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Gearbox shows off Arms Race, the new Borderlands 3 co-op battle royale-alike

Because sure, why not?

Showing off a large gun in Borderlands 3 Image: Gearbox Software/2K Games via Polygon

Borderlands 3 has a big, expansive setting compared to the other two games, and it’s about to get a little bigger. Gearbox announced Arms Race, which is “the galaxy’s premier reality murder show!” Arms Race takes place on a new map. Much like battle royale games, players will drop onto the map with no gear, abilities, or tools. Then, they’ll search the map to find power-ups and race towards the final section of the map.

However, this is a co-operative roguelike mode, and players aren’t brawling with other squads of players as in a game like Apex Legends. Instead, they’re working their way through the Stormblind Complex, fighting off AI enemies. Players can only revive each other at certain points, and if everyone dies, the match is over and all loot is lost.

Arms Race is primed to take advantage of some of the best parts of Borderlands, which is promising. In our review of Borderlands 3, Polygon praised the gunplay.

“In Borderlands 3, you once again have a nearly limitless array of guns to collect, sell, and use in combat, which makes every pickup potentially exciting,” Polygon’s Ben Kuchera wrote. “Finding a gun with a unique or enjoyable collection of modifiers and abilities is one of the series’ greatest joys.”

The mode stars the usual four characters, and Axton and Salvador from Borderlands 2 serve as announcers. The catch is that the players, if they survive the map and its “murdercane” (murder hurricane), get to keep the loot they earned along the way.

Arms Race is set to launch on Nov. 10, and is included in the game’s second season pass.

Update (Oct. 30): This article has been edited to include new information that further clarified the nature and genre of Arms Race.