Catch-A-Ride on the Borderlands 3 Rumour Train
So, you want to hear a story, huh? One about Borderlands 3 …
Back in 2009, one of my personal favourite games of all time hit the shelves worldwide: Borderlands. Bringing a wonderfully inventive new art style and an inappropriately hilarious comedic sense with it, the game swept the world to critical acclaim, and soon spawned a sequel, a pre-sequel, and several episodes from Telltale Games.
Developed by Gearbox and published by 2K Games, it’s been five long years since Borderlands 2 was released, and whilst it still plays brilliantly, it feels like the time for a sequel is ready and waiting. And that’s exactly what we’re getting. Hopefully.
The first sign of a third entry came at PAX South 2015, announced by Gearbox’s CEO, Randy Pitchford. Since then, we’ve had a few more references, but nothing concrete. In 2016, we learnt it was in development, and we also now know that the art director from Borderlands 2 will be returning, but not the lead writer. We also saw a little graphical demo, but it didn’t really show off much at all, and seemed to be in very early stages still. Much like the Vaults of Pandora, Borderlands 3 remains an illusive mystery to even the best Vault Hunters out there, although it should be remembered that it’s still early days.
But, if we know it’s coming, what should we expect? Given it will be making the jump up to current-gen consoles, as well as using Unreal Engine 4, it’s pretty safe to say that Borderlands 3 will make quite a few radical changes whilst tightening and improving smaller areas to perfection. Whilst the art style is remaining the same (in all its black outline goodness), it will be getting very specific attention to improve it to its maximum capabilities, just like they did with Borderlands 2 by mixing up the colour palette.
A wider array of landscapes, gun types and monsters than ever before may also be on the menu, as well as one of the areas the game has traditionally come under flack for: vehicles. Sure, Borderlands has never been about driving/flying/sailing about for hours on end, but it’d be nice to see some genuine intuition and creativity put into the types and variety of vehicles, as well as their mechanics in-game. What is important, however, is that things don’t change too dramatically in regards to other aspects – Borderlands 2 made very few changes to the core of the game, and the sequel needs to do the same.
How much will the Pre-Sequel effect things? Well, it might not have been as successful or lauded as the previous two games, but it did do a decent job of trying to shake things up for the better. The oxygen situation, low gravity, cryo effects, and weapon grinder were all new and interesting mechanics that showed the series still has plenty of potential left.
Borderlands 3, as the next main entry, would need to continue this, providing even more new content whilst honing and allowing players to keep up with older content too. Keep raid bosses, keep quirky characters (can’t wait to get some more Claptrap, that’s for sure), keep a variety of playable characters and, for the love of Pandora, make all bosses farmable! It’s still quite unfathomable why TPS decided to change this, as it removed one of the core features players loved in the predecessors.
Speaking of Pandora, it seems we’ll be leaving it and its moon/space station behind. Hidden away in Battleborn’s Attikus and the Thrall Rebellion DLC lies a Vault symbol and a single word: Promethea. This word has quite a large significance in the Borderlands universe: it just so happens to be one of the neighbouring planets to Pandora, so it seems our favourite Vault Hunters will be following up on the map they found at the end of the second game. Borderlands 2, TPS and the Telltale series all left quite a lot of hanging questions over the future, so there’s no lack of plot potential for Borderlands 3 to target and shoot at with a bajillion different weapons.
Not much else is known about Borderlands 3, although it seems a release date might be early 2019. 2K announced that a sequel for one of its major franchises would be released around then, and with the knowledge that it’s on the way, it seems pretty unlikely not to be Borderlands 3. It’s no guarantee, but it seems a good shot at the moment. And in a game about guns, a good shot is all you need.
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