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Borderlands 3's PAX Trailer Wasn't As Impressive As We Hoped It Would Be

Gearbox finally revealed Borderlands 3 at PAX East, and Borderlands fans Jordan and Jean-Luc explain why it was a weak payoff for five years of hype.

Gearbox had been teasing a new Borderlands game for quite some time--years, in fact--and it didn't exactly play coy in hinting that Borderlands 3 would be revealed during the studio's PAX East panel. Sure enough, that's exactly what capped off the event, with Gearbox showing off the first Borderlands 3 trailer.

But was it any good? It's been a long wait for Borderlands 3; the last numbered entry came in 2012, and the last shooter in the series released in 2014. As such, expectations were very high, and the trailer didn't necessarily deliver. In the video above, two of GameSpot's biggest Borderlands fans, Jean-Luc and Jordan, share their thoughts on what we saw and why they weren't totally sold after all these years of waiting.

The trailer delivers a glimpse of a variety of new and returning characters, including what are presumably the new playable characters. But this was ultimately more of a tease than anything else, as we didn't get any hard details on what they play like, how the gameplay has changed from past entries, and so on.

Borderlands 3 might not yet have a release date, but we are getting more info on April 3. (The release date may have actually leaked early, thanks to a tweet that seemingly went out by mistake on April Fools' Day and pointed to a September launch.) Also coming soon is an enhanced re-release of Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and visual improvements to The Handsome Collection. All of this entails what Gearbox calls the Year of Borderlands, which might suggest that Borderlands 3 will launch before the end of the year.

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Avatar image for earthinheritor

Man did you 2 ever anger the internet. This video was utterly terrible, everything about it was poorly written and made no sense. You eve said stuff in the video that was wasn't true or you just didnt pay attention to it. You both need to be taken off this game immediately. Fan or not, opinion or not, this trailer was factually inaccurate and full of BS.

Avatar image for yeknomdab
yeknomdab was cute, but it didn't really show us anything fresh on the gameplay front. Details, Gearbox! We need details. That being said, I'm no stranger to shutting off my brain and sinking into the self-indulgent depths of a good ol' lewt shewter...even the grindy ones. *cough*Destiny*cough*

Avatar image for earthinheritor

@yeknomdab: new characters, new vehicles, new settings. Honestly, what else did you expect? Its a loot and shoot game. do you watch trailer or Forza and complain that there was nothing new other than driving a car?

Avatar image for yeknomdab

@earthinheritor: 1: Not complaining (I already pre-ordered the game) 2: I want juicy details of any new gameplay mechanics, but "expect" nothing. 3: Forza Motorsport, or Forza Horizon? If the former is suddenly missing the hardcore tuning, or the latter is gaining it, then yes--I would like to know. ;) 4: Don't make hasty assumptions about anything that you see/read on the internet, much less anyone that you don't know. 5: It isn't that deep ;)

Avatar image for frizzkills

Shouldn't be shocking that the trailer showed nothing revolutionary. Gearbox is a mediocre developer at best and kind of fell uphill with Borderlands. All they had to do was appease to the hardcore Borderlands fans which I think they achieved.

The reveal and show was painful to watch and I actually enjoyed watching a cringe worthy Randy Pitchford squirm around the stage. lol

Avatar image for newbpwnr

You guys also cover destiny 4 times a week like it's a legit decent game.

Avatar image for Raphy_Turtle

These guys don't do the best job of elaborating on why they feel underwhelmed, but I'm entailed to agree regardless. There's a few reasons I can think of (and it could all change once we actually see hands-on footage).

The biggest reason is just that it suffers from overextended hype fatigue. We waited too long and the Borderlands magic has kind of died out.
(ex: The Last Guardian)

On a related note (and I know not everyone feels the same) it hasn't evolved enough if at all since Borderlands 2 released. This is always tricky. We want a sequel to retain what made the franchise special, but too similar and we end up with franchise fatigue. Many other games have since innovated the gameplay standards. So if Borderlands 3 sits on the laurels of its past success, it will likely disappoint. (ex: Shadow of Mordor's sequel Shadow of War)

Avatar image for fatdaddy_mcfly

@Raphy_Turtle: Oh well. There's no way it could be as disappointing as Destiny 2 was at launch and BL3 will more than likely get some really interesting and well-made DLC. I predict it'll be in a much better place in a couple years than Destiny 2 is now, and these poor schmucks actually think it's a good game and has stolen all of Borderlands 3's thunder. I'll be the first to tell these poor sods that not everyone has forgotten just what a truly remarkable game BL2 was and plenty of us literally just want more of that, but with new characters, story, environments and guns of course. While some of the environments do look same-y, how different should they be, really? What's left short of exploring the bottom of the ocean in scuba-gear? Borderlands has always had that Mad Max/post-apocalyptic feel to it. I don't th8nk that should change. If these guys would rather continue playing a dying franchise and chasing stale loot through repetitive and grindy gameplay then so be it. I guess games like Destiny and Fortnite really are rotting our brains. We don't even remember what a good game is like.

