Steam Counters "Off-Topic" Borderlands Review Bombs

Gearbox Software’s Borderlands and Borderlands 2 games were hit with review bombs on Steam recently from those who were dissatisfied with the fact that Borderlands 3 will be launching on the Epic Games Store and not on Steam. Thousands of negative reviews attempted to drag down the games’ scores because of 2K and Take-Two’s decision, but Valve appears to have countered those efforts with its new review policy that takes action against “off-topic” reviews. Those reviews can still be read, but Steam’s filtered them out with a disclaimer that indicates a review bomb took place.

Head to the Steam pages for Borderlands 2 or Borderlands Game of the Year and you’ll see the same story where both games are listed as having “Very Positive” recent reviews, though there’s an asterisk next to that claim. Depending on how Steam users have configured their settings, they may find that many of those reviews aren’t visible right away.

“This product has experienced one or more periods of off-topic review activity,” the disclaimer when hovering over the asterisk said. “based on your preferences, the reviews within these periods have been excluded from this product’s Review Score.”

Browsers can still elect to see these reviews by giving Steam the go-ahead through the option below as showcased by Steam Database. By selecting the option to read the reviews, you’ll find recent critiques from Borderlands fans – or people who used to be Borderlands fans – praising the individual games while criticizing the publisher’s decision.

“It's an alright game with a publisher making bad decisions about exclusivity for the third game in the franchise, and is having negative reviews removed,” one recent negative review for Borderlands Game of the Year reads. “Don't support Epic Store exclusivity and skip this game.”

The above example is a more concise, potentially helpful take on the game for anyone who’s unaware of Borderlands 3 being exclusive to the Epic Games Store and how people feel about that. Other responses range from middle-finger ascii art to people telling the Epic Games Store what it can go do to itself.

All of these reviews are still present and readable, so they haven’t been removed as the review above suggested, though the anti-review bomb measures have made it so that they don’t directly impact the game’s score.

Borderlands 3 is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms on September 13th.

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