Yesterday, Gearbox finally showed us Borderlands 3 in action. And you know what? It was everything that we wanted it to be.
We’re huge fans of the Borderlands series here at GameSpew, and honestly, we’d have been happy if Borderlands 3 was only minimally different from Borderlands 2. After the gameplay reveal, however, we’re very happy to see that meaningful improvements have been made.
Visually, it’s a clear step-up. It still has that Borderlands look, but everything is more detailed. And little things, like grass swaying in the breeze, makes its world feel more alive. Animation seems to have been vastly improved, too, making taking down bandits even more fun. Previous Borderlands games might have just been on the receiving end of a visual upgrade, but Borderlands 3 is ready to make them look old again.
It’s the gameplay improvements that have impressed us the most though. Being able to slide is a small but very welcome change, while being able to climb ledges is going to be revelatory; no more jumping on one bit of trash to another in order to get on top of containers or buildings! And finally, you’ll be able to move barrels to make better use of them. Punching an explosive barrel at an enemy before detonating it with a well-placed shot looks like it’ll never get old. So too does shooting certain elements in the environment to create new hazards.
Even the skill trees have been overhauled, with mods being unlocked at specific levels that will dramatically change each character’s special abilities. And some characters will be able to make use of more than one skill. Borderlands 3 will allow you to customise each Vault Hunter more than ever, in terms of abilities and looks. Once again you’ll be able to change things like your head and colour scheme, but now there are also emotes to make your character stand out, too.
Of course, a Borderlands game wouldn’t be complete without guns, and Borderlands 3‘s seem to be wackier than ever. Every gun in Borderlands 3 will have an alternative fire mode, essentially doubling your combat options. A pistol, for example, might also be able to fire rockets. Or you might find a gun that can shoot both ice and fire bullets. And remember those guns that you’d simply throw away once you were out of ammo? Now they do more than simply explode. Some of them spout legs and then shoot enemies of their own free will. Others unleash a cavalcade of fireworks. We can’t wait to see what more of them do.
And there are other things we’re really happy that Borderlands 3 is doing too, like allowing each player to have their own instance of loot when playing in co-op, and scaling enemies to allow players to work together regardless of the progress they’ve made individually. Borderlands 3 looks set to be the most accessible game in the series yet, yet also the deepest and possibly zaniest. It’s a game in which seemingly everything has been thought about, including how to get the loot that falls out bounds into players’ hands.
Located in Sanctuary III, the spaceship that allows you to visit all the planets available in Borderlands 3 now that you’re not just confined to Pandora, the lost loot container demonstrates just how much effort has been put into making the game rewarding for fans. It’s a small touch, but one that really means a lot. And it’s just one aspect of Sanctuary III that makes us want to explore it frequently. It’s where you’ll find all your friends and colleagues, after all, many of which have valuable services to offer you.
All in all, the Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal did what it needed to do – show fans that the game is indeed a meaningful sequel and not just Borderlands 2.5. It looks like Borderlands, sounds like Borderlands, and undoubtedly plays like Borderlands, but with everything taken to the next level. And now, we more eager to get our hands on it than ever before. September can’t come soon enough.
Looking forward to Borderlands 3 just as much as us? Preorder your copy on Amazon now!