Hands-on with the Latest Borderlands 3 Demo Build
Hands-on with the Latest Borderlands 3 Demo Build
When you think of highly anticipated games in 2019, especially in September, then chances are that Borderlands 3 is at the top of that list. As we draw closer to the game’s release date, it’s inevitable to learn more and more about the game. Well, we’ve learned a lot more than we expected all of a sudden.
We were invited by 2K Games to attend a private demo session of Borderlands 3 in Singapore, where we managed to get a hands-on experience with the game. The demo session was divided into two parts; playing as FL4K at Level 1, and playing as any Vault Hunter at Level 22.
Playing as FL4K, The Beastmaster
Now for this particular part of the demo, it doesn’t feel like it would be any different with any other Vault Hunter. After all, we start at Level 1 with no usable active skills. We start off much like in the Gearbox livestream showing the demo of the game, where we are greeted by Claptrap.
Soon after, you’ll be chasing after Claptrap and defeating hordes of Psychos along the way, including a boss-type Psycho. This seems to be the very beginning of Borderlands 3, which explains why we’re fighting against arguably the weakest enemies known in the series. I won’t go into story details to avoid any potential spoilers.
In this part of the game, it will teach you everything you need to know, including the new sliding mechanic. Not gonna lie, the game feels like a huge improvement over Borderlands 2 and the Pre-Sequel not just graphically but the overall feel of the game. Guns don’t feel as synthetic as it was last time, and even a simple pistol feels like it could legitimately kill enemies.
The alternate firing for weapons can be a bit of a hit or miss. The handgun that shoots rockets, which it can be particularly helpful, it doesn’t do much on damage so it can be a bit disappointing. It ultimately depends on what weapons you have but I foresee most players sticking to the primary mode of firing and only use the alternate firing mode sparingly.
By the time I managed to reach Level 2, I was informed that this part of the demo is over, so they then brought me to the next portion of the demo.
Playing as Zane Flynt
In this part of the Borderlands 3 hands-on demo session, we were allowed to play as any Vault Hunter as we would like and it would be taking at a later portion of the game. As such, this is why the chosen character will be stronger, Level 22 to be precise. As for where exactly it takes place in the game, that we are uncertain. The Vault Hunter that I chose is Zane Flynt, solely because his skill tree is pretty strong early on.
This part of the game starts off in a jungle-type area, where the enemies are odd monstrosities rather than people. While you do have your typical Skags, there are new variety of creatures around to fight against. I was even lucky enough to bump into a Badass version early on, which was surprisingly tough at first. Not only did they take little damage, they dish out quite a painful amount if you get hit by them.
As far as equipment goes, nothing that I have picked up personally was usable. This was because my character did not meet the level requirement for those weapons. I find it odd that all of the equipment I picked up can’t be used but I do believe it will be different in the final retail version. As far as looting is concerned, it has gotten easier as ammo is picked up automatically whereas equipment needs to be manually picked up.
I do have some rather powerful equipment so no complaints there. The weapons I have include rifles and shotguns, some with semi-firing options and some with elemental bonuses. For instance, my semi-auto rifle will also deal burning damage while my shotgun fires lighting elemental damage. I tend to stick to my shotgun not because of the elemental but because of the area-of-effect damage upon contact. Along with high damage, it made crowd control a lot easier.
Zane’s Action Skills are reminiscent of Handsome Jack (the playable version) in Pre-Sequel. You have the Digi-Clone which can shoot at enemies and distract them. Then you have the SNTNL drone that flies through the environment and attacks enemies with Machine Guns. Lastly is the Barrier, which will block incoming projectiles but you and your friends will deal amplified damage if you shoot out of the barrier. Which part of the skill tree to level will up depend on your playstyle. I personally disregarded the Barrier and went for the other two as it seemed like the most damaging options.
Again, I must say that I am impressed with the game thus far, more so than the previous part of the demo. In this part, things actually got quite chaotic and sometimes ridiculous even. But I still feel like it’s fair amount of challenge and it will definitely be enough to force players to think instead of just blasting their way through. The game itself doesn’t feel too different from previous entries but it certainly does look and feel more polished.
Based on the demo build that we have played, we have high hopes on Borderlands 3 being a major success not just in the series but within the games industry. Sure, there were glitches, including one where I got stuck with no way of progressing but to be fair, it is a test build so such issues are to be expected and will be ironed out in time for the final release.
Given that we played on the PS4 Pro, we have hopes that it will look much better on PC. Not only that, I’m sure many would prefer playing the game on keyboard and mouse rather than controller (myself included). If you’re wondering whether you should pre-order Borderlands 3 or not, my preliminary verdict based on my own personal experience with the demo is a resounding yes.
There’s expected to be more details on the game when Gamescom has commenced. We’ve been told that you can expect something on 20th August 2019 at precisely 2AM GMT+8 / 19th August 2019 11AM PST.
Borderlands 3 will be coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Epic Games Store on 13th September 2019.