After officially revealing Borderlands 3 at PAX East earlier this year, today, Gearbox Software showcased the first gameplay of Borderlands 3 during the official gameplay reveal event. During the event, Gearbox Software showcased what’s new in Borderlands 3 such as how guns are different from previous games, how co-op works, two Vault Hunters, and how skills are different than before.
The biggest change for Borderlands 3 is the addition of alternate firing modes for the guns. Some fire bullets and micro-missiles, others alternate between fire and ice bullets or from a chain gun to a grenade launcher.
Another big change is how you can interact with the environment and how the environment interacts with you. Cover can now degrade and you are able to push barrels into enemies as an added tactical option. There are also spots in the environment that will release things like oil or radiation which you can use against the opposition.
While you have been able to revive NPCs in other Borderlands games, Borderlands 3 adds a wrinkle into that dynamic because NPCs are able to revive you now.
Skills work differently in Borderlands 3. For one, at the start, all of the action skills are available to you. You can also adjust and customize action skills with augmentations.
The gameplay reveal event showcased two Vault Hunters, Amarah, the Siren and Zane, the Operative.
Amarah’s action skills are Phasegrasp that locks and enemy in place, Phasecast sends an Astral Projection of herself at an enemy that also deals damage to things in its path, and Phaseslam is an area of effect attack as she jumps and slams into the ground.
Zane, the Operative’s action skills are Digi-Clone that spawns in place and fires at enemies; you can also swap places with the clone; SNTNL sends a drone and attacks enemies with machine guns; Barrier drops a deployable barrier that blocks projectiles; You and your teammates are also able to shoot through from the other side with increased gun damage. Zane is also able to use multiple action skills at one time.
One of the biggest additions to Borderlands 3 is loot instancing, a new option for the game. It allows each player to have their own loot. Everything from the loot to the enemies will balance to whatever level you’re at. If you are level 25, you will get level 25 loot and face level 25 enemies.
The event also gave some story details about Borderlands 3. The main enemy faction is The Children of the Vault led by Tyreen and Troy Calypso.
Tyreen has the ability to leech power from any living thing. Her goal is to use The Children of the Vault to led her to the vaults so she can absorb their power. The story is about racing against the Calypso twins to other vaults across the galaxy.
You travel to other planets with Sanctuary III, your home base throughout the game. It has a new vending machine that delivers lost loot.
Borderlands 3 releases September 13 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.