The video game that helped create the term "loot shooter" is back.
On Friday, publisher 2K Games released "Borderlands 3," the long-anticipated sequel from the video game franchise developed 10 years ago by studio Gearbox Software.
The game, which serves as the proper follow-up to 2012's "Borderlands 2," features four Vault Hunters seeking unlimited treasures on the planet Pandora and beyond. It boasts a similar vibe to movies like Mad Max but features animated visuals resembling comic books.
Here's everything you need to know about "Borderlands 3," which is available for PC through the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Friday, and launches on Steam's PC platform in April.
What is Borderlands about?
The first game launched in 2009, blending elements of games like Diablo into a first-person shooter. Players chose one of four Vault Hunters to explore the world, fight bandits, monsters and other villains, and stockpile an array of weapons and gear of different rarities. Each character has their own set of abilities which players could tailor however they choose.
What set Borderlands apart was its visual style, the game's humor and the overwhelming arsenal players unearthed as they roamed Pandora.
Three more games were released since "2009: Borderlands 2" and 2014's "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel."
Separately, Telltale Games created an episodic adventure game based on the Borderlands franchise in 2014.
It's also responsible for one of the most beloved video game characters: the tiny robot Claptrap.
What's different this time?
As with other games, "Borderlands 3" introduces four new Vault Hunters.
* Amara, a siren who can summon six magical fists.
* Moze, an assault class who can create and pilot her own mech.
* FL4K, an artificial intelligence who uses pets to help him track and fight enemies.
* Zane, who uses gadgets to gain a competitive edge.
Each character features a set of skills players can personalize based on how they want to tackle the game, so there's plenty of flexibility and personalization.
There's also a new story: Vault Hunters must take on the Calypso Twins, Tyreen and Troy, who are attempting to unite clans of bandits and consolidate power.
Also, instead of just visiting one planet, players get a wider universe to explore. Gearbox promises planets will have their own unique terrains and enemies players must conquer.
Is it any good?
According to Metacritic, the average score on reviews for the PC version of "Borderlands 3" is 85 (no info on PS4 or Xbox One versions yet).
IGN appears to have the most glowing praise of the game, giving it a 95 out of 100, saying the game "sticks to its guns and manages to outdo itself." Gamespot was also positive about the game, calling it a "welcome return to form" from "The Pre-Sequel."
PC Gamer was less enthusiastic, noting "Borderlands 3" feels like it's stuck in time. Polygon's review appears to echo similar thoughts. "The franchise used to feel adventurous. Now, without any fresh ideas or concepts, it's little more than a holdover from a different time."
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