Gearbox Gives First Look at Borderlands 3 Gameplay

Published: May 1, 2019 5:00 PM /


borderlands 3 press shot

Gearbox gave eager fans a comprehensive look at their upcoming blockbuster, Borderlands 3. New guns, graphics, and zones are just the tip of the iceberg in this upcoming looter shooter.

We have the info on the new features shown off during the Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal. Also be sure to look at the livestream linked below if you're interested in watching the game in action:

Borderlands 3's Story and Characters

Since Borderlands 3's reveal late last March, we learned a tiny bit about the story of the game. Today, we got some more details on the franchise's narrative.

The primary antagonistic faction of Borderlands 3 is a group called the Children of the Vault. They are a cult headed by the Calypso twins, Tyreen and Troy. The twins want the Vault's powers for themselves, and we're in their way. Although we didn't get to see an intro cinematic, it's mentioned that this group tries to kill your character at the beginning of Borderlands 3. 

You play as one of four different Vault Hunters: Moze, Amara, FL4K, and Zane. Each come with different abilities and talent trees. During the demo, we saw some gameplay of of primarily Amara, the Siren character for Borderlands 3.

The first character players meet is Claptrap, who is now a self-proclaimed general of the Crimson Lance. This means that this iconic faction from the first two Borderlands titles makes a return. Leading this group is Lilith the siren. Lilith also communicates with you telepathically like Angel from the first two games.

Other returning characters include Zer0 and Rhys. We also Maya, Brick, Tiny Tina, and more from a previous trailer.

Borderlands 3 Zones

Every Borderlands game features a hub, and this iteration carries the tradition of including Sanctuary. Dubbed "Sanctuary 3" in Borderlands 3, this area is a spaceship that allows you to traverse the stars and go from planet to planet. Sanctuary 3 features machines such as a station to customize your characters, and a lost and found. This lost and found machine spits out loot you may have forgotten to pick up from a previous mission.

Sanctuary 3 also features a room called the player's quarters. The room has an aesthetic appropriate to your character and allows you to place items for decorations. Vendors and characters such as Marcus, Moxxi, and Crazy Earl are on the ship as well.

Pandora and Sanctuary 3 aren't the entire game. As mentioned, you can travel to different worlds. We also got a look at Promethea, an extremely advanced, high-tech world that is the home of the Atlas Corporation. In the gameplay reveal, Maliwan soldiers are attacking Promethea.

A trailer at the end of the presentation also showcased the dusty deserts, swampy landscapes, sprawling cities, and more. It's hard to say whether each zone is on a specific planet or not, but we do know there will be a greater variety in Borderlands 3 than ever before.

Borderlands 3 Gameplay and Combat

Combat is at the heart of Borderlands 3 gameplay. A few new movement options are available for players, as they can sprint and slide during gameplay. There is also now an option to grab on to ledges in order to reach higher areas.

Characters now have three different action skills, though one can be equipped at a time. Amara, for example, can leap into the air and slam the ground with her Siren powers, damaging enemies in the radius. Later on players can modify and augment skills in the tree.

Zane, another Vault Hunter, can clone himself, spawn a combat drone, and create energy shields for his different action skills.

Combat itself is more accessible than ever before, as well. Gearbox has allowed for all loot and enemies to scale to each individuals' level in a co-op session. This means that two players with a large difference in level can play together and still progress.

There is also plenty of weapons with old and new abilities. For one, certain guns might now have an alternate firing modes; in the gameplay reveal, a Vladof pistol can shoot regular rounds or, by switching modes, rockets. Tediore weapons can still be chucked as grenades after the magazine empties. One Tediore gun showcased could be thrown, producing a walking, shooting gun.

We see what appears to be a Maliwan shotgun, something entirely new to Borderlands 3. Another new gun includes a Hyperion shotgun produces a shield when you aim down its sites. Atlas guns make a return as well. Attached to your arm, an Atlas pistol can shoot a tracking dart and for the duration bullets will seek home in on opponents.

More to Come

Randy Pitchford let gamers know that there will be DLC and microtransactions, though only cosmetic and not pay-to-win. Borderlands 3 features no loot boxes or premium currency. Pitchford stated that there will be paid campaign DLC and cosmetics such as heads and skins in the future, however.

Borderlands 3 releases on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on the Epic Games Store on September 13th, 2019.

What was your favorite part of the gameplay reveal? Let us know in the comments below!

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| Staff Writer

Austin cut his teeth writing various  fan-fiction stories on the RuneScape forums when he was in elementary school. Later on, he developed a deep love for… More about Austin

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Borderlands 3
Game Page Borderlands 3
Gearbox Software
2K Games
Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date
September 13, 2019 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)