‘Borderlands 3’ makes the most of E3 2019 opportunity

  • TECH
  • Monday, 17 Jun 2019

As the latest entry to its publisher's biggest franchise, Borderlands 3 was given a huge platform at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo: trailers, teases, hands-on demos for the public, and the promise of more to come in August ahead of its September launch. 

With three months to generate as much enthusiasm as possible before launch, Borderlands 3 entered the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo during Xbox's June 9 presentation at the top of the week. 

It's been seven years since 2012's Borderlands 2, and the looter-shooter genre it helped inspire has grown considerably in the meantime. 

Fans can now be found all over, particularly within the Destiny and Division series and the Warframe game, while PUBG, Fortnite and Apex Legends incorporate similar weapon-rarity systems. 

As well as a new, pumped-up gameplay trailer featuring the main Borderlands 3 characters and more of its weird and wild enemies, environments, and equipment, the Xbox showcase confirmed the existence and immediate release of a Borderlands 2 epilogue. 

A bridge between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, Commander Lilith lets players find out why and how the franchise's good guys move from a familiar sanctuary city onto a floating spaceship home. 

It's also another opportunity to move existing Borderlands 2 owners onto Borderlands 3

Helpfully, Commander Lilith has been received as an impressively generous expansion, not only in terms of cost – free until July 8 for owners of Borderlands 2 and The Handsome Collection, currently free or heavily discounted – but generous in terms of size. 

Staff from Borderlands 3 studio Gearbox have been at E3 2019 encouraging game fans to get on board for the new game. 

Paul Sage, creative director, distanced Borderlands 3 from the Games as a Service model of Destiny, The Division, and Fortnite, a model which leans on weekly and seasonal updates to keep players involved. 

Instead, he and his colleagues talked up various new abilities intended to build on existing franchise strengths, demonstrated through a third of four player characters, Moze, and her compact walking tank. 

Such mechanised suits are not new to games – Overwatch and Titanfall both make good use of them – but this one is implemented in typical franchise style as Borderlands 3 riffs on its predecessors' features: Moze's mobile armour lets her fire two unique weapons at once, just as the berzerker Salvador from Borderlands 2 could wield two guns to devastating effect. 

Similarly, staff discussed how another series motif, elemental effects, could now combine – fire causes oil to combust, electricity travels through water – and new Borderlands 3 planets provide opportunities to explore new biomes and the backstories behind some of its weapon-manufacturing mega-corporations. 

Yet a fourth playable character, Flak, thought the most difficult to get right in development, was not profiled during E3 2019 despite the discovery of an unlisted trailer. 

Instead, the wandering robot is expected to star at Gamescom, Germany, which runs Aug 20-24: a last great push before Borderlands 3 releases three weeks later; a last great conversion opportunity before Destiny 2 goes free-to-play a week after that. – AFP Relaxnews 

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