Steam counters Borderlands 1 and 2 review bombing using Valve's “off-topic” filter

Borderlands 1 and 2 have been receiving a hefty amount of negative reviews on Steam over the last few days in response to the news that Borderlands 3 will be a timed Epic Store exclusive. In a bid to counteract any review-bombing, Steam recently added an “off-topic filter” which excludes off topic reviews from counting towards the overall review score, and it seems to be working for Borderlands. 

Steam Database first spotted the filter in action and claimed that over 4000 reviews have been deducted from the review score for Borderlands 2. A screenshot (which can been seen below) shows the filter detected there was a high percentage of negative off-topic reviews on Borderlands 2’s store page between April 3 - April 6. 

Now, when you go on Steam’s store page for either of the Borderlands games and hover over the review score, a message will pop up saying: “This product has experienced one or more periods of off-topic review activity. Based on your preferences, the reviews within these periods have been excluded from this product’s review score.”  

There's also a graph showing the periods of off-topic review activity that have been detected, and what has been excluded from the overall review score by default. When you look at the April 3 onward, the amount of negative reviews is noticeably high.


The filter, which is optional, doesn’t appear to remove the negative reviews from being seen, but it does seem to be going some way to tackling the issue of plummeting overall review scores. 

Did you catch the latest trailer? Here are 14 details you missed in the new Borderlands 3 trailer. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.