Review – Borderlands 3: Ultimate Edition (Switch)

It’s hard to believe that Borderlands 3 only came out four years ago, especially since we’ve had a semi-sequel with Tiny Tina within that time. It’s also hard to believe that it’s taken four years for Borderlands 3 to finally come to Nintendo Switch. At least with that much time between releases the game will be optimized for a console that’s a bit weaker than the others it’s already been released on, right?

Borderlands 3 Children of the Vault

Welcome children (of the vault)

Everyone knows that the Nintendo Switch might not be the best console for first-person shooters, but Borderlands is probably one of the best games out there for aim assist. That’s one problem solved at least. Borderlands is known for its fast paced, looter-shooter action, which would really fall apart without being able to aim properly. The next big part of the series is driving, and with Borderlands 3, there are quite a few varieties of vehicles to drive. Based on previous experience, some are much easier to drive than others. On the Nintendo Switch, the Joy-Cons aren’t great for small movements. It’s not easy to not just tilt the stick the whole way to the side the way it is on other controllers, which can really throw off the driving.

Borderlands 3 graphics

No wonder there’s no issues early on, there’s not a lot to see early on

Alright, time for some bad news. Borderlands 3 started off great. Minimal pop ins, no framerate drops. Then I progressed the game a bit. First off, don’t use subtitles. I don’t understand why, even in cutscenes, the subtitles sit nearly in the middle of the screen. The second issue is, if you have subtitles on during a cutscene, for instance right before you fight a boss, a black bar sits across the screen once you start playing again. Only a little bit distracting, so after the first boss I played without subtitles.

subtitle boxes

Yes, that black bar isn’t annoying at all. I can’t even see it, I swear.

The next issue is the framerate drops as you progress the game. The further into the game you get, the worse the drops become. Without even having to go too far, when I fought the first boss on Prometheus, I had about a ten second frame drop. The entire game just came to a standstill for absolutely no reason. Sometimes it happens through the world too; nothing worse than trying to drive and suddenly the game freezes. The other visual issue is with some of the characters, for some reason characters just look like they’re out of focus. Like you’re always looking past them, even different you’re looking right at them. Why is everyone blurry, but everything else is fine?


“Hello ladies” – Stephen Merchant

At the very least, the Nintendo Switch isn’t the GBA. Audio isn’t compressed to an absolutely brutal point, and the voice acting is still great. If you’ve not played Borderlands 3 at this point, here’s a fair warning that not all the jokes land the same way they have in previous entries, but that’s okay.

Whenever anyone asked how Borderlands 3 was running on Nintendo Switch, my response was “about as good as you expect.” That was quite early on. My response now would be “get ready to take breaks,” not because you’ll need to take a break from the game, but the sudden pauses will make you take a break, and they get worse the further you go. If you have any other way to play Borderlands 3, that will be a better option. If you only have a Switch, the game is fine and can still be enjoyable, just be ready to exercise some patience.

Graphics: 4.5

For the most part, Borderlands 3 looks fine. Compared to the first three that are already on Switch, it doesn’t really scream “improvement.” The biggest issue is the fact that characters seem blurry.

Gameplay: 5.5

This score unfortunately dropped more and more as I played further. The frames drop heavily the further in you play, and it becomes increasingly frustrating.

Sound: 8.0

On the bright side, the sound isn’t compressed. The voice acting is spot on with Borderlands, and while some jokes might not land, it’s the tone the lines are said in that can save it from being cringeworthy.

Fun Factor: 6.0

Borderlands 3 is fun, but I’m not sure there’s any part of me that wants to try and push for Max level characters, grind out the best weapons, or play all the different DLC, when I can have a better time playing the same game on another console.

Final Verdict: 5.5

Borderlands 3: Ultimate Editionis available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Borderlands 3: Ultimate Edition was provided by the publisher.