During the Opening Night Live show at this year’s Gamescom, Paul Sage, creative director on Borderlands 3, announced two new game modes. Well, one is proper new, the other is making a return. They’re both new in the sense that they haven’t been announced yet. Shush. The old one is called Circle of Slaughter, while the new one is Proving Grounds. They’re both going to be more challenging than playing the game regularly, and here’s how they work.
If you’ve played the previous games, you might remember the Circle of Slaughter. It’s your standard horde mode – waves of enemies come to you, and you murder them indiscriminately. Each wave is more difficult than the one before it, and the goal is to survive the whole five rounds. When you’re downed, you don’t get to revive yourself – unless there’s someone there to help you up, the run is over. Apart from killing enemies, you’ll get bonus objectives for using melee attacks or grenades, which will increase your overall score. All the while, Mister Torgue will shout obscenities at you from the speaker system. Sounds delightful.
Meanwhile, the Proving Grounds are completely new. They’re a late game activity, and involve completing a race against the clock. You’ll have to clear out three areas and defeat the boss at the end in half an hour. If you do, an Overseer will stamp your passport, which makes you worthy. The better you perform, the better the rewards at the end will be. There will be bonus objectives here as well, but you’ll also get points for time unspent, killing Fallen Guardians roaming the area, or not dying. That doesn’t really sound easily doable, but then again, it’s not supposed to be. You’re a Vault Hunter, suck it up.