Borderlands 3 - From The Beginning to The Year of Borderlands
Following countless teasing and years of work, Gearbox Software has officially confirmed Borderlands 3 as part of what they call The Year of Borderlands. The third major game in the series was revealed at the developer panel of PAX East. Although the disclosure has been affected by technical problems, I have finally seen the Borderlands 3 debut trailer, which you can watch below. However, I did not get a launch date, although more details will be available on the 3rd of April, meaning today.
The trailer begins with capturing the iconic mask of a Psycho, further revealing the desert that is as empty and chaotic as when we last saw it.
Lilith, who made her debut as a playable character in the first Borderlands title, also appears in the following scenes. She is a key figure in Borderlands myths, being a mermaid - incredibly powerful women with mysterious origins. It is believed that only six sirens can exist at any time and, so far, three have appeared in previous games of the series. Although it does not seem that Lilith will be a playable character, it will undoubtedly have a huge role in the events of Borderlands 3.
Further, they introduced four new characters. These will probably be the next Vault Hunters that players will get to control. For now, it is not clear what classes these new characters are. Borderlands tend to have a mix of traditional archetypes, such as Beserker, Hunter and Soldier, but also adds original stuff like Sirena and Mechromancer.
The trailer moves on to fast action scenes, the four treasure hunters navigating in the vehicles, shooting off all sorts of strange weapons - including a fighting mock - and fighting against many vicious monsters. At one point, the Maya of Borderlands 2, which also happens to be a mermaid, is making its appearance, though with longer hair now.
One of the main new features for Borderlands 3 is revealed when the words "Explore the Worlds!" Appear on the screen. This indicates that the game will be much bigger than the two previous titles in the series, giving players a variety of different worlds to scramble after loot and hunt the mythical treasure. The trailer features some of these, with a neon city with skyscrapers and marshes with excessive vegetation, along with Mad Max's traditional desert land.
There is a short break in the trailer dedicated to Brick who makes a solo saxophone before reaching the most famous feature of the Borderlands series: Weapons. This time, Gearbox claims that Borderlands 3 will have “one billion weapons”, one of which is a small-robot assault rifle. Basically, the trailer looks pretty much exactly what most Borderlands fans want from a franchise continuation.
The Year of Borderlands will also give fans the opportunity to play a new Game of the Year version of the first Borderlands, complemented by new weapons and other enhancements.
This version of the original Borderlands will be launched on all current platforms, but it's not a simple portrayal - you will also get lots of new content, including more weapons, along with a variety of other game enhancements. It will launch this week and you can get it for free, provided you already have the PC game. You can see a trailer below.
This new edition is described as "the new definitive version". It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC, and has the same basic content as the original game, complete with all four DLC packages: The Doom Ned, Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and Claptrap's New Robot Revolution.
The Game of the Year will feature visual enhancements tailored to the new platforms. Gearbox boasts that players on PS4 and Xbox One X (and perhaps those with the right PC hardware) can play in 4K and HDR, but all platforms will include enhanced lighting, textures and enhanced character models.
Beyond the visual changes, there are quality-of-life improvements and changes that also impact the gameplay. An optional minimap is introduced, similar to Borderlands 2, while inventory management will be reviewed. You will now be able to block the weapons you want to know safely, while those you do not care about can not be labeled as junk so they can be removed more easily. Similarly, you will no longer have to worry about collecting ammunition, money and health because they will now be done automatically.
Add some new weapons. Six legendary weapons with their own names and skins will be available as drops from bosses or using Golden Keys. These keys enter the Shift reward system, which allows you to exchange keys for special items and rewards in the game, in a similar way to the subsequent games in the series. If you played Borderlands 2 or The Pre-Sequel on PS4, Xbox One or PC, you will be entitled to 75 free golden keys in Borderlands 1 as well as two new randomly selected weapons.
Another new feature is the ability to personalize the character. While the previous game only allows you to select colors, you can now choose one of the five different options for each of the four characters.
And finally, Gearbox says that, following fans' complaints, it will update the final boss of the campaign. It should now be more attractive, more challenging and rewarding.
Game of the Year Edition will be physically and digitally available for consoles, while the PC version is only digital. However, if you already own Borderlands on Steam, PC players will receive this updated version for free.
Game of the Year Edition does not come as a complete surprise because a list of last year's rating boards have suggested that such a re-launch will be available. However, it is encouraging to see that it is more than a simple porting.
Gearbox also revealed that it launches improved texture packages for both Borderlands 2, Borderlands: Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 2 VR.
Specifically, these ultra-HD textures will be available for Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel on PC and for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.
There are some differences between how texture packages work on consoles in relation to the PC. Console gamers benefit from 4K and HDR support, along with textures, characters, environment and remastered vehicles, along with improved anti-aliasing and shadows. PC gamers many have the same things, but there is no mention of HDR, although the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) has been improved.
Ultra HD textures will be available free of charge on all supported platforms; they will be launched on April 3rd, today, as well. For PS4 Pro owners it will be available as a single DLC package for the Handsome Collection collection, while PC and Xbox One X players can download individual packages for Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel.