Hello All! Welcome to another E3 2019 coverage from Honey’s Anime. We have just a few more to go and with that, we present you with our Borderlands 3 gameplay experience. For those living under a rock or those not into the FPS scene, Borderlands 3 is Gearbox Game’s newest iteration to the Borderlands franchise which has received wide praise for its graphics, its ARPG elements, and the insane action-packed scenes accompanied with stellar dialogue. It will be 7 years after Borderlands 2 and 5 years after The Pre-Sequel.
We were invited by 2K Games to check out their newest title and to also appreciate the awesome booth they set up for E3 2019. Borderlands 3 is one of 2019s most anticipated game of the year since they revealed the first gameplay for it a month or two ago at a live-stream reveal event where they invited a small handful of popular streamers to unveil the gameplay. This was definitely a momentous time for Borderland fans of the series and it is why we are here to share as much as we can. So, let’s get started and let you all know what the 411 is on Borderlands 3!
There are 4 vault hunters in the game you can choose from which 2 new characters were introduced during the reveal: Zane, an operative who controls gadgets to use on the battlefield, and then Amara, who is the new Siren in the game and has mystical abilities to control the battlefield. There is a new Skill system for the game and it will allow you to use multiple action skills during your gameplay and for the first time ever in the series. There is also Sanctuary 3 which is a hub you can visit at any time and can take you to several different planets.
During the reveal, we were shown 2 new planets including Pandora—which everyone should be familiar with...—, as well as, Promethium, which is a city planet. The whole planet is a city much like the planet in Star Wars, Curoscant! Gearbox also showed some new vehicles in the game: the Technical, the Outrunner, and the new mono-wheel vehicle which Gearbox calls, the Cyclone. Of course, there were some new gameplay elements in Borderlands 3 that we were introduced to as well. The movement was one of them: Siding and climbing, and at E3 2019, Gearbox was going to cover much more for us which we can share now.
Gearbox showed off some of their new enhanced Social features for Borderlands 3 which include Customization, they showed us the new planet, Eden-6, and they took us on a deep dive in the Modes. First, let’s talk about social features. The social features have been upgraded so that you don’t have to play alone if you don’t want to. This is because Gearbox wants to introduce those to the larger community by conducting a soft introduction. An example would be that if a friend of my friend has encountered a specific weapon in the game, that weapon will show up in my vending machine for purchase and I can obtain it with no hassle. Pretty freaking cool, right? So the more people on your “friends list”, the more opportunities you will have to obtain/purchase rare and epic gear in Borderlands 3. There are also “rare spawns” in the game that only has a 20% chance of spawning in the game. There will be specific missions to choose that will only appear if you encounter the rare item so that in the chance that you don’t get it right away, you can complete that mission to obtain it. This can also appear if your friend also came across the rare item. Talk about leaving no person behind. This single-handedly makes progress more fun, accessible, and rewarding as well.
You can also lookup your friends and invite them on missions which you can also look at their gear and see what they hauling into the battlefield. This will allow you to check out who you think will be suitable to take on your next mission if they are able and willing to. In a small, way, this also seems like many will be left behind if they don’t have the proper gear to take on the next boss on your list, but if friends really are friends, they’ll help you out regardless, and you can do this without exiting to the main menu in-game...amazeballs! To add one last thing to this particular system, you can do this for online play or couch co-op locally! SERIOUSLY!
And let’s get on track with the realism of having friends with you on missions. We all know the hard way that in most games when a friend is with you and loots drops after defeating a boss or simple enemy, it’s usually the first one there gets the loot, right?! Well, Gearbox has answered that frustrating encounter which broke up friendships in a heartbeat, is that if you “accidentally” get to the lot before your friend does and they really needed that loot pickup to be able to withstand the next boss, you can now send it to them offline or online which eliminates the encounter of absent-minded friends or just plain ole crappy friends at that…well, you know, are being a punk...
Now, Gearbox went into customization but to be honest, there is nothing less to expect… There’s new headgear, skins, facial expressions like adding some mustaches to the mix… If you use some of the skins, there are now new animated skins for you to enjoy and look your best when you hop on into the online multiplayer modes. To reveal more about customization, you can also colorize your skins to any color you choose that is available in-game. We also have weapon trinkets that we can use in-game which can indicate which slot is being used for what mod is enabled or compatible.
