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Quick Look: Borderlands 3

We head back to Pandora with some pets, robots, and LOOT!

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Sep. 18 2019

Cast: Jeff, Ben, Jason

Posted by: Jan

In This Episode:

Borderlands 3

106 Comments

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mattchops

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Uh oh..Jeff is on this one

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steveurkel

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Finally, what everyone's always wanted. The discussion on the pod cast convinced me to prob skip this but will be fun to see it not being played by a screaming YouTube banshee.

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doncabesa

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Uh oh..Jeff is on this one

But so are Ben and Jason!

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Garden-Gnome

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Is it just me or is that mech-suit start-up animation, with the screens switching on, pretty much the same as in Titanfall?

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Humanity

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@mattchops said:

Uh oh..Jeff is on this one

But so are Ben and Jason!

More like, hooray Jeff is on this one!

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terik

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why is this 360p.....

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zinkn

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Edited By zinkn

I absolutely love this game and have yet to encounter any bugs. Play this game on pc if you can. Quick load times and looks great!

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dsouvannarath

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Edited By dsouvannarath
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frytup

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Edited By frytup

@terik said:

why is this 360p.....

Youtube is slow encoding HD, probably. Switch to the GB player.

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mellotronrules

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i realise it's nothing new (or limited to video game fandom)- but watching comment sections twist themselves into knots over what's essentially the most-YMMV release of the year really feels like a sign of the times.

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dprotp

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Edited By dprotp
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splodge

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Seems like a buggy mess. Several times Jason couldn't switch weapons or fire. Kind of essential.

I love borderlands, but will be a while before I get this one. Lots of bugs to sort out.

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iamaparade

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@dprotp: I've thought about what causes the kind of consternation that you're talking about; I'm not sure if it's so much that they have an opinion that doesn't match mine, so much as it is that if they don't like the game, the game usually becomes some sort of dismissive punchline for bits during all future content. This is why it always feels worse (for me) than when they like something that I don't—I'm not going to get upset because someone likes something, because it's great when people like stuff, but the dismissive attitude that comes with them constantly hating on something I like can feel like an invalidating bummer.

Also, I sometimes get a sense that their opinion can sometimes be taken as Canon And Fact for folks who don't try out the game for themselves, so seeing them be down on a game feels like it can limit a game for folks who might enjoy it.

Anyway, no rage or angst or anything, but I feel like there's a ripple effect for trashing a game that's more complicated than folks give credit.

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asmo917

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I'm generally more positive on the game than the staff even though I agree with most of their criticisms. The biggest things for me, all addressed in the Quick Look are that the loot is boring/uninteresting/inconsequential, Moze's skill tree is full of skills I have zero interest in and I couldn't know that before chosing her without going to some other website, and Moze's "I'm suffering from a status effect sounds" are fucking terrible - too loud, too distracting, and just miserably unpleasant without communicating anything I'm not already getting from just seeing what I see. I can deal with bad dialogue and poor story, but those sound effects have turned this into a game I'd play and listen to to one that I refuse to play without a podcast or music on and the sound completely muted.

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LucidDreams117

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Edited By LucidDreams117

Oh man, those menus! They move so slow as if the video is buffering?

Wow. I'm not even interested in this game but if I was I'm sure I'd be really pissed moving through them especially considering how much you'd use them seeing as how this is a loot shooter.

On another topic, I feel sorry for Jason. He's clearly enjoying the game but it does sometimes seem like Jeff's opinion is the only opinion.

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Schmollian

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Edited By Schmollian

On a scale of 1 to Randy Pitchford, how magical would you say this game is?

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Daveydave

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Edited By Daveydave

The guys are really down on this. I honestly don't think its as bad as they make out. It does have performance issues, menus are bad but its still a fun game loop. The improvements are fun.

I struggle to watch the whole video when there so disheartened and mopey about a game. Its there opinion and of course thats fine, thats why I subscribe to hear it, but still bums me out.

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Vicious17

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I dont really get the criticism here. This is literally just "Borderlands but better". Everything's imporoved, everything feels better. Same old story written by a 5 year old, same old humor not even 2 year olds find funny anymore.

Like... this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted MORE Borderlands. Were people expecting this to be Destiny?

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Kryplixx

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Edited By Kryplixx

I dont really get the criticism here. This is literally just "Borderlands but better". Everything's imporoved, everything feels better. Same old story written by a 5 year old, same old humor not even 2 year olds find funny anymore.

Like... this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted MORE Borderlands. Were people expecting this to be Destiny?

I agree 100%.

