Emmett Watkins Jr. – PlayStation All-Star

Borderlands 3

Disappointing Games Roundtable

It actually took me a while to think of a game that truly disappointed me this generation. I generally like to stay positive, so I couldn’t think of any game that disappointed me, especially with so many of my favorite games coming out of this generation. But once I pull off the stuff I played, that list fills up quickly.

Both Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Battlefield: Hardline were low points in franchises that are usually consistently good, but neither were games I heavily anticipated. Games like Drawn to Death and Lawbreakers died way faster than I would have liked, but those games were still fun to play despite the lack of a player base. Even games like inFAMOUS: Second Son and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order were made by some of my favorite developers, but I wasn’t necessarily hyped about either of them before release. But there is one game that had the potential to be one of my all-time favorites. And despite me attaching loads of hype to it leading to release, it managed to not hit the spot nowhere near as much as I had hoped. That game is Borderlands 3.

Now, when it was originally announced, I rejoiced like many other fans of the series. The thought of getting to revisit Pandora and its colorful inhabitants with the next generation of visuals and gameplay was an exciting concept. Plus, we fans had been so thirsty for the threequel, that we’ve been hypothesizing what the game would be years before it was revealed. But the first nail in the coffin went in when, upon gameplay reveal, the game was promised to be much closer to the original two games than more modern looter shooters like Destiny and The Division. The promise of a return to form excited me, but little did I know, I had gotten used to more modern gameplay structures and would miss them once I got my hands on the final game.

The next thing that got me was my attempt to play through the prior title’s DLC in anticipation of the game. I played every game in the series solo, so I expected to have no issue doing the same in Borderlands 2’s DLC. Well, I was greeted with a brick wall of difficulty despite my gear being on the same level. Turns out, without teammates to distract them, I could barely take out anyone without losing most of my health. That experience zapped my excitement to return to that outdated structure of the game design, but I still held out hope that Borderlands 3 would modernize things to make it much more dynamic for single players.

And then came release day, where the sobering reality of what Borderlands 3 would became into focus. For those who might have been tired of the grind of modern loot games, the throwback of Borderlands 3 might have been refreshing. But for me, I was so disappointed to see that the same annoyances of the prior games had come into the new generation. Plus. the aggressive and over-the-top humor that tickled me back in when I was 17 became pretty grating and annoying to my 2019 adult self.

But the final nail in the coffin came with the game’s performance. Ahead of the launch, Gearbox promised two graphics modes: one in 4K at 30FPS and one in 1080p at an unlocked framerate up to 60FPS. I was looking to play the performance mode as the higher framerate sounded like a true next-gen feature to look forward to. But alas, the game struggled to hit anything above 40FPS, which made the game feel just as slow as the prior two games, but less consistent visually, leading to a game that wasn’t much fun to play in long sessions.

The game overall just felt like a relic in all the worst ways. The writing felt like it was pulled straight out of at least 2014. Its world lacked the vibrancy found in so many other open-world games. And thanks to its graphical options, it could barely hold a candle to the most visually arresting games this generation had to offer.

It pains me to say that I dropped the game after about 5 hours of playtime, which sucks because I had already bought the season pass and the steel book edition of the game. And even now, over a year later, I still haven’t been compelled to give it another shot. But I remain hopeful, as my PS4 copy earns me a PS5 upgrade for no additional cost, complete with the promise of 4K resolution at 60FPS. If that graphical promise holds true this time, and if I’m able to block out the dialogue with a podcast or album, then I might be able to find some mindless fun. But for now, I’ll have to live with the fact that Borderlands 3 caused me to completely reevaluate my thoughts on the series, and if the game is great in a timeless way, or in a way specific to the early 2010s.

So, there you have our most disappointing games of this console generation. What are your biggest disappointments of this generation of games?

One Response

  1. pungello1988

    Fallout 4 was definitely the most disappointing game this gen for me. Andromeda was coming off of ME3’s terrible ending so I wasn’t expecting it to be good (and it wasn’t) but I was PUMPED for Fallout 4 and it was so thoroughly meh. Fallout 76 was even worse…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: