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Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 - E3 Impressions

We got another look at the next Borderlands during E3.

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2K Games and Gearbox Software have been anything but shy about showing off Borderlands 3 since the reveal earlier this year, confirming a game that people had been anticipating for a long time. After such a long period of radio silence, we've seen trailers and news aplenty, and Gearbox even had something up their sleeve for the fans and press at E3 this year, unveiling a brand new Gunner class called Moze.

In the presentation, before we sat down with the game, we got a brief overview of Moze, who has a mech that can deal massive damage. You could jump into this mech at regular intervals, with a cooldown in between, and there are various ways to customise the chaos via a skill tree. Not only can you assign various abilities like a turret on the back for a friend to jump on, but you can swap shoulder-mounted weapons in and out to create the best loadout, and since you never have to commit to these, you can change things as much or as little as you like.

One of these weapons we were shown was a sort of mechanical punch to deliver a smackdown at close range, but there's also a minigun, a flamethrower, a rocket pod that locks onto targets, a massive blue laser, and a grenade launcher to choose from. It was the last two that we used when we got our hands on this class in LA, and as you'd probably expect, these pack a punch on the battlefield when you suit up.

The level we played on took us to an area filled with a bunch of raving mad lunatics that were calling us "heretic" as they tried to shoot us to pieces, and there were the bandits that have adorned the front cover since the start through to tiny Tinks wielding shotguns. This was all fairly typical Borderlands, but being able to use the mech was a ton of fun and added to the carnage already going on around us. It typifies the type of frantic gameplay Gearbox is going for with this game and builds upon the absolutely solid gunplay that we last mentioned in our original hands-on preview.

Borderlands 3

At the end of the demo, we faced a supersonic boss who had a huge shield and a rather unique arena. Massive speakers lined the edge and middle of the room, and when they went off their boom did huge damage to our character, so it was a case of avoiding the different speakers as we navigated our way around the big bad. With a screen on his shield that reacted to the music around him, this boss provided a really interesting taste of Borderlands 3, and the whole scene was packed with the personality that we've come to expect.

Elsewhere in the presentation we also heard about a new planet called Eden-6, which Gearbox told us is actually loosely based on Louisiana. There are swamplands, hanging willows, dinosaur-esque creatures, and more to look at, including the home of the Jakobs family, founders of the gun manufacturers. It looks a lot darker than we've seen from many of the places in Borderlands before, providing a murkier alternative to the bright deserts and colourful scenery.

Borderlands 3

Gearbox was also keen to point out how they're aiming to make sure that this game offers the best co-op game they've ever made, and that's all about making things social. Level syncing and loot instancing is included, and if a friend sells something you can then buy it too. On top of that, bounty missions will also change depending on what happens in your friends' games, and you can even mail loot to friends when they leave. It's all about being social, and it's building on the strong co-op foundations they've already had since the first game.

Lastly, we got to hear about customisation as well. There are various masks to choose from and colours to tweak on your Vault Hunter, including dynamic skins with moving textures, trinkets, and global gun skins for that extra bit of flair when taking on the bad guys. It's a small touch, but customisation is always appreciated by fans.

It may have been one of many insights we've had into Borderlands 3, but what we saw at E3 was exactly what we expected and hoped for in terms of sheers madness and personality. It's all wild and over-the-top, and Moze especially should offer a great way to cause some mayhem when you're playing alongside your friends, especially when you're visiting the rather interesting new planet demoed at E3, Eden-6. We still have a few months to wait until release, but we're rather excited to see more of what Gearbox has in store. Roll on September.


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