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Ryan3370

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Edited By Ryan3370

For a game that's all about tons of loot, the inventory management and menus are inexcusable and somehow worse than BL2.

They had to have been aware that if you're picking up a ton of stuff, you're going to need to open the menu's A LOT and that should probably have been a priority to make it as seamless as possible all around

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two_socks

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Those menus taking forever to load and Jason running into a bug where he can't shoot have pretty much put set this as a game I'll probably get in a year once all the DLC is out. Can't say I'm super impressed that they made "more Borderlands but better" and failed to make the inventory management any better at all, either. Kind of a bummer!

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benpack

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I dont really get the criticism here. This is literally just "Borderlands but better". Everything's imporoved, everything feels better. Same old story written by a 5 year old, same old humor not even 2 year olds find funny anymore.

Like... this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted MORE Borderlands. Were people expecting this to be Destiny?

It's perfectly valid to criticize something for just doing more of the same. It's true that some people would want that (we explicitly say at one point in this video that if you're just here to play more borderlands you won't be disappointed), but you can want something to evolve and shake up the formula that it established 10 years ago. Also IDK if you watched the full video, but there's some pretty inexcusable performance stuff that we captured in just one hour of game time.

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VSG

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Edited By VSG

@benpack said:
@vicious17 said:

I dont really get the criticism here. This is literally just "Borderlands but better". Everything's imporoved, everything feels better. Same old story written by a 5 year old, same old humor not even 2 year olds find funny anymore.

Like... this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted MORE Borderlands. Were people expecting this to be Destiny?

It's perfectly valid to criticize something for just doing more of the same. It's true that some people would want that (we explicitly say at one point in this video that if you're just here to play more borderlands you won't be disappointed), but you can want something to evolve and shake up the formula that it established 10 years ago. Also IDK if you watched the full video, but there's some pretty inexcusable performance stuff that we captured in just one hour of game time.

Part of it is also that the style of writing, and even the art style, is no longer unique to the Borderlands franchise. So while this is more Borderlands, there has not been a real lack of such in this console generation to miss it. Gearbox going all in with more of everything just adds to quantity over quality, as evident by the writing here and the so-so loot.

This is even before getting into performance which, as Jeff rightly pointed out, is pretty bad even on the PC. Full disclosure- I am an editor for TechPowerUp- and we weren't really happy with the scaling of performance to graphical fidelity across the various CPU and GPU options tested. Yet, somehow, the person testing and playing the game had fun and played till 3 am the first night without any game fatigue. So perhaps there is something to this formula that works for some, and not for others.

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fivegreenaliens

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Edited By fivegreenaliens

I'm totally fine if it's not someone's taste and if they don't like it. Hey, more power to them. Where I do get annoyed is when someone says the game isn't 'saying' something about politics or genders or whatever. While I'm fine with any medium (including games) talking about these issues there is no requirement for them to. Sometimes things can just be entertaining or just be dumb fun. Besides, who would ever expect that out of borderlands? I'm into some of the humor in borderlands but its just dumb toilet humor. Sometimes dumb shit like borderlands is funny. A game doesn't have to say anything to be funny or always be high brow.

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Vicious17

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Edited By Vicious17

@benpack:

First thing first, HI BEN!

With that out of the way, you're right that the performance issues are absolutely inexcusable. You're also right that it's perfectly fine to criticize things for staying the same. But also, what did you want from this? How did you want Borderlands to evolve knowing that it's well... still Borderlands? They improved the combat, the movement, how the guns feel, the action skills, etc. Save for adding some sort of create a character, or fundamentally changing the core of what makes Borderlands Borderlands, what else is there?

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PorpoiseProblem

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I didn't hear any jokes about magic or squirting. Hard pass from me.

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mrangryface

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Jeff way doesnt like this game. I think im more where Ben is at. The writing is totally uninteresting to me, and I feel like my ammo situation is constantly garbage, but between all of that the action CAN be fun.

I dunno if ill finish it but its an ok....60 dollar distration. Wait maybe thats not ok.

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ducktales_moon

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This is the loudest video I've ever watched on the internet. Not complaining, it's nice being able to hear everyone equally.

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LeraA

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I'm looking forward to this in the near future. I'm in Jason's camp, where even though it has issues, it will just be fun to do a little shooting and collect a little loot.

I think I'll wait until a sale because I still need to do the Borderlands 2 VR dlc that *finally* arrived.

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@terik: Videos on Youtube first show up with only low resolution options and then add the others over the course of an hour or so. So when you watched this it was probably brand new.

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

Seems alright, but extremely janky. Those menu's oooof...

