For the longest time, we were waiting for Gearbox Software to confirm Borderlands 3. We knew it was happening at some point, but the company was taking its sweet time when it came to confirming it. However, this past weekend at PAX East in Boston, they finally caved and starting spilling the details, and fans have a lot to look forward to for the next time around.
Set to release this September, Borderlands 3 looks to bring a lot of the same goodness that fueled the previous games, but on a much grander scale when it comes to its open worlds. Plus it’s introducing a slew of new Vault Hunters that mean serious business, which is a good thing. That’s because a new threat promises to be even more dangerous than anything Handsome Jack had to offer.
So let’s break down what we know about the game thus far, leading up to its latest gameplay reveal, which is coming May 1.
The Story Thus Far…
The story for Borderlands 3 is shrouded in secrecy at the moment. But chances are players will be digging in deep to take on a number of adversaries as they hunt for that precious loot. This includes no shortage of psychotics, robots, mutants and other dangerous creatures that will stop at nothing when it comes to burying you.
But it’s who is leading these dangerous foes that’s the real deal. That’s because you’re going to run head on into the Calypso twins. Very little is known about this dastardly duo, but they mean business based on their hair alone. They’re attitude laden, perhaps even more so than Jack was in the previous games in the series. We’ll have to see what they’re up to, but chances are they might give Far Cry: New Dawn’s terrible two-some a run for their money, especially if they have powerful weapons at their arsenal.
That’s the rundown of the bad guys. However, Borderlands 3 also has its share of Vault Hunters to lead the charge, with four main faces introduced, just as in previous games.
First up, we have Amara, who works on the same level as previous Siren characters introduced in the series. She utilizes a set of ghost-like arms that can charge up special abilities, including a devastating ground pound that can shatter enemies surrounding her.
Then you have Zane, an eye-patch wearing Operative that can pack a gun and run like the best of ‘em, not missing a beat when it comes to jumping into combat. Next up is a beast master named Fl4k, the Beastmaster, that uses robotic abilities to his advantage, as well as calling in drones. And last but not least is Moze, a Gunner that specializes in calling in a giant mech for additional firepower. She’s a great support character that will back up the rest of the group.
We’re not done yet, as Borderlands 3 will play host to a number of familiar characters from the series. For instance, classic Vault Hunters make a return to lend a hand, including favorites like Zer0, Mordecai, Brick, Lilith and Maya. For that matter, we’re also bound to see others join the cut, including Tiny Tina (well, full-sized Tina now), Tina, Marcus, Sir Hammerlock, Ellie, and, of course, Claptrap, because he’s Claptrap.
Most importantly, we’re also going to see some lore fromTales From the Borderlands, as Rhys will make an appearance over the course of the game. Hopefully that means we’ll see some other characters from that side series pop up, just because it deserves a revisit.
A Whole New World(s) of Guns
It looks like the action will extend past Pandora for Borderlands 3, and that’s exactly what fans want.
Taking a cue from the company’s previously released Battleborn, the sequel will feature “new worlds beyond Pandora, each featuring unique environments to explore and enemies to destroy,” the company noted in its press release. “Tear through hostile deserts, battle your way across war-torn cityscapes, navigate deadly bayous, and more!”
This could set the stage for some epic encounters with the previously mentioned Calypso twins, as the trailer hints at such encounters as “Rupture Upon Us: Holy Is the Mouth That Bleeds” and “Children of the Vault: Give Your Flesh, Take Your Guns.” It’s going to be a wild ride to be sure.
Along the way, you apparently can unlock some great new gear for your weapons. For instance, you can purchase some attachments to extend the firepower of your already devastating goods. These include tasers (to shock an opponent long enough to finish them off), rocket tubes and other gun barrels. For that matter, you can also purchase specialized ammo to pack a punch, including reflective bullets that can bounce off walls and hit other enemies. This is particularly good if you want to mow someone down from behind cover, something that will be quite helpful.
There are also some “wacky” guns thrown in for good measure. A few, for instance, can unleash taunts as you fire them, and even go “running” after opponents if you let them. On top of that, you can also use a launcher for enemies to make them explode, which is a nice touch; and also use a tracker tag to hit enemies, even if they’re not in your normal rage. Clearly Gearbox wanted to take a cue from Insomniac Games’ Resistance series, which introduced a similar style of weapon.
The galactic spread of what Borderlands 3 has to offer is loaded with potential. It’s bound to keep you busy for hours at a time as you conquer each new area, while challenging what the Calypso Twins try to throw at you. And better still, there are options available when it comes to how you take them on.
Invite Your Friends, Online and Off
Previous Borderlands games have been excellent when it comes to multiplayer options. You could either hop online and get your battle crew together for co-op enemy shredding, or you could even do local split-screen co-op if you prefer.
Yes, Borderlands 3 will offer the same. Although we have yet to actually see it in action (we’re waiting for that gameplay video next month), it will come with multiplayer options galore. This includes hopping onto Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or PC network and having up to four players jump in to divvy up the loot.
