We should have tested the base consoles first. Instead, we kicked off our Borderlands 3 coverage with a look at how the game ran on Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, where the results were something of a mixed bag, to say the least. Happily, the story is significantly more positive when checking out Borderlands 3 on the standard consoles – it’s by no means perfect, there are some frustrating issues, but the fundamentals are sound and the game is fine.
Perhaps key to the success of Borderlands 3 on PS4 and Xbox One is the fact that developer Gearbox essentially plays it safe. The evidence suggests that on consoles at least, it’s the vanilla PlayStation 4 that is the primary target platform: 1080p is the target resolution with superior performance to the Pro’s resolution mode, which targets 1800p – a 178 per cent increase in pixel-count when the console itself only delivers around 2x performance.
Obviously, image quality takes a hit by comparison – and there are some issues with more aggressive pop-in and texture streaming. However, frame-rates are much better: easily higher than the Pro’s resolution mode, and more consistent than the somewhat wobbly performance mode on the enhanced machine. The best word to describe Borderlands 3 on PS4 would be ‘solid’ – in the game’s initial stages, at least. Beyond that, the game is very similar to the Pro version we’ve already looked at, in both good and bad ways – close-up, texture work still looks rather rough on all platforms.