After a very long wait, fans of the Borderlands series finally managed to find comfort early this year knowing that work on Borderlands 3 is currently in progress. That is not to say that we have received direct and unquestioned confirmation from the creators about the same, but the hints that Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford dropped at this year’s Game Developers Conference was enough to drive home the point.
The truth is that Borderlands fans have been waiting for a really long time to hear something concrete about Borderlands 3. But varied information from the creators’ camp ended up confounding them more than anything else. Around 2015, Pitchford stated publicly that the next main entry in the acclaimed series was definitely on their minds, and he added that it had to be huge in order to live up to the high standards that the franchise had set for itself and to the expectations of fans.
But it was not until 2016 that we heard talks about commencing the development of the highly anticipated sequel to Borderlands 2. Pitchford told fans that work would start as soon as they were done with their 2016 title Battleborn and its DLC content. But the good news was that some notable familiar names (Mikey Newmann, Scott Kester) were coming back to continue the journey with their contributions.
Thanks to all of this, we can now expect that Borderlands 3 is currently in the works (Battleborn is long done). But the biggest hint came during Gearbox’s GDC 2017 showing where they demonstrated a new technology that they were working on. While nothing specific was said about Borderlands 3, what we saw featured some elements that unquestionably belonged to the world of Borderlands. The fact that we had never seen them before fortify our belief that these were, indeed, elements taken from the upcoming series addition that is rumored to be in progress. The most notable elements that we spotted were a barren location and a female character who was all suited up, Borderlands style.
Pitchford never confirmed that any of it belonged to the upcoming entry, but he did mention that the tech was something that could be used in the next Borderlands game. So now that we are sure for the most part that Borderlands 3 is in development, we are really happy that Gearbox is working on some next generation visual technology to bring into Borderlands 3. The Borderlands series has received critical acclaim from all quarters and has become an influential series in the history of gaming for a lot of factors, but one can never ignore the contribution that its unique graphics had in this.
The one thing that we have all wanted to see in Borderlands 3 is a huge leap forward in terms of its graphics. But the fact that the developers are working hard to achieve that is very good to hear. Going by the demo Pitchford showed, the series’ trademark cel-shaded comic book-type graphics is definitely getting some polish. The new technology, the Gearbox Chief said, was being developed based on the Unreal Engine 4 which has been used to build notable titles like Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, and Kingdom Hearts 3, and also the highly anticipated Shenmue 3 that is set to release in 2017.
On all other fronts, such as in-game details like environments, weapons, and enemies, we trust Gearbox to know exactly what is best for Borderlands 3. We hope to hear more concrete news from Pitchford himself soon.