Thanks to 2K, I was lucky enough to play a hands-on demo of Borderlands 3 while covering the Melbourne Esports Open, last weekend. Here are my impressions of Gearbox’s long-awaited entry into their flagship franchise.

First things first, the shooting feels good. Borderlands gunplay has always felt good, it’s fast and responsive and gives plenty of feedback. In Borderlands 3, you can expect more of that silky smooth gunplay, with two major differences to help bring the game into 2019. Popularised by Apex legends, sprint-slides and pings are welcome additions to Borderlands. Sliding into cover is a natural fit for the co-op shooter, and while my demo of the game was solo, Borderlands has a big focus on playing with your friends. Being able to ping enemies is definitely something Borderlands will benefit from. 

Something else that really stuck out to me, in the demo, was the boss battle design. As I was travelling through this compound, huge amplifiers were placed around the corridors. When a player gets close to these large speakers, they begin to rev up and damager the player. A neat trap, but something that I thought was capitalised on well when I reached the boss of the demo: ‘Mouthpiece’.

I played as the Operator, he has a drone.

This particular battle location is in a pit surrounded by the aforementioned amplifiers lining the walls. As the battle progresses, different amplifier-walls light up and you have to move away to avoid getting shot by the blasts of energy shot from the speakers. You don’t have to worry about Mouthpiece himself too much as his gun shoots fairly slow-moving projectiles, but he will spawn smaller enemies which will catch you off guard and flank you. His shield also has awesome vibrant audio levels on the face of it which is a nice touch.

All of this mayhem is occurring to the soundtrack of – actually not bad – dubstep. This is definitely the most ‘Borderlands’ Borderlands game ever made, so if that’s your thing, this game will definitely not disappoint. 

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