That said, these games are generally fun to play and i get why a studio wants to stick with the stuff they know will sell well after a high profile failure. For me, i'll just play more Borderlands 2 if i ever get the urge to play borderlands. And no, people don't expect this to be Destiny, i don't know why that constantly gets brought up like that's the only way they could improve upon 7 year old borderlands 2. You got a mantle, you got a few more supers, you got alt fires, radiation instead of slag, but nothing that drives me towards buying this over completing all the content in borderlands 2. A game that lacks all the technical issues this one has.

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RPJeff

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Edited By RPJeff

@fivegreenaliens: I appreciate this perspective! For me, I'm just less interested in putting up with the somewhat typey, samey jokes on top of this loop. I really enjoyed borderlands 2, and there ISN'T anything wrong with dumb fun. But dumb humor and lowbrow comedy doesn't have to lack intent or awareness, and it doesn't protect the game from criticism of its joke writing.

I don't think anyone is demanding that borderlands 3 change hearts and minds with its story, I think most folks just would have liked to see some more ambition across the board given all the years that have elapsed since the last release.

But hey, i'm literally playing Far Cry 5 right now, I ain't afraid of no mediocre game. Maybe i'll get to this eventually.

edit: extremely ironic edit where I accidentally referred to this game as BL2

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dya

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Oh man, I'm having some performance issues on PC, but it's mostly my video card's fault. But the menus are buttery smooth, just a bit too much animation at times I think. Those PS4 menus look really bad.

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LoktarOgar

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Y'know... I think I'd rather play Anthem.

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stanleynipple

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@benpack: seems weird. thats like wanting quake to have simcity elements or simcity to have FPS characteristics. when dark souls 4 comes out i want dark souls gameplay not hauling resources from one station to the next ala rebel galaxy. we're a culture that remakes the same classic movies for fear (financial) of striking out. can't really expect games to be different if it's a big ass corp involved can we? yes sure we can but if we're disappointed we shouldnt be surprised. we're safe fiscal decision culture now.

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adamcboyd

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Some people confuse volume with humor.

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puppymehard

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Edited By puppymehard

I really hope this year's "Please Stop" award goes to "Releasing games that perform like shit."

Control runs like ass on the PS4. This game looks like it runs like ass, especially on the PS4. Bloodstained runs like ass on the Switch. Iceborne still takes forever to load and the FPS can really dip on PS4 (this one is less egregious than the other ones, but it's still bugging me).

I'm not some FPS snob, but this shit is ridiculous. I want to be able to buy a game and be confident that it'll at least perform fine. But apparently that's too much to ask.

EDIT: And the review scores for the Link's Awakening remake are all saying the FPS is iffy. Sigh...

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Barrock

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Why are games getting away with releasing in a state where their menus are as laggy as they are on the PS4 for BL3?

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hippie_genocide

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@mellotronrules: I feel like that's a pretty cynical take. "Do you like Borderlands? Well here's more of that." (assuming that's what you meant) is ok, but it's totally valid to expect more of the 3rd game in the series. Especially when you consider how long it's been since BL2. This doesn't seem like it's advanced the genre at all nor does it seem like it's paid any attention to recent games in the genre.

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I see what they were saying on the podcast a lot better with this video. But, it seems like what they call in this part of the world a bit of a "Marmite" Game, not only that but different flavours of marmite. For instance, here they commend the boss battles, but elsewhere at other publications they have been considered one of the most problematic parts. It's been interesting to see the spectrum of perspectives on the game and the series.

As stated in the comments section of the podcast, I'm disappointed in the story/writing from what I have seen, given how much i like how Tales showed the potential of the storytelling of the fiction.

TBH though, given the apparent problems, watching this video is tempting me to play this sooner rather than later however. On PC of course.

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Casse1berry

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Edited By Casse1berry

@puppymehard: Agreed. If that means cutting down on some detail/resolution than so be it. I just want smooth gameplay.

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sirdesmond

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Now this... is borderlands

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steveurkel

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@paddles: yea but no one likes the taste of marmite, people who grew up liking it have no taste buds because the marmite destroyed their ability to taste things. This isn't a marmite game, this is a low quality fps that people are rabid fans for the series.

Borderlands 3 is the rick and Morty of video games apparently, some people just don't "get" it (or its because it sucks and they like sucky things, which is more likely).

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Barrock

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@steveurkel:

Please don't lump Rick and Morty in with this... :(

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Ohverture

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chalkcharmer

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Borderlands is still Borderlands.

I guess don't play it if you aren't a fan?

Ben I think you need to play more games if you think this is bad.