Ahead of Borderlands 3‘s September launch, we had the chance to try out a demo build of the game at the Borderlands 3 Media Preview in Singapore! Read on to see what we have to say so far.
At first glance, we can already see much more detail on character models, no doubt thanks to the Unreal Engine 4. The subtitles have been changed to reflect actions an enemy takes (e.g. “Enemy lunges!”). It might not help very much in a more intense fire-fight, but it’s still a nice touch.
Taking a leaf from Pre-sequel, players will get a new movement skill. You can jump and hit a button to ground pound an enemy, much like how you could slam with Oz Kits. You can also perform a crouch and slide while running. Looking forward to powersliding down steep slopes! The map looks like it can show you layers of levels you’re on. Navigation would hopefully be easier.
It’s not a Borderlands game without the guns. There’s “a billion” of them for you to loot and grind for, so look forward to that. As it is from the demo, the laser-types from Pre-sequel make their return, there’s homing-type guns, even hold-down-and-charge weaponry. Familiar brands make their return – hi Maliwan! – to provide that extra level of flavour of shooty action.
To supplement those guns, each character can choose 3 action skills. We mentioned about the skill tree builder in FL4K’s introduction. Play around with the talent trees and see what unique style suits you best! Some of these talents will change skill effects and animations as well. You can even preview how the action skill looks when you activate them!
Multiple runs are likely needed if you’re going to unlock all the skills. As you might notice from the screenshot, action skills travel down from all the passives you purchase. There are also augments to action skills, which need to be equipped and takes an action skill slot. The current level cap is 50, but going by previous games, this will likely be expanded on with DLC.
Not just that, there are now alternate firing modes. As an example, we got a sniper rifle that could swap between semi auto to full auto firing. Elemental weapons are back, and easier to use! Get a handgun that can switch between elements at will, and go on killing much more conveniently. No more juggling your four weapon slots mid-encounter while being attacked, one would hope!
Co-op is as fun as ever with friends. Synergize and strategize with others: one can focus on Cyro (slowing and freezing enemies) while another can go on all-out offense. Level syncing and instanced loot will be in the game. Now a higher-levelled player will be scaled down, but also get loot based on their level! In BL2, your lower-levelled friend would be dying repeatedly to overscaled mobs and get loot they can’t use. Definitely friendlier to those who play less frequently now.
Playing around with “The Beastmaster” FL4K, he has both a pet and active skill. The pet plays like an NPC, attacking enemies along side you. However, if it takes too much damage, it will die. You can revive your pet mid-combat, otherwise you’d have to wait for the cooldown to resummon your pet.
Difficulty wise, it feels roughly like Borderlands 2. Monsters and enemies have a decent amount of health, but isn’t too hard to kill. Gear up with friends for New Game Plus mode if you want a challenge.
All in all, it looks like it’s going to be one wild ride as you might come to expect. See you in the Borderlands.