Available On: PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
I put about 40 hours into Fallout 4 when it launched in 2015 before I fell off, leaving much of the massive world and story unexplored. I’ve kept it installed on my hard drive ever since, deluding myself that I would jump back in to finish it some day.
After playing The Outer Worlds, I promptly uninstalled Fallout 4. The Outer Worlds’ tight pacing, excellent writing, and fun gameplay have completely satiated my first-person RPG desires – and it does it all in under 40 hours.
Can My Kid Play is a series of helpful guides for parents that dive further into the ratings and content of video games. We do not pass judgement, instead providing insight and information so parents can make their own informed decisions.
What is Borderlands 3?
Borderlands 3 is an RPG-shooter. Players choose one of four Vault Hunter characters and embark on a campaign to recover vault key fragments to open a vault before the villains. The action takes them across several alien worlds, meeting lots of eccentric friendly characters and zany enemy factions, but the focus is always on the loot. Vault Hunters constantly acquire new and better randomized guns with lots of different styles, abilities, and stats.
The gameplay supports up to four players online or two players locally via splitscreen.
What platforms is it available on?
Borderlands 3 is available on PC (Epic Games Store), Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
What is the ESRB Rating?
Borderlands 3 is rated M for Mature with the following content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, and Strong Language.
What is the overall tone of the story?
Borderlands 3 introduces yet another foursome of eager Vault Hunters as playable characters, though players will run into, and complete missions for previous series characters like Lilith, Tannis, Moxxi, and Ellie. Players are tasked with exploring various regions and worlds, killing beasts and bad guys and helping solve problems, such as liberating a planet from a hostile corporate takeover.
Despite the violence there’s a very clear dividing line between the good guys and bad guys. It’s all very action-packed and full of snarky jokes, though the story occasionally dip into the dramatic, including the deaths of major characters.
What is the level of violence?
Borderlands’ cartoony art style can be a bit deceptive. On the one hand the action looks like a comic book come to life. On the other, it’s still pretty violent, with enemies exploding left and right with a decent amount of blood and body parts. Bodies are not left behind however, but simply disappear instantly as loot pops out directly onto the floor. The violence is played more for laughs than drama.
What is the level of alcohol and/or drug use?
None. There are no options for the players to ever engage with alcohol or drugs. There’s a bar on the Sanctuary ship that players use as a base, but the only thing they can do there (besides talk to Moxxi) is play the slot machines.
What is the level of adult language?
Very adult, and a major source of the M rating. Characters frequently curse, including the f-word, as well as make the occasional suggestive comments and dirty joke.
What is the level of sexual content or themes?
One of the fan-favorite ally NPCs, Moxxi, is infamously sexualized throughout the series, in both her outfit and her dialogue. Many characters aren’t shy with making overtly sexual jokes and comments, though they’re rare outside of Moxxi.
What is the level of online interactivity?
The Borderlands series is known for its four player co-op gameplay, including two players locally via split-screen. Loot can be set to only see your own loot, so no one can steal from each other. Players can trade items and dual each other, but it must be consensual, and players can equip different emotes that their characters can perform. Voice or text chat is done entirely through the consoles or third-party programs like Discord.
What else do parents need to know about Borderlands 3?
The world of Borderlands is one of snarky violence. At least one faction is made up of bandits, who are little more than half-naked psychopaths who scream weird things while charging at you. The comic art style and jokey tone frequently disarms the bloody violence, while the world continues to revel in it.
There’s a side mission on Promethia that reflects Borderlands 3’s gleeful dark humor. The quest-giver mentions that her whole family was murdered and wants you to get revenge. Problem is, she doesn’t know which of two bandit leaders did the deed. They both brag they were responsible, and taunt you the entire time. Without ever finding proper proof, players can choose to kill either one, but at the quest-giver’s behest you can also kill both of them for a greater reward. A lot of these quests and characters are deigned to elicit laughs at their own over-the-top ridiculousness alongside with the satisfying shoot ‘n loot gameplay.
Available On: PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, Xbox One
There are three main pillars for the Borderlands series: co-operative multiplayer, a bombastic and goofy cast of characters, and lots and lots of randomized gun loot. Gearbox may have played it relatively safe with the highly anticipated threequel in Borderlands 3, but they absolutely nailed all the important components that make this such a beloved series.
Fortnite’s seasonal Halloween event, Fortnitemares, has returned to Fortnite. Epic Games is mostly playing it safe with the event, which makes sense considering Fortnite just underwent a massive overhaul that…
The Epic Games Store is still stumbling out of the gate when it comes to features, and more than reaping its share of criticism as it gobbles up more exclusive PC games. At least they got the seasonal sale part right. Epic is currently the only place to purchase Borderlands 3 on PC, and the Halloween Sale is offering 20% off the Deluxe Edition and 25% off the Super Deluxe Edition.
Other highlights include Control (25% off), Darksiders 3 (66% off), Thimbleweed Park (60% off), For Honor (60% off), and The Walking Dead: The Final Season (30% off).
GOG’s Halloween sale features over 300 games up to 90% off, including a mix of older classics and recent releases. Classic PC games include the original Diablo (15% off), Ghost Master (90% off), and 90s adventure game series Call of Cthulhu (50% off), Gabriel Knight (35% off), Tex Murphy (75% off), and Broken Sword (75% off).
More recent releases include Cultist Simulator (33% off), Pathologic 2 (34% off), We Happy Few (50% off), and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (70% off).
With Luigi’s Mansion releasing on October 31, Nintendo’s seasonal sale is a bit more subdued this year. If you pre-purchase the game on the eShop before October 30, you can earn double the My Nintendo Gold Points.
The eShop Halloween sale is limited to certain publishers and series. The Amnesia series is 33% off, Outlast games are 70% off, THQ Nordic’s Darksiders series is 33% off, and DrinkBox’s indie games Severed and Guacamelee are 50% off. The biggest deal is Mortal Kombat 11 for 35.99 (40% off). Annoyingly, every single one of these sales has a different end time!
Sale ends: October 31 (MK 11, Amnesia), November 1 (Outlast), November 4 (DrinkBox), November 7 (THQ Nordic).
You’ll find the usual assortment of horror and horror-adjacent games on sale during Sony’s Halloween Sale, including even a few PS3 games. Catch up on some excellent action-horror series like BioShock: The Collection (75% off), Batman: Arkham Collection (70% off) and the prolific Resident Evil series (50-60% off).
It’s also a great time to jump on board the Dark Souls bandwagon with Dark Souls Remastered (50% off) and Dark Souls 3 (75% off).
Steam remains the gold standard for seasonal sales with promotional events on top of fantastic sale prices. This time instead of Steam hosting its own contests, they’re highlighting in-game seasonal events and DLC across dozens of different games, including horror and non-horror. Examples include a Left 4 Dead crossover with Dying Light, new Stranger Sins DLC for Graveyard Keeper, and a Halloween event in Terraria.
But let’s face it, we’re mostly here for those delicious sales. Horror game highlights include Blair Witch (25% off), Dead by Daylight (50% off), Vampyr (66% off), Prey (50% off), Man of Medan (33% off), and Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones (15% off).
Lots of zombies, devils, and mutants can be found in the Xbox Shocktober Sale. Grab State of Decay 2 (50% off), Mortal Kombat 11 (40% off), Resident Evil 2 (50% off), Alien Isolation (60% off), Rage 2 (50% off), and the Prey + Dishonored 2 Bundle (50% 0ff).
The Xbox sale also includes discounts on some select non-horror games such as Anthem (67% off), Kingdom Hearts 3 (40% off), and Fortnite: Save the World – Founders Pack (50% off).