We reviewed Borderlands 3 back in November after our first 30 hours, and boy-oh-boy were we not happy. The horrific performance issues in splitscreen destroyed the experience for us, and seriously damaged our view of the game as a whole. To that end, we stopped streaming– two on-air crashes, several consistent frame rate drops and an inability to use the menu in combat or in the first minute of gameplay finally caused us to nope out of streaming the game, and in fact playing it in general. We wrote it off, accepting that after the meh-fest of the Pre-Sequel, maybe we were just done with the franchise, having seen Borderlands 2 through rose-tinted glasses for the better part of a decade.
Well, we upgraded from the launch Xbox One to an Xbox One X a few months back, and eventually dipped our toe back in with Borderlands 3. Now as a caveat, we cannot definitively say the changes are patch related rather than hardware related– for all we know the splitscreen experience is still dirt on the stock Xbox One. But from our point of view, all of the performance issues are gone. Suddenly, the game has the luster we were hoping for at launch, and we’re getting what we would think of as the true Borderlands experience.
The performance being better doesn’t suddenly make the main story amazing, but the lack of constant rage certainly helps! We’ve played through the first two DLCs and the Cartels event, and the stories of all three have been great. We’re very much looking forward to the next two DLCs, and have a lot of faith that any future events will be a good laugh. The references and comedy have been on point, loot variation has been brilliant, and my character finally feels like he has some oomph behind him. Jade’s melee Amara build pastes everything she touches and she’s having a blast.
The Mayhem v2 rework is a little more on the questionable side– it kind of feels like rather than adding real variation, enemies just become bullet sponges (and there are items like the Yellowcake and the OPQ that are almost requirements). But, we understand that these changes are an ongoing thing, so on this, we’ll hold fire before condemning it completely.
So, is it good? Yeah, finally!