Next, the team talked about the new planet you will be visiting called, Eden-6. Something the team wanted to fight against was having a dull environment or setting so when they showed Pandora, the city-planet, and some of our favorite characters are returning to the game. Eden-6 has more of a Louisiana feel to it: there are a lot of swamps like the bayou so the experience overall for the game is going to have us very occupied and not feeling dull in any way. Gearbox also implemented a mantling mechanic to the game that allows you to climb up things, to Saurians, a new kind of enemy on Eden-6. If you who Jacob’s Guns is, well, he has a family where their story revolves around the Eden-6. We also the Jabber, who is one of the friendly little inhabitants on Eden-6 and they look a lot like little monkeys but smarter and can actually take guns and shoot them. Eden was developed with the idea of having spaceship around that are derelicts so hopefully players can enjoy things in a more in-depth experience.
Now, we get to some juicy parts of the presentation. We get to see the new 3rd revealed Vault Hunter, Moze! Moze is considered by the team as an “Oh, shit” mechanic where she is able to call down a mech she can use called, Iron bear! Moze’s skill-trade evolves around Iron bear so the first skill-trade we were introduced to was Demolition. Demolition is, as you guessed it, all about explosions. Iron bear is all about hardpoints and many of the skills adding in a grenade launcher and also a rocket launcher, which you can combine to have 2 rocket launchers or 2 grenade launchers, the choice is yours! When you get to skill trees in the game, the abilities are endless, so to speak.
Further into the Hardpoints, we now have Augments. With Augments you can attach to your weapons while using the Iron Bear via Moze. One such Augment would be a lock-on for your rocket launchers. The next skill tree we were introduced to was a skill tree that allowed you to use it in ways that it’s a risk and reward: do you want to rush things through or do I want to stay far away? The Augments enabled will appear on the top-left and top-right of the screen and can range from a Rail gun for precision kills to a super punch ability that allows you to hit like Mike Tyson. This allows you to have the close-range and long-range effects when fighting other enemies. You can change the Augments of those to change the behavior of the hardpoints for it and add additional abilities as well. One such behavior change would be the Bottomless Mags. You can also equip a chain gun, a minigun, a flame thrower, and many others. Gearbox continued to us more by introducing coop play by jumping on the back of Iron Bear!! Now that is something great!
Briefly, Gearbox covered their social mechanics to encourage players to get into multiplayer, they introduced us to their customization options, they showed us the 3rd planet Eden-6 and a deep dive into the multiplayer. Honestly, the gameplay was only about 5 minutes, give or take. Our experience was short but what we did see was great, if not better, graphics than before. The loot mechanics were very generous and we love that there is a viewership loot grab for those streaming online via Twitch, at the moment. If you are wathcing a streamer, you can acquire loot. This was demoed and shown at an event that invited streamers from Twitch to showcase and preview of the game. Let’s hope this function is still available and we can experience it again. If it was only for that one instant, then shit…
Honey’s Final Thoughts
Finally, we get to play the game. As you are thrown into the gameplay, the graphics and animation are the first things we noticed and it looked glorious! The weapons are familiar with some new ones from what we saw. Looting seemed beefed up indeed, with almost every location spot for loot provided a lot. This could’ve been for the demo but we were told that there is more loot to be had in this new iteration of the franchise. As we were continuing on with our gameplay, we literally had maybe like 5 minutes or less to play. I have to say that time went by really fast but the environment alone is fresh and entertaining. The combat mechanics are wonderful as the controls were the same but with some added features you can use with specific characters when upgrading your skills. The gameplay was so smooth and fluid with no frame drops that the naked eye can see. We played it on the Xbox One which we’ve played the games on all platforms and there is no difference, really. It will be based on your own preference as to which is better so to each their own!
We were entering the last section of the demo when our time was up… We had just barely reached the boss for the demo and he looked mean as hell! The new bosses look scary mean and intimidating as well. The enemy AI is more reactive to your actions so you can’t react slow or else the AI will get the snap on you. Other than that, we are excited for the new skill tree system added due to new characters in the game. We have new planets and environments to experience along with new enemy to defeat. A new DLC for Borderlands has been released as well which is a direct connection from the ending of BL2 to the beginning of BL3! Call it a filler to bring everyone up to speed before they dive into Borderlands 3 when it releases in Sept 13, 2019, o the Epic Game Store and won’t release to all other platforms until April of 2020, that’s 7 months later… If you aren’t really picky about where you play games and are in it for the games only, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you!
There was no discussion of VR for Borderlands 3 but in one of the images we received from 2K and Gearbox, one image does show a PS Move controller—image above—but we can't tell if the UI is from Borderlands 2 or 3 considering the skill tree looks the same from BL2 and it is supposed to look different so we can only speculate that VR is on their mind, possibly, but they have not said anything to confirm this. So, let's just hope it happens even if it takes just as long as it did with BL2.
We can’t wait to play Borderlands 3 when it comes out and we hope you can’t wait either! What did you think about this coverage? Let us know in the comment box below and we'll make sure to address them!