After a seven-year hiatus, Borderlands 2 finally received a proper sequel. Borderlands 3 is a triumphant return to the series, filled with incredible gunplay, cringe-inducing humor, and an accessibility system which makes this game the most physically accessible title of 2019.
Developed by Gearbox Software, and published by 2K Games, Borderlands 3 places players in the shoes of four new Vault Hunters on a quest to prevent the Calypso Twins from controlling the galaxy. With each character featuring three unique skill trees, three class actions, and a never-ending arsenal of eccentric guns, Borderlands 3 never ceases to amaze during the countless, as well as incredibly zany shootouts.
Since firing wacky guns is the primary calling card of the franchise, Borderlands 3 thankfully features an accessibility feature that has been surprisingly absent from several recent AAA games: the capability to toggle aiming and sprinting. As someone with weakened muscles, I wholeheartedly welcomed this option, which enabled me to spend countless hours slaughtering fanatics, psychos, and indigenous wildlife. Without having to continuously hold the aim button, I could enjoy the hilarious and downright creative weapons that were at my disposal. Currently, my favorite gun is an SMG that behaves like a flamethrower, which once depleted, runs on two legs chasing after enemies.
To coincide with the option to toggle aiming and sprinting, Borderlands 3 offers a mode that allows players to ‘snap’ to the nearest target. If hunters are surrounded by an oncoming wave of psychos, players can simply tap the aim button to instantly lock on to the target within their reticle. While they still need to physically follow the enemy’s movements, the initial ‘snap’ greatly improves players’ overall accuracy during hectic encounters.
Borderlands 3 also features the capability to fully customize controls. Unlike most titles, certain keys are not required when changing controls. For example, it’s plausible to finish the entire campaign without assigning a key to the ‘grenade’ function.
Surprisingly, Borderlands 3 provides a unique accessibility aspect in the form of FL4K. FL4K is one of four Vault Hunters who utilizes pets to provide unique buffs and combat mechanics. For example, my favorite pet happened to be the Skag, appropriately nicknamed Mr. Chew. Mr. Chew can be transformed into several variants, each of which increases FL4K’s overall damage. While I greatly appreciated the damage boost, I especially enjoyed that each pet can provide FL4K with an opportunity to receive a free ‘Second Wind.’ When a Hunter receives too much damage and gets downed, players must eliminate an enemy to revive themselves, or have another individual resuscitate them. FL4K’s pets can kill enemies, albeit at a slower rate, providing a free revive if necessary. Furthermore, if players place enough points into a specific perk tree, FL4K’s companions can revive them just like a co-op companion.
Finally, FL4K further pushes the accessibility agenda through one of their unique class abilities. FL4K can launch several Rakk which automatically seek out enemies in the vicinity. This ability starts with two charges, each with two Rakk, and a relatively quick cooldown rate. Players have the capability to increase the overall cooldown or increase the amount of Rakk that attack enemies. If I’m ever physically exhausted, I simply launch Rakk to defeat my enemies, granting me a well-needed moment of rest.
Borderlands 3 may not appeal to everyone solely based on the humor. However, as a physically accessible game, Borderlands 3 is nothing short of perfect. From the customization options, to the unique class abilities of FL4K, Borderlands 3 is a game which every physically disabled individual should experience.