As a longtime fan of the Borderlands series, I was rather ecstatic when I found out that Gearbox would be doing a panel at PAX East this year. Waiting in line for what felt like days, I ascended the escalator to the main theater and took my seat and waited for my mind to be blown. What followed was a show full of magic tricks, technical hiccups, and cheers, but we were rewarded. At long last, a trailer announcement for the much awaited (and a long time coming) Borderlands 3 was revealed! After sleeping on it, the trailer, had some high points, low points and left me with some questions.
PRO and CON: We are getting another Borderlands game, and it appears to be exactly that.
- This appears to still be an over-the-top looter shooter with a cast of crazy characters and humor that some find polarizing. If you didn’t like the previous games because of that, nothing about this trailer gave me the impression that you will suddenly fall in love with the series with 3.
PRO: More than just Pandora
- After the ending of Borderlands 2 (spoilers), it is revealed that there are vaults spread across the galaxy on far distant planets. We got to see a few of these planets in the trailer and boy-howdy do they look nice. Seeing locations that are drastically different from the world we’ve explored in the previous games, made the crowd cheer. A personal favorite of mine has to be the neon city.
PRO: The new character designs
- I REALLY like the look of the characters in this game. The updated looks of the old vault hunters (the ones shown anyway), the new vault hunters, and the new big bads, all have a great unique look to them that stand out.
CON: It looks dated
- I loved the aesthetic style of the previous games, but from what they showed in the trailer, I really didn’t get the leap in quality that I would expect from a new game in a series where its last title released almost five years ago.
CON: No information on who the new vault hunters are
- While I wasn’t expecting we would hear in-depth details on the new heroes, the fact we didn’t even get a single one of the names was a bummer.
CON: Promising more info less than a week later
- Why? Why would you do this? You have a giant conference room fill with over 3,000 rabid fans of your series. Why would you hold info that you were just going to show less than a week later? It’s one thing if their plan was that the next info drop would be a month later or even a few weeks. Announcing a trailer with technical hiccups and then immediately posting that more info would be coming so soon, feels a bit like a gut punch.
We still have very little to go on as to what to expect from Borderlands 3 outside having over a billion guns, new vault hunters, returning hunters, and what the new antagonists look like. My biggest questions though have more to do with how this game is going to try and stay relevant in a world that it is now overpopulated with looter-shooters that get updated content on a regular basis. Borderlands is no longer the only one on the market, and many of these new titles have added a lot to the genre and from the trailer, we’ve gotten no real sense of how Gearbox will try to make this new game stand out.
Also, conspicuously absent was any sort of release date, window, or even a year. I hope that they will be revealing something on that on the info update on April 3rd.
I have a lot of fond memories of playing through this series with friends and I’m still incredibly excited that we are finally getting a third main game. Will Borderlands 3 retake the looter-shooter crown? Hard to say, but I think it will be a big uphill battle for it.