlands review without GUNS so in our rating system we will not be just giving the games a thumbs up... we will be giving them a GUNS UP!
Revisiting a 12-year-old game, you might wonder if it’s still worth your time. While the original Borderlands game isn’t my personal favourite, I must say, playing it in 2021 is still an extremely enjoyable experience for its nostalgic value. Newcomers can also enjoy a unique art style, very addictive gunplay plus being advertised as having more than ‘87 bazillion’ guns made it an instant cult classic.
As far as downsides go, its story conclusion lacks polish in comparison to its successor, and its combat elements feel a little outdated by 2021 standards. However, if you bring a few friends along for the ride you are guaranteed an explosive experience.
‘Guns up’ rating: 7/10
In my opinion, Borderlands 2 is the definition of a perfect sequel, improving on every aspect of the original, with greater emphasis on player challenge and elemental weapons. That being said, Borderlands 2’s biggest improvement was in its writing, with a brilliant cast of memorable characters such as Tiny Tina, Mr Torgue and the infamously annoying Claptrap.
However, Borderlands 2 would not be the monumental game it is without the excellent antagonist: Handsome Jack. With his role, he manages to both completely irritate the player as well as fully focus them on their mission to defeat him. In other words, he is that character that you love to hate yet still enjoy his screen time.
‘Guns up’ rating: 9/10
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The pre-sequel is not well-liked by the Borderlands community for many reasons. However, my personal issues with the game are that it can often feel like DLC because the plot is based around the story of Handsome Jack and how he became who he is in Borderlands 2. While this is a great idea, it lacks in overall impact and can feel shallow to the player.
Through the campaign, you are introduced to many interesting and likeable characters that help you along your journey to defeat the antagonist, the infamous Handsome Jack. While this game has the lowest rating, I would still recommend playing it given its very low price as well as the amount of game time you would get out of it.
‘Guns up’ rating: 6/10
Borderlands 3, in my opinion, is a great value experience. With over a hundred hours of addictively fun content, the game brings back many of the fantastic characters from previous instalments, as well as adding some new ones to enjoy the adventure with.
Luckily, Borderlands 3 mostly feels like the games that came before it but with a modern touch which is by no means a bad thing. The game feels familiar to series veterans, such as myself, but easy to learn for newcomers.
While the antagonists didn’t live up to Handsome Jack’s charisma, Borderlands 3’s story did build on the universe in some interesting ways. However, the games main strength is in its gameplay which brings in lots of new mechanics to help make it feel more accessible for fans old and new.
8/10 ‘Guns up’ rating
It’s been an explosive ride with lots of laughs, let's hope Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands continues this awesome adventure.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with our choices? Which Borderlands game is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.
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