The first gameplay trailer for Borderlands 3 is pretty dense. It's a whirlwind tour of the game's new and returning characters, new planets and a tiny slice of the billion guns that can potentially be conjured up. Gearbox says it will reveal more details on April 3, but in the meantime there's a lot that we can glean from the trailer.
If you haven't watched it yet, or maybe you just want a refresher, take a look at the trailer above. With that done, let's pick it apart.
We'll update this post with more details and the inevitable well-hidden secrets as we find them.
Leaks and their appearance in the teaser meant we already knew about Borderlands 3's playable Vault Hunters, but now we're getting to see them in action. Gearbox hasn't confirmed their names, so I'll just use the ones from the leaks.
There's the slick, eyepatch-wearing Zane; the tanky Siren with magic arms, Amara; the robotic beast master, Flak; and a high-tech soldier, Moze. Mostly we just get to see them shooting many, many guns, but we also get a few glimpses of their special abilities.
Like her fellow Sirens, Amara has mystical powers, and we see her summoning a bunch of magic arms which, judging by what we know from the leak, are possibly related to her groundpound skill. Moze can summon mechs, according to the same leak, and while we don't see that ability in the trailer, we do Zane riding one. Perhaps Moze can summon mechs for other players to use, or maybe it's just one of the new vehicles. There's a few of them.
It's a reunion
The trailer feels a lot like a celebration of Borderlands. It's filled to the brim with familiar faces, including returning Vault Hunters like Lilith, Maya, Brick, Mordecai and Zer0. The latter is hanging out with Rhys, from Tales from the Borderlands, who now sports a funky jacket and a moustache. There's also Tiny (now Regular) Tina, Marcus, Ellie, Sir Hammerlock, Claptrap and a few old enemies, to boot. On stage, Pitchford mentioned Moxxi's back and has a big, very cool bar.
Borderlands 2 also featured plenty of characters from the first game, so this is par for the course, but it does feel like Gearbox is trying to bring everyone together for some big series climax.
Lots of people and aliens and robots, but you'll be wanting specifics. We got another look at what we think are the Calypso twins, Borderlands 3's big bads. We caught a glimpse of them in the teaser, too, but the trailer actually confirms they're bad guys. As if the aggressive hair wasn't giving them away.
We also see them standing over Lilith as she crawls towards something, looking pretty defeated. Her tattoos are gone—it looks like her powers have been taken—so I didn't recognise her at first. There are lots of Sirens popping up across the trailer, including Lilith with her tattoos, and it looks like they'll be a lot more than just cameos. They're definitely linked to the twins, who appear to be after their fancy magic. The female twin definitely looks like's she's pinched Lilith's abilities.
The twins are joined by an army of psychos, mechs, mutants and monsters. Armored heavies, fire-breathing dinosaurs and returning pests like spiderants and varkids all show up. Why haven't they wiped out varkids yet? They're awful. Nuke 'em all and burn the skies.
In the backgrounds of this trailer, you'll see a lot of references to the Calypso twins and their cause, like "Answer Calypso Call" on the signs in the image above. Or "Rupture Upon Us: Holy is the Mouth That Bleeds." Another pleasant one: "Children of the Vault: Give Your Flesh, Take Your Guns." Yikes.
There are plenty of heavily-armed buggies being driven around in the trailer, but they're not the only vehicles in Borderlands 3. We catch Zane strutting around in a mech, while Moze briefly streaks across the screen in a giant wheel. So expect considerably more exotic rides this time around. And they won't just be transporting you across to Pandora, either. This time we'll get to shoot off in a spaceship and explore some other worlds.
While most of the trailer is set on what looks like Pandora, we won't be stuck there. Previously, the furthest we've been is Pandora's moon, but this time we'll be hitting up entirely new worlds.
Borderlands, as the name suggests, doesn't normally venture into big cities, but we'll be visiting at least one corporate-looking metropolis, as well as damp looking swamp world.
The metropolis could be an interesting opportunity to learn a bit more about the awful corporations that run the show, like Atlas. Rhys got his hands on the Atlas certificate that ostensibly gave him possession of the company in Tales from the Borderlands, and he's standing over the Atlas logo in the teaser, so this might be where we meet up with him.
Guns on legs! What a marvellous, terrifying thing. Borderlands 3 will have over a billion guns, presumably with lots of randomly generated properties and surprises. Since looking at a Borderlands gun doesn't really tell you what weird stuff it can do (Does it explode? Shoot acid? Set people on fire?), most of the guns will need to remain a mystery, though you can expect loads of elemental damage and explosions. We definitely see a freeze gun and some other fancy toys.
At the end of the panel, Gearbox's Randy Pitchford said that the studio has been working on Borderlands 3 for five years. That's a long time! Maybe it's out before 2019 is up, then?
Jack's mask appeared in the teaser trailer for Borderlands 3, but don't expect him to show up in the game. "Handsome Jack is dead. You killed him!" said Randy Pitchford. "He's dead. But we're jerks, so we put that in there."
Just so you know.
If the last teaser is anything to go by, there will probably be hidden Easter eggs and secrets lurking within the trailer, so keep an eye out for those, too.