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(Pocket-lint) - We've finally seen actual gameplay of the forthcoming Borderlands 3 - played it even - and while it is instantly familiar for anyone who has followed the series, there are a number of key new gameplay features.

The game is coming out on 13 September for PS4, Xbox One and PC, with 4K HDR visuals for the enhanced versions of the consoles and high-end gaming rigs, so you won't have too long to wait to check it out for yourself.

In the meantime, here are our five favourite new gameplay additions that we loved in our demo and are sure you will too.

1. Beyond Pandora

The first three Borderlands games - including the Pre-sequel - were mainly based on or around Pandora. And while we love the post-apocalyptic, barren landscape, it's time for something new.

As with the others, Borderlands 3 starts on Pandora but you will soon be travelling to other systems and planets. Your homebase this time around is a giant spacecraft and that enables your playable character to travel to other locations.

The only planet (other than Pandora) to be announced so far is Promethea. It's the futuristic, high-tech homeworld of the Atlas corporation and has a very different aesthetic to anything we've seen in a Borderlands game to date.

2. Alternative firing modes

Some of the new weapons in Borderlands 3 have secondary firing modes. You can switch from firing regular bullets, say, to mini, targeted missiles just through the tap of the down button on your controller's D-pad.

The only caveat is that switching between them takes time and can be impractical in a firefight. We found it was best to do so when hiding behind cover during our preview play.

3. Loot instancing

This is perhaps the biggest change for co-op gaming we've seen in a long time. Borderlands 3 will offer an option called loot instancing and, when active, it balances a game for both players in a co-operative session for their specific levels.

Most games, including previous Borderlands, allow players at radically different character levels to face the same enemies and pick up the same loot. With loot instancing switched on, the players will each get enemies and rewards tailored to their own character level, yet will still play through missions together - either in split-screen or online.

For example, if one player is level 25 and the other level six, the level 25 player will face enemies that are harder and stronger, while the exact same enemies in the co-op game will appear weaker to the level six player. Discovered loot will also be adjusted to suit.

You will also be able to play co-op in classic mode, with a more traditional style of game balancing.

4. Skill trees

Skill trees are much wider in scope in Borderlands 3. Different action skills can be assigned and Zane the Operative can even utilise two different action skills at once - he is unique in that way.

That means he can assign two of the following skills to aid during combat: Digiclone, which summons a temporary clone of himself to fight; Sentinel, which summons a heavily-armed drone; and/or Barrier, which creates a protective energy shield that Zane can fire through, but stops bullets coming from the opposite direction.

5. Tediore guns

While there is a new element in Borderlands 3 - radiation - we haven't really seen enough of it in action yet. So our last of the key new gameplay features is an enhancement on one from former games.

Disposable Tediore guns have been greatly expanded upon for the new game. Instead of reloading them, your character will throw them at the enemy, with often hilarious, destructive effects.

Some of the new effects for legendary Tediore weapons include the creation of Gigamind spiders - basically brains with robotic spider legs that scuttle towards enemies and explode.

We're convinced that discovering all the new abilities will be one of the highlights when Borderlands 3 hits stores on 13 September.

You can read our full, in-depth preview of Borderlands 3 here.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 1 May 2019.