Rather than provide Borderlands 3 review code to all and sundry, 2K has only let a select handful of critics loose on the eagerly awaited loot shooter. And even then, it was restricted to the PC version, which Kotaku reports was a work in progress build prone to crashing.
2K claims this was down to security concerns. However, the talk of gaming town this week is 2K’s selective nature. It’s definitely suspicious that European gaming sites, who often hand out lower scores than their American brethren, have been asked to wait until nearer launch day.
Any road, Borderland 3’s Metacritic currently stands at 85%, formed of 22 reviews. VentureBeat and PC Gamer are the only outlets dishing out scores lower than 8/10 so far. “Between the bugs, the extended non-jokes, the self-aggrandizing jabs at game design trends, and a few cameos I won’t spoil but that made me audibly groan, Borderlands 3 has a lot in common with Gearbox fan events as of late. There’s a lot of loud, extended posturing while holding what everyone really came for hostage”, said PC Gamer.
Greedfall, the 17th century RPG which many hoped would fill that Dragon Age void, is also out this week. Word has it it’s full of ambition and heart, but it’s let down slightly by simple combat and a lack of variety within environments. We’ve rounded up scores below.
Team 17 is back with Blasphemous too, a pixel art endeavour mixing Castlevania with Dark Souls. Think Dead Cells, only even more gruesome. Reviews are mostly positive so far, with the creative boss battles, intelligent level design, and impressive animation gaining praise.
We’re still waiting on Daemon X Machina reviews, meanwhile. Nintendo has really hit their stride with exclusives of late, so all signs point to this mech shooter being another Switch hit.
There’s also Utawarerumono Zan on PS4, which puts a hack and slash twist on the cult JRPG series, annual sports updates eFootball PES 2020, NASCAR Heat 4, and NHL 20, along with the Gears 5’s standard edition. We rounded-up pre-launch reviews a few days ago. In short: it’s the best non-Forza MS exclusive since Cuphead.
New release showcase
9.0 – IGN: Borderlands 3 sticks to its guns and outdoes itself with an amazing arsenal of weapons, humor, and missions.
9/10 – Destructoid: Borderlands 3 takes most of the good bits of Borderlands 2 and either rolls with them or improves upon them. It didn’t need to reinvent the wheel either, as Gearbox pretty much had the formula figured out the second time around.
8/10 – GameInformer: An old formula executed well, Borderlands 3 rarely takes chances or strays from expectation
77 – VentureBeat: I just wish the studio had advanced its humor and encounter design as much as class progression and weapon variety. If you enjoy lootin’-and-shootin’, check out Borderlands 3. But go in knowing that you’re going to cringe at some of the jokes and feel fatigue every now and then.
63% – PC Gamer: An endless font of bad jokes and cool guns in the series’ most vapid story yet, Borderlands 3 skates by on watching numbers fly and goons explode.
8/10 – PSU: GreedFall stands as Spiders’ most successful game to date, bar none. Despite its issues, nothing gets in the way of this game’s ambition and heart. Anyone looking for a standout, deep action-RPG will find it in GreedFall. With its different narrative paths and various ways to build your character, there are so many reasons to play through multiple times.
7/10 – TSA: Greedfall has an ambitious story, but it’s not backed up by the clearly repeated environments, simple combat and dull abilities that take ages to unlock. However, seasoned RPG players might well be able able to look past those flaws in favour of the interesting, well written stories about political manoeuvres and oppression that make up the bulk of the quests in this pretty dark, deep world.
7.0 – God is a Geek: Greedfall struggles to find its feet and then maintain them, certainly, but it also presents a mostly enjoyable adventure that gets better as you go, opening up the secrets of Teer Fradee in some surprising ways. Once again, Spiders have surpassed what they’ve delivered before and, despite its flaws, Greedfall is easily their biggest and best game yet.
7/10 – Push Square: GreedFall is Spiders’ best game by some distance, and it’s impressive how far the developer has come in just a few short years. It successfully scratches that BioWare itch with an intriguing world, likeable characters, and rock solid gameplay. However, aside from its unique setting, nothing about GreedFall truly stands out. Its combat is good but not great, its role-playing is largely fine but ultimately stunted, and its writing is competent but sometimes boring. GreedFall is right on the cusp of being something special. RPG fans will find a lot to like, but don’t go in expecting the genre’s next masterpiece.
9/10 – Nintendo Life: Blasphemous is a beautifully crafted Soulslike/Metroidvania action game set in a delightfully unhinged, deliriously gory world filled with well-designed enemies, satisfyingly meaty combat and some truly memorable and grotesque boss battles.
8/10 – Destructoid: I can’t get Blasphemous off my mind. I may never fully grasp the opaque story even with the inevitable community-led theories and explainers lending a hand, but that’s okay. Even taken as a fanatical fever-dream, this game delivers. Some aspects aren’t as fine-tuned or ambitious as they could’ve been, leading to unevenness, but there’s so much for metroidvania fans to latch onto here.
7.0 – IGN: Blasphemous is an eery Metroidvania with gorgeous animations and combat that’s just a tad too one-dimensional.
7.2 – Video Chums: If you’re a fan of Utawarerumono and like the idea of a Dynasty Warriors spin-off then you’re sure to love what ZAN has to offer. Between the rewarding gameplay and the vast
6/10 – RPG Site: Despite everything, I greatly enjoyed my time with Utawrerumono Zan. However, I can’t gloss over the title’s numerous faults. It’s not worth $60, except for the most of ardent of fans.
2.5/5 –RPGamer: Utawarerumono is a property that deserves greater awareness, but unfortunately Utawarerumono Zan is unlikely to help. It might serve some as a brief reminder of events, but taken in a vacuum neither the storytelling nor gameplay do enough to warrant much attention. At least there is the remake of its first title to look forward to in 2020.
New digital multi-format releases
- Borderlands 3
- eFootball PES 2020
- NHL 20
- Super Dodgeball Beats
- The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series
- NASCAR Heat 4
New on PSN
- Nextgen Sandbox
- Agatha Knife
- Utawarerumono Zan
- Caravan Stories
- Darkest Dungeon Ancestral Edition
- Mini Metro
- Arcade Archives WATER SKI
- Arcade Archives TRACK & FIELD
- Psychotic’s Agatha Knife
New on Xbox One store
- Gears 5
- Colina: Legacy
- Path of Exile: Blight
- Light Fairytale Episode 1
New Nintendo retail releases
- Daemon X Machina
- Star Wars Pinball
- Goat Simulator The GOATY
Next week: Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son, Rebel Cops, Bounce, Niffelheim, The Sojourn, Bus Simulator, Truck Driver, Rebound Dodgeball Evolved, and Mable & The Wood.