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‘Borderlands 3’ Review Copies Handed Out Unlike Anyone Has Seen Before

  • Instead of a disc or a code, sites were given logins to EGS Review accounts.
  • Many felt the build was not up to par with most review copies of games.
  • Many reviews included language like “if it works well on launch.”

Gearbox really likes shooting itself in the foot, doesn’t it? First, they’ve essentially let Randy Pitchford run free, which has created a slew of issues, then 2K and Gearbox sent private investigators after a YouTuber for some leaks, and now they’re shipping less than stellar review copies to sites. It’s a strange experience for a lot of reviewers at large, mainstream sites.

The situation is incredibly unusual, with sites like Kotaku citing the strange circumstances surrounding one of the most high profile Epic Store exclusive titles. For those who don’t know, the standard way that reviews are created has the publisher sending reviewers a disc or a code for an early retail copy of the game. Those copies, while they might have some bugs that get removed in a Day One patch, are generally what you’re going to get if you buy the game on release day. As reported by some outlets, this was far from the case. Polygon Reviewer Ben Kuchera discussed what happened in their own review, saying:

2K Games and Gearbox didn’t send out review codes for Borderlands 3. Instead, they set reviewers up with new Epic Games Store accounts with the game unlocked, and gave us a few warnings about the game being a work in progress. They asked us to stay away from the DirectX 12 implementation, for example, and told us that our progress in these builds may or may not carry over to the final game

Of course, a work in progress version of the game is far from what people should be expecting upon release, yet that is what people have been given to review. On top of that, many European outlets weren’t even given a code to begin with. In fact, the total number of review sites was very low, with some people citing around 15 sites with reviews up on them. VG24/7 reported that it was only North Amercian outlets who got the chance to review, and 2K cited “Security Concerns” to both VG24/7 and Kotaku as the reason why they would not be getting access to the game for early review.

Overall, the game has gotten decent reviews, with the averages sitting around 85%, but that’s only with these 15 US-based sites. The actual perception of the game, by fans or by other outlets, will be more evident in the coming days as 2K and Gearbox allow more people to get their hands on the game. Kotaku reported that 2K is shipping it to them a day early on September 12th, and the game itself launches on Friday, September 13th.