There are some big changes in store for Borderlands 3.
Gearbox just unveiled Borderlands 3 yesterday in a live gameplay reveal that saw the developer put on an hour-long presentation and then follow it up with many more hours of people streaming the game. What we saw was, in general, a larger, more polished, and more modern version of Borderlands 2, which is pretty much what every Borderlands fan is hoping for.
We also got to see a whole bunch of changes from previous entries in the Borderlands franchise, and we’re going to go over a few of the bigger ones here so you don’t have to go through hours of footage to see what’s up. ‘Cause we’re nice like that.
Besides the fact there are four new vault hunters (which you can previous in one of our previous articles) there are some big changes in store for how each character works in terms of skill tree advancement.
The biggest change is in the action skill. Instead of a single action skill that gets altered or buffed as you progress in level, each character starts with three different action skills. You can only have one skill “equipped” at a time, but this already gives each character huge variation straight off the bat.
In addition, new action skill augments can be unlocked as you progress down the skill tree. These are “equipped” in much the same way as the original action skill is.
We haven’t seen every character get played yet (yesterday’s event only allowed Amara the Siren and Zane the Operative) but we do know that Zane is special in that he can sacrifice his ability to throw grenades in order to equip two action skills at once. Grenades are really powerful, though, so Zane had better have a good plan on how to use those action skills if he goes down this route.
Guns and Loot Changes
Alright, let’s talk guns. First, there are a lot of them. The loot system that was employed in Borderlands 2 has been expanded. Before, every gun drew from the same pool of parts, meaning you’d get a Maliwan gun that had a Hyperion barrel and a Dahl stock. This meant that each gun sort of looked the same as any other gun.
Now, every weapon manufacturer has their own separate parts pool so that each manufacturer is distinctly unique.
Guns also have a brand new alternate fire option that can do some freakin’ wacky stuff. Some shoot grenades or rockets, while other weapons sprout legs and start walking around killing stuff (as you saw in the very first trailer).
One gun shoots hamburgers. Yeah, we don’t know why, but it does.
But the biggest loot change is how everyone gets their own loot. Loot is instanced so when playing with friends you will both see only loot that you can grab. You can turn this off and go back to classic mode if you want (which turns the game back into a free-for-all), but we only recommend that if you plan on playing with friends.
There are emotes. Yes, you can emote now. We don’t know how many will be available or what they will all be, but pelvic thrusts are a definite yes.
Borderlands 3 will be gorier than Borderland 2. This is mostly due to the game being updated with better physics and graphics, so when a head explodes it REALLY explodes. Be ready for that.
In keeping with most modern shooters, the player is no longer limited to just walk, run, jump, crouch. You can now slide and vault objects just like in Apex Legends. Mobility, in general, has been greatly increased (although, still not quite to the point of Borderlands: The Pre Sequel with Oz kits), but it’s a definite upgrade over previous Borderlands games.
Taking cover behind something won’t necessarily save you either. Cover is destructible, so while that knee-high wall will keep you save for a few seconds, you’ll have to move before it gets chewed to swiss cheese by incoming fire.
Toto, we’re not on Pandora anymore. Actually, there will be multiple worlds and multiple places in each world to visit.
You soar through space in the Sanctuary 3 spaceship. We’re not sure what happened to Sanctuary 2 (presumably it got blown up, as is usually the case in Borderlands), but vault hunters now get to travel the stars in their own personal spacecraft. You’ll even get your own private quarters that you can decorate.
Sanctuary 3 will be your home base and your home market. Shops will be available with Marcus once again manning his gun store, while Ellie will be in the hold fixing up various ground vehicles.
Speaking of vehicles, there are more of them, and you take them with to Digistruct on a world’s surface. That giant wheel thing you saw in the trailer is just one of them, and we don’t know how many there are yet.
Vehicles are also fully customizable. Engine, weapons, tires, and paint job can all be customized in Ellie’s garage. Also, you can steal vehicles on a planet’s surface to harvest it’s parts like you’re a gang of intergalactic car thieves.
In Borderlands 2, you paid for content in the form of DLC and fancy skins and heads. That’s basically unchanged in Borderlands 3--some skins will drop for free, but others you gotta pay for. Expect the selection of cosmetics to be even bigger than in Borderlands 2, and expect that there will be some skins/heads that will only be available at a premium.
On the plus side, we’re told that it will only be cosmetics that you can spend money on. There will be no pay-to-win content.
They got a new voice actor for Claptrap. He sounds vaguely similar to the original voice actor, former Gearbox marketing VP David Eddings, but it's a noticeable difference to true fans. This is probably the biggest change in the series, and we're still a little shook up over it.
Check out the Gearbox presentation for a more visual introduction to what will be in Borderlands 3, which releases on Xbox One, PS4, and the Epic Games Store on September 13th.