Something's Going On With Borderlands 3's Metacritic Score

Borderlands 3 has been out for the better part of a week now, yet it barely has any reviews up on Metacritic.

Metacritic is a popular review aggregate site that collects scores from major outlets and averages them, similar to what Rotten Tomatoes does for movies. AAA games typically have 100 or more reviews averaged on Metacritic, which provides a useful snapshot of how well the game was received.

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Borderlands 3 is currently sitting at a 79% on PS4, and an 85% on PC with a total of 34 reviews (Xbox only has 1 review in, and Metacritic requires atleast 4 to give it a score). That's a low number of reviews. Like really low.

Looking at the other recently released games. Gears 5, which only released on PC and Xbox One, has 89 reviews total, almost 3 times the number of reviews for Borderlands 3Greedfall, the AA game from indie studio Spiders that also released that week, has 57 reviews in, almost double BL3.

Both of those games released before Borderlands 3Greedfall released 3 days earlier and Gears was technically out a week before. Still, Borderlands 3 is the biggest AAA release of the month, if not the quarter. Why so few reviews?

Gaming outlets typically get to play games a few days early in order to fully experience the game and have a review ready for launch day. Borderlands 3 took a unique approach to this process, as Kotaku reported last week: only a select group of outlets were allowed to play the game early, and those outlets weren't given the standard review codes. Instead, they were provided log ins for Epic Store accounts that had an early version of the game available.

Some outlets had some pretty major technical issues with this version of the game, including crashes, bug, and even losing 6 hours of progress due to a corrupted save file. Not exactly the best first impression, but again, only a handful of site were even allowed to play the game early.

Many of these issues carried over to the release version of the game, with players reporting crashing, progress loss, and severe frame rate issues (particularly when playing split screen).

Metracritic has reviews calculated from major outlets like IGN, Game Informer, Destructoid, and Gamespot, but is still missing reviews from many sites. It's possible that more scores will be calculated over the next few days, whether that will improve or damage the Metacritic score remains to be seen.

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