Mechanical and aesthetic variety and inventiveness in gear and weapons is vital in any game centred around loot, and there’s very few games out there that succeed in that area as emphatically as Borderlands does. We’ve already heard plenty about how the upcoming looter shooter plans to inject variety into its massive collection of weapons, and how it plans to leverage that to inject similar variety into combat, and recently, while speaking with GamingBolt in a group interview at E3 2019, Gearbox Software senior producer Anthony Nicholson spoke on that a little bit more.
While speaking with GamingBolt, Nicholson went into the process of how ideas for all these different weapons come about. “That’s always a thing that we think about, right?” said Nicholson. “A lot of that stuff comes from the team interacting with each other. A lot of our guns start with getting in a room together and bouncing things around with each other, and coming up with crazy things like that. There are certainly things we wanted to do in the past, or we are thinking about doing in the future. So a lot of that comes together whenever we are in there building the game. The challenge with making all of the different guns is finding the right touch to mix with that gameplay, and mix with those barriers.”
Nicholson then went on to speak about a few such guns in the game, from weapons that bounce around to others that literally shoot hamburgers (seriously), and how these, on top of other new mechanics that are being introduced (such as weapon brands) help players approach combat from a variety of different ways.
“Like you said. there are different guns that do different things,” he said. “We have guns that shoot hamburgers. We have guns with legs, or ones that bounces. But all of these go into the game with the way that you’re playing, too. You can set up those different combat pockets in the game knowing how those guns interact. We have the Atlas guns for the first time in this game, where you can actually place a tracker dart and now you’re smart bullets— you can go hide around the corner and shoot and it will tackle them. If you saw the newest trailer, we have a gun that shoots guns. I think that’s the most meta thing that we could’ve done.”
Nicholson was full of praise for the development team, and how it is always trying to outdo itself, which, in his view, is what leads to this constant upping of variety (and wackiness) in in-game weapons.
“The team is really great,” he said. “Jimmy Barnett and those guys who work with guns have a passion and dedication to building on top of the foundation that we’ve already laid down throughout the series. We’re always trying to top ourselves. One of the things I like to say is that we get better or we get worse, you never stay the same. So you have to constantly be trying to get better with each thing you do each day. That embodies the team at Gearbox. We try to build on what we’ve done before and work together and expand on different types of gameplay and the guns themselves.”
In the same interview, Nicholson also spoke to us about how Borderlands 3 expands on its social and co-op elements, and how important narrative is going to be to the game. Read more about both through the links.
Borderlads 3 is out on September 13 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Our full interview with Nicholson will be live soon, so stay tuned.