A motley crew of adventurers become humanity's last great hope when two online streaming superstars attempt to destroy the galaxy in Borderlands 3, launching across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC from Sept 13.
Four new heroes team up to prevent galactic-level destruction in Borderlands 3, supported by a returning cast of franchise favorites and a near-endless supply of wild and wonderful armaments.
Instead of different regions of the far-flung Pandora, PlayStation, Xbox and PC players can expect to visit different planets in their quest to stop the charismatic Calypso Twins.
The Twins, meanwhile, have found a way to siphon otherworldly powers from some of the galaxy's most formidable beings and have converted a congregation of bandit factions into their own personal army.
For this third numbered entry to the series – fifth overall, not counting numerous Borderlands 2 editions – developer Gearbox Software and publisher 2K Games have amassed their own small army of online influencers to give Borderlands 3 an enormous push.
Recruits range from prominent YouTube and Twitch channel hosts participating in gameplay reveal events and an official, dedicated, post-release Borderlands Show, to fans circulating loyalty programme codes and a bespoke Twitch TV extension that lets viewers spin for in-game items and equipment.
Even so, a carefully planned marketing campaign has not been without its roadbumps: public disputes between Gearbox's CEO and two former employees led to talk of a USB drive containing questionable adult material, plus accusations of financial impropriety and voice actor exploitation; a confessed series superfan who became an accurate Borderlands 3 leaker disappeared from public life after a visit from private investigators.
On PC, the game has also been caught up in pushback against the Epic Game Store, which will be distributing Borderlands 3 as a temporary exclusive.
After morphing from a modest off-the-wall blend of action-roleplaying elements into a cult favourite, the Borderlands series grew to become one of Take-Two's biggest properties, with accompanying expectations of high recurrent earnings through DLC and microtransactions.
That sort of status puts it in the company of Rockstar Games' enormous Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V as well as reigning basketball simulation NBA 2K20.
Yet time is of the essence, as Borderlands 3 arrives two and a half weeks ahead of the latest Destiny 2 update in October – a Year 3 expansion called Shadowkeep and a pivot into free-to-play for the slick, hard sci-fi franchise that established itself as a glossy genre rival in the wake of Borderlands 2.
Then there's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which likewise leans on tiered loot and team multiplayer, just a few days later, with blockbuster-in-waiting Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare due Oct 25. – AFP Relaxnews