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Borderlands 3's New Mechanics Are Exactly What We Want | Hands-On Impressions

We've gotten hands-on with Borderlands 3, and now Jordan and Jean-Luc are feeling pretty good about the game its new improvements.

On May 1, Gearbox revealed what exactly has changed in Borderlands 3--such as how loot works--that makes the game different from its predecessors. We, video producer Jean-Luc Seipke and associate editor Jordan Ramee, got a chance to play through Borderlands 3's sixth chapter afterwards. In the video above, we discuss our impressions.

One of the changes both noticed almost immediately is how much Borderlands 3 is a modern shooter when compared to its predecessors. Its Titanfall 2 inspirations really come through in the combat. Both sliding and vaulting have been added to Borderlands 3, allowing you to move around environments faster. Combat happens more quickly as a result, and we appreciate how much more exciting battles are now.

Chapter 6 takes place on one of Borderlands 3's new planets. Called Promethea, the landscape is a battleground of megacorporations waging war on city streets. The new environment is distinct from the starting planet of Pandora, offering more instances of verticality both in exploration and in firefights. Exploring is a lot easier to do, with the new 3D map providing a more precise means of identifying your Vault Hunter's location. The new map also highlights where you've been, a change that we both agree makes environments easier to explore.

We aren't completely behind every change made in Borderlands 3, though. Gearbox's upcoming game introduces new vehicles, all of which handle differently from cars and trucks in previous Borderlands games. However, Borderlands 3's vehicles handle poorly and some of the new ones, like Promethea's one-wheeled motorcycle, have ineffective weaponry. It's usually easier to just jump out and shoot enemies with a gun on foot.

Speaking of firearms, Borderlands 3 features some of the coolest loot we've seen in any Borderlands game. A large part of this comes from the new alternate fire modes that come equipped to almost every weapon. We weighed the value of loot in previous Borderlands games solely on stats, but the new alternate fire modes add some interesting strategic potential to Borderlands 3 beyond what's just the strongest.

Borderlands 3 is scheduled to release on September 13 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The PC release of the game will be a limited-time Epic Games Store exclusive. Cross-platform play could maybe happen, according to 2K.

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chopsbenedict

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I feel like vaulting is a bad addition. Yeah you can move around faster, but there were so many jump puzzles before and theyre a lot harder to make interesting or challenging if you can just climb stuff.

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Aryanith

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Especially after having played bl2 recently cos of the hd pack, it felt overly familiar after the trailer, and even the gameplay stream didn't really convince me. I expected something fundamentally more up to date than bl2 with prettier graphics and a more streamlined gunplay. And then I realised that I was just spoiled with all the games-as-a-service types and Borderlands is a different flavor of game. And it will be the greatest at what it does.

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Schizycho

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I was, like many, a bit worried after the initial trailer. It just didn't look like it was any different from 2. After seeing the reveal though, so many improvements shown, I am back to being hyped for Borderlands 3.

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June-GS

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@jordanramee:

Hmm, for one reason or another, I never lost faith in Borderlands. I just somehow sensed that they were gonna make it good. So I'm glad you guys confirmed early that I was right for keeping faith in Gearbox. Thanks.

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