During the gameplay reveal stream on May 1, Gearbox provided the first good look at Borderlands 3. The event revealed how Borderlands 3 is mechanically different from its predecessors, as well as how loot, space travel, and co-op will work. Afterwards, Jean-Luc Seipke and Jordan Ramee played through the sixth chapter of Borderlands 3’s story. In the video above, we discuss our impressions of Borderlands 3’s new mechanics and gameplay features.
One of the changes both noticed almost immediately is how much Borderlands 3 is a modern shooter when compared to its predecessors. Its Titanfall 2 inspirations really come through in the combat. Both sliding and vaulting have been added to Borderlands 3, allowing you to move around environments faster. Combat happens more quickly as a result, and we appreciate how much more exciting battles are now.
Chapter 6 takes place on one of Borderlands 3’s new planets. Called Promethea, the landscape is a battleground of megacorporations waging war on city streets. The new environment is distinct from the starting planet of Pandora, offering more instances of verticality both in exploration and in firefights. Exploring is a lot easier to do, with the new 3D map providing a more precise means of identifying your Vault Hunter’s location. The new map also highlights where you’ve been, a change that we both agree makes environments easier to explore.
We aren’t completely behind every change made in Borderlands 3, though. Gearbox’s upcoming game introduces new vehicles, all of which handle differently from cars and trucks in previous Borderlands games. However, Borderlands 3’s vehicles handle poorly and some of the new ones, like Promethea’s one-wheeled motorcycle, have ineffective weaponry. It’s usually easier to just jump out and shoot enemies with a gun on foot.
Speaking of firearms, Borderlands 3 features some of the coolest loot we’ve seen in any Borderlands game. A large part of this comes from the new alternate fire modes that come equipped to almost every weapon. We weighed the value of loot in previous Borderlands games solely on stats, but the new alternate fire modes add some interesting strategic potential to Borderlands 3 beyond what’s just the strongest.
Borderlands 3 is scheduled to release on September 13 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The PC release of the game will be a limited-time Epic Games Store exclusive. Cross-platform play could maybe happen, according to 2K.