Avatar image for blueinheaven

@Raphy_Turtle: Hype fatigue? lol, a few days ago we didn't even know B3 existed, what fatigue?

Personally I have played so much Borderlands content, the first game, B2 and all the addons so content fatigue was definitely a thing for me and to see a B3 trailer that basically looks like a DLC trailer for Borderlands 2 well... you can see why I might be a tad underwhelmed by it all.

I think they could have kept the graphics style while updating the engine to something a bit more impressive and they could have maybe emphasised story instead of more 'wacky' characters to carry the whole thing I dunno it was just a bad trailer maybe the real thing is 100 times better. We can but hope.

Avatar image for fatdaddy_mcfly

@blueinheaven: It's the first trailer we've seen. It's a teaser and you want story details already? Ridiculous. The trailer did exactly what a teaser should - tease us.

Avatar image for blueinheaven

@fatdaddy_mcfly: The game comes out in three months. If they have nothing to talk about when the game is close to going gold yeah I'd say that's a bit of a problem.

You of course expect nothing so in my book that's pretty much what you deserve. The rest of us have high hopes for a franchise we love but will continue to expect the very best while you settle for a Borderlands 2 expansion pack.

People like you are a massive part of the problem.

Avatar image for Abdulrahman1981

Which systems is it coming to?

Avatar image for earthinheritor

@Abdulrahman1981: Ps4, Xbox One, PC (Epic not Steam)

Avatar image for JimmyThreeBalls

I'm 37 and I love me some borderlands you guys are crazy!!

Avatar image for JimmyThreeBalls

There is nothing wrong with more of the same with a tiny bit of better-looking polish on the graphics. If you were a true borderlands fan you wouldn't care you would be happy to get a lot more BL content.I hope they use physx again for the PC version that really made it for me.

Avatar image for fatdaddy_mcfly

@JimmyThreeBalls: Finally, an actual fan. This franchise is a true diamond in the rough. It's a nugget of gold in a polluted creek full of sewage. I won't say Gearbox is the greatest developer in the world but they did make one of the greatest game franchises in the world. As a complete package (story, character development, gameplay, LOOT), nothing else in the looter shooter genre even comes close and it's criminal that some fools actually believe Destiny 2 is a superior game.

Avatar image for rzagtx

To me is just the goty for this year!

It is great that is not bs royal and still is story based.. Borderlands are the best loot shooters that i have ever played. I dont doubt b3 is a great game.. Thanks gearbox

Avatar image for bioshock4please

"We might be too old for this, and might not like it regardless fo quality, therefore WE should be the ones to evaluate the announcement trailer (which has no gameplay to even criticize) and complain about what we don't know about the game."

I like Gamespot editorials and reviews, but this is a bad example of fair assessment due to bias and judgment based on preconceived notions. You can do better GS.

Avatar image for ronthallsballs

But the Anthem trailer impressed the hell outta ya, didn’t it? DIDN’T IT?!?!?


Avatar image for fatdaddy_mcfly

@ronthallsballs: Lol. Idiots.

Avatar image for Gosukusan

This has got to be the most hipstery take on something I've ever seen. It was like watching a college humor parody video with two cynical hipsters reviewing something without actually giving a single valid reason for their negative perception. "Maybe we're just at that age now", "Why would I want a walking gun? LOL". Just a total lack of imagination and insight.

Personally, I don't care about the quality of a trailer, because gamers don't buy games based on their trailers, they buy them based on the quality of the game. In what way could you conceivably make any strong argument for or against the actual game based on this trailer? lol. This video was just so pointless.

"Looks like more Borderlands". Brilliant commentary.

Avatar image for fatdaddy_mcfly

@Gosukusan: Let's see how they react to the inevitable Destiny 3 trailer. I swear if they don't judge it as harshly as they did this one I'll have to conclude that they are just brainwashed fanboys for a lackluster franchise.

Avatar image for bioshock4please

@Gosukusan: I'm a hipster and this video made me cringe too. We're not all bad. *Sips organic coffee bought at fair trade market*

Avatar image for superklyph

@Gosukusan: "...gamers don't buy games based on their trailers..."

I think you'd be surprised.

Avatar image for tyronefonsworth

Gamespot doesn't like it? Probably GOTY material then.

