(Over) Analyzing The Recent Borderlands Pre-Sequel Rumors

(UPDATE: Looks like this one is confirmed now.)

Recently, I’ve seen a rumor crop up about a pre-sequel Borderlands game set to release later this year, taking place between the events of Borderlands 1 and 2. I read through them a couple times and I can’t help but notice a few logic issues with the rumored game.

Before we dive into it though, here’s the actual rumor as suggested by GamePointsNow. According to reports, a new Borderlands game is slated to hit PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 systems later this year from 2K Australia. It focuses on the events between the previously released games and specifically how Handsome Jack managed to take power of the Hyperion Corporation. Players will battle through the H-shaped Hyperion station and also on Pandora’s moon Elpis.

New mechanics being introduced include low gravity, player jetpacks, cryo and laser weapons, and also the need for players to find and manage an oxygen meter while outside on the moon. According the the reports, this will be a major gameplay element. Players can select from four new classes as well: Athena the Gladiator, Wilhelm the Enforcer, Nisha the Lawbringer, and Fragtrap, a combat ready ClapTrap robot.

For those keeping score at home, three of the four classes have already been introduced as characters previously. Athena was in the General Knoxx DLC for the first Borderlands game as a Crimson Lance defector and ally to the Vault Hunters. Wilhelm was a boss character in Borderlands 2 and also a half-human/half-loader hybrid. Finally, Nisha’s appearance seems to be very similar to the Sheriff of Lynchwood from Borderlands 2 who was also Jack’s girlfriend.

The main details seem to revolve around being on Pandora’s moon for this game and reports indicate that oxygen will be a primary component. Makes sense considering you’re in space on a moon, but what happens for players who pick Fragtrap, a robot who, obviously, doesn’t need oxygen. Can they really introduce a mechanic that makes that relevant and not come off as strange or forced? It just seems strange to me to introduce a core mechanic that won’t have any effect on one of the player classes.

I also find it a bit strange that the game isn’t in development for next generation consoles (Xbox One and PlayStation 4) especially considering that it’s releasing later in 2014. You’d have thought 2K would have planned ahead to reach the maximum amount of people. For me anyway, it makes you wonder about the potential of reused assets including guns and the environment especially when on newer consoles, they’d have to be reworked under the increased hardware specifications.

So for now, we’ll call this one a wild rumor as we know Randy Pitchford has been adamant that his team at Gearbox is not working on a new Borderlands game. Of course, you can speculate that he didn’t quash the notion that someone else could be. I’ve really enjoyed this franchise since it’s initial release, but this rumor begs the question: do you want more Borderlands so soon, even after a constant stream of DLC for Borderlands 2? Should they just wait and work on a brand new entry into the series rather than digging through familiar material?

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