Earlier this week, Gearbox Software hosted a reveal event for Borderlands 3, whetting fan’s appetites with a big juicy slab of gameplay footage from the long-anticipated sequel.
The gameplay reveal was hosted by Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, and showcased some spectacular gunfights – as well as giving attendees a brief overview of the game’s story. There are plenty of new guns and gadgets being introduced into Borderlands 3, but the combat has the same core feel as its predecessors. Running through the tutorial mission, we see that movement in combat situations has been augmented, now allowing players to mantle objects and slide when sprinting. A much needed improvement that compliments the game’s chaotic idiom. Fans will be pleased to know that this latest entry will also add alternate fire modes to some of the game’s weapons. One such weapon shown at the event was a pistol that can also fire a salvo of micro-rockets from under the barrel.
What isn’t at all similar to the game’s predecessors though are its new locales. Previously the Borderlands franchise has stuck to the dysfunctional world of Pandora and its moon. Pandora will still be an in-game destination, with new regions to explore and baddies to loot, but this time around players will also be able to traverse a number of totally new worlds.
To accommodate this interplanetary adventure, the game’s hub city has also been relocated. In a nice nod to the original hub city of Sanctuary, Borderlands 3 introduces us to the Sanctuary III, a massive space-faring vessel that fulfils the dual roles of hub and nostalgia trip masterfully. The Sanctuary III is literally dripping with characters and easter eggs plucked from the pages of Borderlands history, including the likes of Sir Hammerlock and Mad Moxxi. Even previously playable characters like Lilith and Maya put in an appearance. The Siren characters from Borderlands 1 and 2 respectively for those of you who haven’t played the first two games.
Character customisation has been greatly expanded to allow many more variations on a theme. With each playable character having access to extensively reworked skill trees and Action Skills. Action Skills can be developed as you progress through the game, eventually unlocking augmentations that will allow further customisation. In this way, two players with the same character can create totally different builds tailored to fit their unique play style.
In cooperative play, Gearbox have introduced a new mechanic called “loot instancing,” which means each player in the party will get level-appropriate loot drops. Level balancing has also been added, stopping higher-level players from becoming too overpowered when joining a lower-level character’s co-op game.
You can watch the full reveal stream below, which is nearly a solid hour of blood, bullets, and irreverent humour.
Borderlands 3 is set to release for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 13th.