Avatar image for Kishobran

Completely agree. I don't know what I expected, but this looks underwhelming. I've played BL 1&2 multiple times, solo and co-op, it's expansions and dlcs and eventually got bored of it. Its a good game, but it has room for improvement. This looks like the same game, but with slightly different characters. I'm hoping they shake up the formula a bit. But that's just me and first impressions from the trailer, maybe everyone else wants more of the same.

Also wth is with this hivemind here where you can only comment on a trailer if you're giving praise?

Avatar image for bioshock4please

@Kishobran: Question: how can it look like the same game when there was 0 gameplay shown? The graphics are similar, albeit higher quality. But the sense of humor and tone are the same...because, you know, sequel in a game series. I think it might be fair to hold off on your assessment until a gameplay trailer is shown.

Avatar image for Kishobran

@bioshock4please: You said it, everything looks the same or similar. Except for some different locations and characters. It's not a huge leap in logic to imagine it being a very similar game. Weather that's good or bad after so many years, that's subjective.

Also I doubt you're telling people who are excited by the trailer to tone down their expectations, because there's no gameplay shown, right?

We are all reacting based on what they've shown so far. If it's supposed to get me excited for the game, it failed. And me, Gamespot or whoever is entitled to an opinion just as anyone who is hyped by the trailer.

Avatar image for bioshock4please

@Kishobran: "It's not a huge leap in logic to imagine it being a very similar game." I'm going to stop you right there. Your whole response is based on your own speculation being assumedly true and so I call attention again to the concrete fact that 0 gameplay has been shown. Not saying you won't be proven right, just saying you're being negative based on no evidence.

Avatar image for Kishobran

@bioshock4please: "0 gameplay has been shown" Let's put aside the fact that it's a "Gameplay trailer" in their own words. Your statement is blatantly not true. While there is no hud, you can see some gunplay and vehicle combat. And it looks very much like BL2. So "0 gameplay" - nah. Also people are being positive based on no evidence by that same logic.

Avatar image for Ghidoran


"You said it, everything looks the same or similar."

Can you cite a handful of specific examples of what you expected to be new or different in a reveal trailer that's just a splice of action scenes and character shots? Because I've seen many people complain about this but I still have no clue what people really expected. Obviously, it has returning characters. Obviously, it has the same artstyle. Obviously, it's still an over-the-top FPS. They should off a lot of new enemies, characters, weapons etc. too but overall the trailer reaffirmed that it's still Borderlands (i.e. what people wanted).

At the end of the day, it's a 4 minute reveal trailer that exists to excite fans of the series. It shows off new and returning characters and other things that fans like (e.g. the cool guns). It's not a gameplay trailer, it's not designed to show off new gameplay features or mechanics. The game could literally be a Destiny clone (complete with liver service elements, raids, and PVP) and we wouldn't know it based on the trailer. Complaining that the game isn't different enough is completely nonsensical because we have no idea what the game is even going to be like.

I don't remember people having this reaction to, say, the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer, which literally just showed off pretty environments. Did people complain that the Red Dead 2 was too similar to Red Dead 1 based on that trailer, because they didn't show off any new mechanics or features? No, because people were smart to realize that it's just a TEASER, and that if they were curious about gameplay improvements, they should wait for more information instead of dismissing the game outright. But apparently that small bit of logic is absent when it comes to Borderlands 3.

Let's be real, the only reason people are ragging on the trailer is because of the graphics. And it certainly isn't a huge leap in graphical fidelity (although it doesn't 'look the same' as some people are claiming). But I mean...who cares. Borderlands 2 still looks excellent in 2019, while other games from 2012 are beginning to look dated. BL3 will no doubt look great in 10 years. That's the power of its art direction.

"Also I doubt you're telling people who are excited by the trailer to tone down their expectations, because there's no gameplay shown, right?"

I would if people were excited about the gameplay features, but they're not, because they don't know what the game's going to be like. They're excited about having a new Borderlands, and they're excited about the things shown in the trailer (i.e. new and old characters, as well as the guns). No one is discussing the gameplay because no one knows much about the gameplay.

"And me, Gamespot or whoever is entitled to an opinion just as anyone who is hyped by the trailer."

Yes everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if the opinion is based on faulty premises, then it's a bad opinion, and everyone else is entitled to criticize *that*. Complaining that the game looks 'too similar' despite not being shown the actual gameplay mechanics or new features is quite ridiculous, which is why Gamespot and Polygon and other people with the same opinion are getting lambasted by the fanbase.

Avatar image for Kishobran

@Ghidoran: So me and everyone who's disappointed is supposed to write a doctor dissertation on why we didn't like it, with a solid premise full of facts and logic, while those who are hyped can be hyped for little to no reason? Some cameos?

