Borderlands 3 Gameplay Reveal: Video Details New Planet, Co-Op, Returning Characters

Gearbox Software has shown Borderlands 3’s gameplay for the first time, in a live stream that highlighted a number of new features the studio is introducing in its upcoming loot shooter, which is currently available for preorder and is also set to be shown off at E3.

And if you’re looking for a breakdown of every little bit of info, definitely check out our list of 50 Borderlands 3 details revealed today.

For starters, player movement appears to be much more fluid than in previous games, with Borderlands 3 adding the ability to mantle over cover and other parts of the environment, as well as allowing players to perform running slides to make firefights more dynamic.

Borderlands 3’s demo featured new playable character Amara, the siren Lilith, the return of Claptrap, and more.

Some of the Borderlands 3 details leaked in April were also confirmed during the gameplay demo. Weapons are indeed allotted an overall score, making it easier to discern at a glance if they’re better or worse than what you currently have, which should be a big time saver considering there’s a billion different guns in the game.

Certain weapons will also feature an alternate fire mode, with the example shown in the demo an assault rifle that can be toggled to a ‘hyper missile’ launcher.

Changes to the skill tree system were also evident. Each of the four playable characters now begins the game with three action skills instead of one, with more unlocking as the player levels up. Action skills can also be augmented with elemental effects.

Elsewhere the tweaks to the franchise’s formula seem numerous in Borderlands 3. Ammunition vending machines now feature single button press instant refill option so you’re not forced to stop and scroll through the items, and players can now heal and be healed by NPCs such as Claptrap.

At one point in the gameplay demo the view switched perspectives between two players in co-op in order to highlight the previously announced change to the loot system. It showed that single instances of weapons can be picked up by multiple players, and that the level of the weapons automatically scales relative to the level of the individual player.

Borderlands 3 will offer both loot and level scaling for players, but a Classic Mode will also allow players to experience Borderlands 3 the way Borderlands 1 and Borderlands 2 played in regard to levels and loot.

The biggest reveal of the demo was the player’s spaceship, named Sanctuary 3, a hubworld for the players to use in exploring the galaxy. This hulking mobile hub is home to numerous returning characters such as Mad Moxxi, and contains an infirmary, a bar with gambling machines, individual quarters for the four main characters that can be customised, and even a lost and found machine for any loot you lose track of down on a planet’s surface.

It doesn’t appear that players will be able to manually pilot Sanctuary 3, but you can jump to hyperspace and orbit each of the planets in the game. If you are wondering, creative director Paul Sage spoke to IGN about how Borderlands 3’s fast travel among planets will work.

The long-awaited sequel is currently available for preorder, including the Borderlands 3 collector’s edition.

If you’re watching the Borderlands 3 reveal via Twitch, you’ll be able to unlock in-game loot. And, of course, if you’re watching the Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal on IGN, stay tuned for our post-show analysis and plenty more from the event.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s News Editor and host of Beyond! Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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