Nearly a decade after the original Borderlands, Gearbox Software has announced a third main installment in the series — alongside a trailer that features a few familiar characters. There’s very little hard detail about its plot, features, or release date, but this marks the first new, numbered game since 2012, and we’ll supposedly learn more about it on April 3rd.
The Borderlands 3 trailer seems to promise the same thing as Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. It looks like a colorful shooter for up to four players, with a distinctive cartoonish style and endless (“over one billion,” up from the original game’s literally world record-holding 17.75 million) varieties of procedurally generated firearms.
Yesterday, a teaser trailer called “Mask of Mayhem” confirmed that several major figures from the earlier games were returning, including the protagonists from the original game. And it gave us a glimpse at the new quartet of playable characters. The latest trailer doesn’t give these protagonists names or character classes, but we get to see them in action with new vehicles, powers, and weapons. There’s also some detail on the villains they’ll be fighting, who are related to something called the “Children of the Vault” — seemingly, in true Borderlands fashion, a cult with a penchant for gladiatorial combat.
The trailer emphasizes saving and exploring “the worlds” in plural, so players might be hopping between more locations than they have in earlier games, which were primarily (but not exclusively) set on the rugged planet of Pandora.
Gearbox has also announced that a free texture upgrade pack is coming out for existing Borderlands games owners on April 3rd. A remastered version of the original game — titled Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition — will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One the same day.
The big question now is whether Borderlands 3 will bring major changes to the series, or whether Gearbox will just expand and refine the formula it developed in earlier installments. So far, it’s mostly done the latter — although there has been a VR port of Borderlands 2 and an excellent Telltale adventure game set in the Borderlands universe.