I just wasn't impressed, thats it. It's a first impression emotional reaction. You're hyped, I'm disappointment. I don't know if I can pinpoint to exactly why, but it's probably a combination of things like time from the previous game + the fact that it looks like a dlc or an expansion of it. I expected more. I expect games to evolve with time, I don't want to play the same or very similar game over and over again.

Also RDR2 was actually met with some disappointment, exactly for the same reason that a lot of time has passed and that it doesn't look like much of an improvement. But it doesn't matter as much since it's mostly an open world story driven game. And new story can cover up a lot. It's also based on realism and authenticity, which doesn't allow for much wiggle room for creativity, so amount of new stuff you can put in is limited.

And I WAS excited for new Borderlands. Everybody knew it was coming. But now that I've seen it, I'll definitely temper my expectations. The new locations is the only thing I like so far.

Avatar image for mistervulpes

This video is getting hammered on YouTube.

Avatar image for chorn83

Booo this is a hating post just want clicks been waiting long for Borderlands 3 and its just a trailer wait to the gameplay being shown to talk shit Gamespot.

Avatar image for bioshock4please

Please let there be a saxophone gun. Please.

Avatar image for btotheotothejtothef

@bioshock4please: We got you boo

Avatar image for KiriharaZro

Looks good to me, if something isn't broken, don't fix it. I'm just going to wait until the GOTY version arrive, I own those versions for B1 & B2.

Avatar image for Lesp34

Well this game is not i repeat is not a Destiny( oh i prefer Borderlands by the way), not Division, not Far Cry etc. This is frackin Borderlands. And it has got own style. Yeah maybe a crafting system wouldn't be bad but it's not a big deal if it will be as good as or better than BL2. He said "this game looks like it's more Borderlands" !?! Why does this game look like more Borderlands hmm maybe because it's a Borderlands game. What a ridicolous comment. He said "genre is changed" well yeah loot boxes mostly you are charged for that, there are different skin paints oh again you are charged for that too mostly, oh you want to be in high level right so you have to pay for that too mostly. Ahaha guns with legs issue. Well i'll never ask why the hell that frackin guns have legs and running around cos' i know what Borderlands is and it's concept. But you two obviously not.

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

Agreed. Really hoped they were taking time to evolve the genre and bring us something exciting. Instead, it looks more and bigger, it looks fun, but it’s not what I’d hoped.

Avatar image for KiriharaZro

@ProjektInsanity: evolve the genre like what? Microtransactions? Battle Royale? Borderlands don't need that, is in its own league, no need to copy or "evolve" like other games have do.

Avatar image for pittsburghler

@KiriharaZro: The only thing Borderlands needs is more Borderlands.

Avatar image for ProjektInsanity

@KiriharaZro: No. I wouldn’t consider those features evolution. I agree, BL is better without them. As to what to add, I don’t know. That’s the thing. I was hoping Gearbox was taking the time to come up with something that would amaze us. After all, they’re the game dev, I’m not.

Avatar image for spartanx169x

First most people that at least I talk to don't want BL to change much from what it has been, just more maps, better looking locations, more story. Serveral series have moved too far from it core experience and got lots of backlash as a result. Gears of War Judgement being a prime example. Halo 5 being another. the trailer shows a few things that seem to expand the BL experience without messing it up. Tiny Tina's mech for starters and she can carry a passenger. More vehicles is another. More villains is a huge plus. I'm convinced the people complaining in the video are simply looking for anything ANYTHING to complain about for no reason other than clicks. Man this site has went downhill.

Avatar image for ballashotcaller

It's Borderlands 3 guys and you're acting like it needs to be Rage 2. Why don't you cool it a little bit and stop over-thinking everything. You also have Far Cry New Dawn all in one year. Take your pick.

Avatar image for vagrantsnow

Trailer did look like it was just Borderlands 2 DLC but I would presume it won't just be Borderlands 2 in a new story.

Avatar image for dubshark

Jean luc u suck mate

Avatar image for wrngsurgeon

i don't mean to be mean as i enjoyed some hours of each of the previous..but jesus did they learn nothing from everyone else making AAA mistakes? people in the comments are obviously drinking cell shaded kool aid (i like that style/fear effect is amazing but come on you don't have to drink it!)

If they paid any attention they would know after many disappointments it's clear people would rather have compact, meaningful and made from passion projects experiences.

but whatever you all could totally be right too this is CNN.

Avatar image for benjiffy

I was hoping we'd see weapon parts dropping instead of full guns. Many a time I get great guns, only to find the sight is awful, or it's single shot, or some other slight imperfection.

With parts that would no longer be a problem, and would be a cool way to update the loot system

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