What’s more important, you can also play in split-screen. Although an exact player count hasn’t been given just yet, we assume that up to four can jump in, making Borderlands 3 an ideal couch co-op opportunity if you feel like buddying up. Just don’t get too greedy with the loot, because your friend’s arm is easily within reach and they can hit you. Fortunately, it sounds like a new system will divide things up a little more fairly this time around, so one person doesn’t get everything that has to be offered.
If you prefer, you can also try going at it solo. However, judging by the strength we’ve seen some of the bosses have in the past, Borderlands 3 is likely to follow suit. As a result, you might want to have some friends on your side to help you out, lest you become a stain in the wake of the Calypso twins’ homicidal run.
There’s More Where That Came From
The general Borderlands 3 game will be stacked with content. We’re talking hours’ of gameplay across main and side missions, depending on what you and your friends decide to take on. So if you just stick with the core game, you’ll have a lot to do.
However, if you opt in for one of the special editions of the game or the Season Pass, you’ll find even more content where that came from. Here’s how everything breaks down:
Standard Version: If you purchase the general game for $60, you’ll get access to the general game, along with a handful of cosmetic skins and “Toy” guns. You’ll also likely get a few for pre-ordering the game, in case you feel like pouncing on it early.
Deluxe Edition: Along with the goods that come in Standard, you’ll score the following with this $80 edition:
- Retro Cosmetic Pack: Vault Hunter head & skin, Echo Device skin, weapon skin
- Neon Cosmetic Pack: Vault Hunter head & skin, Echo Device skin, weapon trinket
- Gearbox Cosmetic Pack: weapon skin, weapon trinket
- Toy Box Weapon Pack: 2 Toy guns, Toy Grenade mod, weapon trinket
- XP & Loot Drop Boost Mods
- Preorder Bonus: Gold weapon skins & weapon trinket
Super Deluxe Edition:For $99, you can get the above stuff, along with the following:
- Four campaign DLC packs featuring new stories, missions and challenges
- Butt Stallion weapon skin, weapon trinket, and grenade mod
I mean…A BUTT STALLION SKIN! Who wouldn’t want that?
And finally, if you really want to go Ultimate with collecting, you can grab the Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition for $249.99. Along with the above goods, you’ll score these extras:
- Diamond Loot Chest Replica: Featuring a functional retractable lid, this chest is perfect for storing your real-world loot
- Borderlands 3 Character Figurines (x10): Make room on your shelf for the whole crew, including the four new Vault Hunters, the fanatical Calypso Twins, and some of your favorite characters from the Borderlands universe!
- Sanctuary 3 Snap Model: Construct your very own Sanctuary 3 model ship and display it proudly on its included stand
- Vault Key Keychains (x4): Because you never know when you might stumble across an unopened Vault
- Cloth Galaxy Map: Discover new worlds beyond Pandora with Typhon DeLeon’s map of the Borderlands
- Character Art Lithographs (x5): Unique character prints starring the new Vault Hunters and fanatical Calypso Twins
- Borderlands 3 Steelbook Case: A gorgeous metal case for any collector’s shelf
Just a word of warning. This last edition is pretty much sold out everywhere. If you really want it, you might want to keep tabs with online retailers to see when they open back up. Good luck.
Something Old, Something New, All Great
We’ve only seen bits and pieces of Borderlands 3 thus far, as detailed with the premiere trailer that arrived last week. It does paint an interesting picture, though, especially for long-time fans of the series.
It doesn’t look to drastically change things as we’ve come to expect from Borderlands, but that’s fine. The fact of the matter is, Gearbox Software looks to be sticking what works (at least, thus far) with the series, in terms of lunacy, crazy battles, inventive weaponry, attitude-laden Vault Hunters and more.
The visual style thus far, though still in development, looks to be on par with other entries in the series. But it does obviously take advantage of current hardware on the market. No doubt those that own an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro may benefit the most, though PC owners should be all set based on the specs with their machine.
As for gameplay, it’s too soon to tell how the game will operate since we still don’t have a playable built. However, this is Gearbox we’re talking about. They’ve been used to dialing in their games a certain way over the course of the past few years. Even Battleborn felt familiar, as it stood apart from its previous work on the Borderlands games. So no doubt that Borderlands 3 should follow the status quo, based on what we’ve seen thus far.
May 1 is coming. At that point, we’ll get even more details about Borderlands 3, which we’ll break down for you here. But it’s going to be a day of excitement, just like that the reveal day in March was. I mean, we got all this Borderlands info along with the surprise announcement of Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition. What more could Gearbox have for us? A lot, actually.
As it stands, Borderlands 3 could be the biggest game in the company’s arsenal to date. It should pay loving tribute to those fans that have stuck with it thus far, while at the same time inviting newcomers to jump into this crazy, crazy world. Not to mention that the game will have multiplayer options galore between online and local support. Who knows, we may even get some customization options to go along with it, so we can distinctively make our Vault Hunter feel even more like our own.
Throw in a narrative that has the opportunity to launch like a rocket, and familiar elements from the universe, and you have a game that could easily conquer. We’ll see how Borderlands 3 comes through when September 13 rolls around, as the game will release them for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
In the meantime, everybody Wang Chung tonight!
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