Like a lot of gamers, I was hyped up for Borderlands 3. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s a first-person shooter with a Diablo-esque loot system. But far more important than that was the humor and the writing. Oh man, the writing. That’s what had Borderlands cosplayers still hitting the cons years after Borderlands 2 premiered with its hilariously evil villain, Handsome Jack. (Just mention “Butt Stallion” to any BL fan and try to dare them not to crack a smile.) Shooters and looters are a dime a dozen these days, but does any other have Claptrap lose an argument with himself about whether he should get beaten up by thugs? And that’s before we even get to Tales of the Borderlands, which was more interactive novel than game, and yet remains many fans’ favorite.
But most of the reviews for the franchise’s latest outing are crestfallen over the lame writing, which landed like a body blow while I was shopping for a new game. Sure, they say, the guns and action and loot are better than ever, and if that’s all you care about then, ok, yeah… but that’s never been the real heart of the franchise, has it? And you’re telling me the game has forgettable villains? Forgettable villains???
It’s the same sin as that of Mass Effect: Andromeda. That game had the best action of any entry in that legendary series, and yet, it was still a franchise killer due to the wooden writing, lame quests, and elimination of the evil (aka “Renegade”) story choices. It was never the duck-and-cover shooty parts that people cared about with the original trilogy.
Your favorite media franchise will always let you down sooner or later. Always.