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[Kotaku] Borderlands 3's Review Situation Sure Is Strange

Hobbes

Incident Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
2,601
United States


In the case of Borderlands 3, which comes out Friday for PC and consoles, things are unusual. Rather than sending out codes for the game, 2K gave reviewers special Epic Games Store accounts loaded up with early, work-in-progress builds of Borderlands 3—a bizarre scenario that we’ve never seen before. As Polygon explained in their review:

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.
As a result, Polygon reviewer Ben Kuchera wrote, he and some of his colleagues ran into some severe technical issues including random crashes and, in one case, someone losing six hours of progress and having to start from scratch (!!!!). Some other reviewers complained of technical problems; others did not.
 

Kawngi

Member
Oct 30, 2017
510
Wonder if they're trying to pad the early reviews with outlets they think will rate it highly, or are they getting revenge with places that painted Gearbox/Randy in a negative light.
 

MechaBreaker

Member
Jun 26, 2018
2,043
The fuck is going on?

If they wanted to only send review codes to outlets they think would favour them, then it would be less conspicuous to just send them and ignore the other outlets.

Sending weird EGS accounts with jank Borderlands builds makes no sense this close to release...

Unless... EGS doesn’t actually support sending out review codes?

Edit: looks like I was wrong: Quoted from page 2 for context:
This is false. We've gotten plenty of early review codes on the Epic Store. This is an unprecedented scenario that's entirely on 2K.
So I repeat, what the fuck is going on? :O
 
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exodus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,039
A "work in progress" 4 days before it comes out? That doesn't bode well.
 

Landford

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,361
Not a single

Goddam thing

About this game launch

Isn't mired in some form of controversy

I mean god damm
 

Xelfs

Member
Jul 8, 2019
3
Also, most europeans website didn't receive any codes or any special accounts to review the game in advance so they have to wait until Friday like the rest of us. For example, in france no one reiceved anything from 2K so that is weird for sure.
 

Gero

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,006
Im afraid of the console versions. Definitely going to wait with my purchase
 

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,870
Wonder if they're trying to pad the early reviews with outlets they think will rate it highly, or are they getting revenge with places that painted Gearbox/Randy in a negative light.
They can't be too happy with PCGamer then if they wanted to pad the reviews.


Also, 2K is paying KindaFunny to do what amounts to a monthly infomercial for the game and none of the KF crew has even played the game yet because 2K only had PC codes available.
 

RoKKeR

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,676
Security concerns my ass. For what? There is more gameplay out there for this game than most others pre release.

Just seems like par for the course in how Gearbox/2K handles the publicity for their games.
 

Mireille

Member
Oct 26, 2017
74
As some people have already stated.. work in progress 4 days before the official launch? hmm... it sure seems strange
 

RoboPlato

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,636
This is so bizarre. Security concerns doesn’t make sense and the outlets that got review copies don’t seem like ones to pad scores. Makes no sense.
 

FreezePeach

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,458
A very Randy thing to do indeed. *aliens.gif

All i know is if the launch release is a mess, lol, dont preorder games folks.
 

Ryo Hazuki

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,687
Yeah this is weird as fuck. The fact it doesn't sound like the final retail version of the game sounds bizarre.
 

KanameYuuki

Member
Dec 23, 2017
778
Yeah, I'm not trusting / feeling anything about this game, who would have thought a sequel to one of the games I played the most on PS360 era would end up so shady, what a shame, hope it ends up good but I don't know anymore.
 

Plinkerton

Member
Nov 4, 2017
520
The "security" line is such nonsense when you're dealing with big, established sites like Waypoint and Kotaku. It sounds like they're just trying to get positive opinions out first before everyone else gets a chance to play.

Also, if reviewers are playing an incomplete version of the game, at what point are they within their right to write a preview rather than a review?
 

stealthyfrog

Avenger
Jan 6, 2019
5,202
The thing with only US sites being sent "review codes" didn't bother me, but this? Something weird is going on here
 

Venom.

Member
Oct 26, 2017
224
London
When there's a shit-ton of reviews being published at the same second how can you make your own website's review stand out as being the right one?
 

Greywaren

Member
Jul 16, 2019
341
I really hate that my most expected game in years is surrounded by controversy. This is just another one to add to the pile.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,559
Wonder if they're trying to pad the early reviews with outlets they think will rate it highly, or are they getting revenge with places that painted Gearbox/Randy in a negative light.
Doesn't pretty much every company do this? Of course it doesn't always work, such as with that PC Gamer review.
 

THRILLHO

Member
Nov 6, 2017
421
no console reviews is suspect.

publishers literally do not provide advance copies of a game to press unless they are problematic. There is no other reason.

I personally have issues with EGS leadership team conduct so that combined with a 500+ game backlog means anything on EGS is an easy "wait for sale" but no console reviews? woof

e: cynical me says it feels like they are hoping to skate by on PC reviewers using 2080ti's in their review rigs
 

ItsTonyB

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,052
England
The fuck is going on?

If they wanted to only send review codes to outlets they think would favour them, then it would be less conspicuous to just send them and ignore the other outlets.

Sending weird EGS accounts with jank Borderlands builds makes no sense this close to release...

Unless... EGS doesn’t actually support sending out review codes?
On a podcast I listen one of the users has an epic review account and has said multiple times it just has free access to everything on the store so maybe they don't do individual games.
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
2,883
Sending weird EGS accounts with jank Borderlands builds makes no sense this close to release...

Unless... EGS doesn’t actually support sending out review codes?
It doesn't, the store also doesn't feature a proper backend for developers.

edit: i mean't it doesn't support it properly. You can give someone a pre-release key, but cannot revoke it. The reason they got janky test accounts for bl3 is because the outlets that got the accounts were given access to one of their development branches. Which is why they had so many warnings. It's most likely still not finished and gearbox wants to revoke those accounts once the game goes live.
 
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"D."

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,101
I was thinking what if its because they havent implemented bull shit like MTXs and "surprise mechanics" so they can get the good reviews, then add that shit in afterwards once people are reeled in?