Judging by the near-constant applause, Borderlands 3‘s central theme was ironically lost on most people in the crowd. There are two types of attendees at this event: Media and Influencer — at least that’s how the badges distinguish everyone — and it feels like the latter outweighs the former five to one. Funny, considering that Borderlands 3‘s whole story revolves around how streamers will send us to hell in a handbasket. Or, more appropriately, to hell with a hand grenade.

“Like, follow, and obey,” goes the slogan of the Calypso Twins — Borderlands 3‘s main villains and leaders of the Children of the Vault cult. Senior producer Anthony Nicholson cuts to the chase: “[The Calypso Twins are] more akin to stuff we know in the present time of the games industry. They’re more influencers and live-streaming. They’re doing a lot of casting out on speakers, trying to recruit people. You see TVs throughout that are broadcasting trying to get people, their fans, to like, follow, and obey.”

The twins, Troy and Tyreen, are all hubris and jackassery. They’re formidable spiritual stand-ins for Handsome Jack, taking up the mantle as someone you love to hate. So, why does this room full of streamers and influencers loudly approve of a game that pokes fun at and vilifies their lifestyle? Maybe it’s naivety. But it’s probably because Borderlands 3 looks so damn good.

We played an hour of Borderlands 3 and now we're believers screenshot

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We played an hour of Borderlands 3 and now we’re believers

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