I’ve already played a bit of Borderlands 3, back at E3 in June. It’s a lot like Borderlands 2, only with bumslides and multiple planets. If the borders Borderlands has borne so far are yet to bore, then you will probably like this. You will probably also like Zane, a lovable Irish rogue with holographic decoys and deployable shields. Look, he’s so lovable he’s got his very own trailer.
It’s like if Mad Sweeney off of American Gods wound up shooting aliens and deranged topless bandits. Which he comes close to, come to think of it. American Gods is weird.
I only played for half an hour, and only for about five minutes as Zane before realising I could instead play as a psionic brawler who leaps around punching people with dozens of ghost arms. Zane obviously can’t compete with that, but he’s still pleasingly tricksy. He’s a sneaky gadgetman who can deploy a distracting drone, then swap places with one of those holograms. The other three playable characters can only use one ability at a time, but Zane doesn’t care about the rules. He gets to bumslide about with two abilities at once, though that does mean he has to forgo grenades.
I really would have much more interest in him if not for Amara the Siren, who’ll no doubt get her own intro in the coming weeks. It’s nothing personal, Zane. I like being tricksy, but I like being mobile more.
Borderlands 3 still has me umming and ahhing. “Um”, I say: “this immediately felt intimately familiar, and I dropped out of Borderlands 2 after about fifteen hours – well before the end”. “Ah”, I go, “but those were a solid fifteen hours”.
The game’s due for September 13th on the Epic Games Store, then elsewhere six months later. I’d say that gives me time to make up my mind, but Graham’s probably going to get me to review the damn thing anyway.