'Borderlands 3' holds debut gameplay event ahead of September launch

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  • Monday, 06 May 2019

Borderlands 3': Sibling antagonists Troy and Tyreen are presented as cult-leading livestreamers.

The first few missions of Borderlands 3, as seen through the eyes of two of its four main characters, were shown live and online at a publicity event in Los Angeles, California, while studio staff and then a cohort of livestreamers played through sections of the game for an online audience.

A first-person action franchise trading on a sci-fi setting and goofy humor, the Borderlands series leans heavily on its wide range of wild weapons and equipment, assembling many of them on the fly from a pool of component parts.

Like a casino slot machine, it uses its parts roster to create a psychologically appealing reward system, dangling the prospect of better and better gear as players make their way through the story's missions, challenges, and enemies.

In common with its predecessors, Borderlands 3 takes place on the far-flung planet of Pandora, but this version also introduces other worlds.

After using an opening mission to outline gameplay basics, show off its Siren and Operative characters, introduce franchise innovations such as sliding and clambering moves, and explain how players would join each other online regardless of experience, game studio Gearbox Software segued to a space ship called Sanctuary III.

As a new inter-mission hub, the ship allows players to meet, trade with and accept missions from legacy characters as well as, for the first time, customise personal quarters and visit other planets, one of which was shown during the show.

The sliding and clambering of Borderlands 3 is reminiscent of February's free-to-play Apex Legends, and game studio Gearbox is also leaning into streaming.

It broadcast its event through Twitch, flying a cohort of Twitch streamers in to spend three hours playing portions of the game live for their online audiences. It also trialled a custom Twitch extension, the Borderlands 3 Echocast, which takes gear and character information directly from a livestreamer's game for viewers to inspect on demand.

Via Echocast, viewers will also be offered the chance to win additional weapons and equipment for their own Borderlands 3 characters as they watch someone else play the game.

It's been ten years since the Borderlands series began and seven since Borderlands 2, which became 2K Games' best-selling title.

As the franchise re-enters an action game space now populated by Fortnite and Apex Legends, as well as those it previously influenced in Destiny and, this month, Rage 2 the Sept 13 release of Borderlands 3 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will be enormously significant for both studio and publisher. – AFP Relaxnews

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