Gearbox already has a smash hit on their hands with Borderlands 3. After 7 years of waiting, Borderlands fans (Borderfans?) are so thirsty for content that most of them probably would have accepted the threequel with open arms even if it was a total broken mess.
Luckily, Borderlands 3 does a lot more right than it does wrong. In our review of the game we noted that gunplay is the best it's ever been and the different planets offer great variety. That being said, Borderlands 3 has some severe systemic problems that make it feel like a game stuck in 2012. Further, there are some things they need to fix immediately because frankly, there's really no excuse to launch a game in an unplayable state. Here are five things Borderlands 3 needs to fix as soon as possible.
Split-Screen Is Unplayable
Split-screen has such horrible performance issues on console that players are finding it impossible to play the game. Our Esports Editor Bella has been playing local co-op and her experience has given her constant frame rate issues. This is especially true when one or both players open up the inventory menu (something you do constantly in BL3, but we'll get to that later).
Many of the best weapons have gigantic particle effects that cause acid and fire to rain down from the sky and explode all over the enemies. However, console players have to avoid the coolest guns because they tend to tank the frame rate. Check out IGN's video about the frame rate problems.
Even on a PS4 Pro, choosing the higher resolution setting is out of the question. Setting the game to its performance-focused mode is slightly better, but the game is still almost impossible to play.
Inventory Management Is A Chore
Enemies drop guns, shields, class mods, ammo and money. While players pick ammo and money up automatically (an improvement over Borderlands 2), the process of examining, selecting, and inventorying gear is still agonizingly painful. When a large enemy explodes like a pinata (great!), the next ten minutes will be spent looking at the floor trying to compare complex stats of each weapon (terrible!) and hoping you have enough inventory space to pick them up (also terrible!). Spoiler: You never do.
For the most part, I eventually began to completely ignore every gun that wasn't a purple or yellow, the two highest rarities. Periodically — or constantly, depending on how much you like to scavenge — you'll need to sort through your inventory and mark all the guns you don't want as scrap so when you see a vending machine you can sell them in bulk. Again, working through the inventory takes a ton of time and brainpower that should be spent mowing down psychos.
Why isn't there a "pick up as scrap" option that marks guns automatically when they enter your inventory? Why doesn't the game have a loot filter that optionally hides all the weapon drops that aren't clearly upgrades? It feels bad to ignore loot that drops when that's sort of the point of the game. But at a certain point, it becomes such a hindrance to progression that you have to start ignoring it. The inventory system needs some quality of life updates STAT.
The Map Is Giving Me PTSD
Holy cow, the map in this game is terrible. I've written an entire article about how bad the map is. Essentially, the minimap is so zoomed in that it doesn't help you find your way around at all. You can't change quests while looking at the map, meaning you have to toggle back and forth between menu screen to figure out where different quests are. Fast travel requires navigating through at least three different map screens any time you want to go anywhere.
On top of that, the map is super buggy. Every time you try to move your cursor it snaps back to a random waypoint. Quest markers sometimes don't show up at all. I hate the map so much, and I'm not sure if it would be enough to fix the bugs, zoom out the minimap, and allow you to change quests while looking at the map like, oh, I don't know... every other open world game?
Game-Breaking Bugs, I've Had A Few
Reddit's mega-thread for game bugs has plenty of examples of this. I personally experienced a bug that nearly made me have to restart an entire chapter. During a "follow the NPC" sequence, the NPC froze and wouldn't move forward. I had to restart the game twice and progress through the same section before the NPC would do what he was supposed to do.
On another occasion, an NPC led me to an item to pick up. There is no item there, and after a few seconds, the NPC says something to the effect of "Just kidding! Here, I've got the item already."
Except he didn't say that.
We both just stood there for awhile. Then, I started shooting stuff. When that didn't fix the problem, I started to panic. After restarting the game and replaying the sequence it corrected itself, but these moments cause the kind of stress you only ever feel when you accidentally delete an entire paper you've been writing all night.
Loot And Level Scaling Makes Optional Quests Mandatory
I've talked to a few people that have had this exact same experience: Falling a level or two behind the enemies can make the game absurdly hard. At that point, every gun you find is too high level to use. I was two levels behind for three chapters before I realized I was never going to catch up. You have to do some optional quests in order to keep up with the level requirements for the main story.
On top of that, there's some kind of fishy level scaling going on outside of gear level. While two levels under, every enemy was an infinite bullet-soaking sponge that ate up all my ammo. As soon as I leveled up, those exact same guns started doing work. There's some invisible stats and scaling going on behind the scenes that I find particularly frustrating in a stat-focused game. Either way, hours of picking up guns you can't use and keeping them in your inventory until the next level is pretty lame. FIX IT.