Wednesday 16 October 2019

Borderlands 3 review: Sticking to its guns

PS4/XO/PC ★★★★

Age: 18+

Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3
Borderlands 3
Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Now this must be the dictionary definition of "sticking to your guns". It's as if the seven years since Borderlands 2 never happened. Maybe the technology has evolved, maybe there are now embedded nods to notional fellow travellers Destiny and Overwatch.

But, fundamentally, Borderlands 3 cleaves closely to its co-op loot-shooter template featuring a bewildering variety of weapons, raucous (if divisive) pop-culture humour and a wasteland teeming with aggressive but dumb bandits.

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Whether this familiarity breeds contempt depends on your affection for the gags (the ratio is more miss than hit) and your tolerance for an endless loop of gun-swapping as you pursue ever-more slightly powerful weapons. Inventory management is also frequently a pain in the heat of battle with all that loot about.

Borderlands 3 nonetheless delivers an energetic co-op shooter, featuring nicely diverse characters - including an Irish wiseass with a flat Midlands accent (maybe the Yanks thought it sexy?). It's more of the same with shinier visuals (and more glitches, sadly) - that's probably enough to keep most fans happy.




XO/PS4/PC ★★★★

 Age: 7+

There is a set of UEFA rules called the Financial Fair Play Regulations, designed to stop clubs overspending in the pursuit of success. EA's FIFA series, which prides itself on authenticity, has no such compunction. Its massively popular - and lucrative for EA - 'FIFA Ultimate Team' (FUT) mode has never put any restrictions on how much real money gamers can spend building a club of galácticos.


FIFA 20 maintains this disappointing approach, which somewhat overshadows the otherwise comprehensive and polished version of the beautiful game. This annual update doesn't move the goalposts far, sculpting its gameplay ever closer to reality (but not as convincingly as that of big rival PES 2020).

Glossy soap opera 'The Journey' has been mothballed, to be replaced by a return of street football, which proves briefly entertaining but seems more like an excuse to dress up your players. A slew of subtle interface improvements to 'FUT' are welcome, with the addition of XP-earning 'Squad Battles' designed to pull you back in day after day.

You never need spend a real penny in FIFA 20 but play for long enough and you're acutely aware that plenty of other people do.



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