Nearly a decade ago, a port of Borderlands 2 was released for Sony’s PS Vita to mixed reviews. While remarkable that a current game could run on a portable device, the flat visuals, continuous crashing, and subpar performance rates made for more of an amusing novelty than an immersive gaming experience. Fast forward to the present, with the hotly anticipated release of Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition for the Switch, there were apprehensions that this game would share in its predecessor’s shortcomings. Fortunately, these fears were quickly debunked—the game runs exceptionally well on the Switch, offering the complete, action-packed experience, perfect for on-the-go gaming.
Borderlands 3 picks up seven years after the events of Borderlands 2, revolving around the space treks of both new and familiar characters from the Crimson Raiders. The main characters face the formidable challenge presented by the Calypso Twins, a sibling duo with godlike powers who control Pandora's bandit clans. The storyline, though solid, doesn't take itself too seriously—it's jammed-pack with wild humor and vibrant characters, matching the care-free charm and spirit of the Borderlands universe.
The game combines first-person shooting and RPG elements, earning it the description ‘Diablo with guns’. Players can choose from four different characters classes, each with three skill trees that allow for unique character development. The skill trees can be reset at a cost, guaranteeing players a build that perfectly matches their preferences and play style.
Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition is rich in options, with infinite configurations of randomly generated, color-coded loot. All guns have unique stats, elemental effects and abilities, adding an illuminating depth to the gameplay without being overly complex. The loot system encourages continuous strategy revamping and loadout experimentation, contributing to an exciting and engaging gaming experience.
The game’s combat system is crisp and precise, adding a new dynamism to battles. Characters can now vault over low obstacles and slide long distances, creating a more versatile, free-flowing fight style. The aiming feature is further enhanced by efficient motion controls, making combat even more enjoyable.
Borderlands 3 does not have one continuous open-world environment. Instead, players travel to various planets, each with interconnected maps. Each map teems with side quests, monster hunts, stronghold raids, and hidden chests—a trove of activities for gamers to indulge in.
This Switch edition is dense with content, offering the complete base campaign and all subsequent DLC's released since the initial launch, amounting to over a hundred hours of gameplay. Said DLC content includes exploring a gigantic space casino, as well as engaging in an old-style Western, enriching the overall game experience.
In terms of Switch performance, Borderlands 3 is nothing short of impressive. Developers Gearbox managed to condense 100+ GB content down to just 23.5 GB with only minor cuts to the visual experience. The enhanced modes, coupled with the smooth frame rate, make up for the lack of split-screen co-op and 4-player squads.
Overall, the Borderlands 3 Ultimate Edition introduces a fresh and enhanced version of the legendary game, offering players a delightful and thrilling gaming experience on the portable Nintendo Switch. Its sterling performance and rich content make it an excellent choice for both seasoned Borderlands players and new gamers alike.
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