What If Borderlands 3 Is a Battle Royale?

Jason Fanelli,

March 15, 2019 2:00 PM

Gearbox is teasing Borderlands 3 on its Twitter, but what if the next Borderlands adventure comes bundled with a battle royale mode like Fortnite or Apex Legends? We give some ideas on what that might look like.

A return trip to the Borderlands is coming soon, as developer Gearbox Interactive is teasing some sort of announcement for PAX East at the end of March. All signs point to a third installment - including the sign in the teaser image - but the shooter genre has changed since we last played a Borderlands adventure. Specifically, the battle royale format has completely taken over through PUBG, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and more. This begs the question: if Borderlands 3 dips its toe into the genre, what would a Borderlands battle royale game actually look like? We have a few ideas for how we’d bring the battle royale to the planet Pandora.

Guns, guns, and more guns

The main hook of Borderlands, as we can plainly see from the Borderlands 2 reveal trailer above, is its astronomical gun selection. A Borderlands battle royale should absolutely preserve this, as it will make matches in this world even more unpredictable than it already is. The main BR games have a nice variety of weapons, but players soon learn which ones are worth searching for and which should be discarded. Borderlands Battle Royale can avoid that with its 87 gazillion guns.

Solo, Duos, Quads...in the same match

The other battle royale games have three distinct modes: solo, duos, and teams of either three or four. In a wild and dangerous world like Pandora, there’s no reason to keep those barriers up. Give us a mode where we can decide to jump in solo, with another, or with three others, and put all of those random groups into one match. Solo and duo players could receive some buffs, sure, but a random squad size mode would fit the insanity of Pandora well.

This scene from Borderlands 2 would make just as much sense in the realm of a battle royale.
This scene from Borderlands 2 would make just as much sense in the realm of a battle royale.

Keep Pandora Dangerous

You know what makes Pandora so treacherous in the first place? The deformed mutant wildlife that populates it...and I’m not even talking about the bandits. A Borderlands battle royale should dot its map with the occasional pack of Skags or flock of Rakk and give us something to shoot at while we’re looking for opponents to shoot at. There’s an obvious risk in engaging these enemies, namely giving up your position, so if they dropped unique gear or a guaranteed rare weapon that might make killing them worth it. Of course, killing them so they don’t kill you first is also a good idea, but the extra loot will be a nice extra incentive.

They’re Vault Hunters right? Give them a vault!

In other battle royale games the circle just shrinks and shrinks until it no longer exists, forcing players into the center of wherever it’s closing. If this hypothetical Borderlands battle royale wanted to change things up, why not have a Vault pop up when the circle gets to be a certain size? Sometimes the vault contains epic weapons that can tip the scales in a match, sometimes it contains The Warrior or a similar big baddie. The risk lies in being the first to open it...and that’s as Borderlands as it gets.

Challenges? No, Quests!

Fortnite keeps things fresh by inserting weekly challenges into the main game. Collect these or go to these locations, whatever the challenge is players love to check them off as they compete in the main battle royale. A Borderlands battle royale has an entire quest line to draw from, so why not let players relive some of the quick ones here? We would smile from ear to ear if we randomly found Face McShooty (see below) in the battle royale arena, that’d be an excellent callback.

What’s The Best Way To “Demo” This?

The final conundrum is simple: if this new game is Borderlands 3, a full entry in the series, then what’s the best way to implement this battle royale mode? Does Gearbox include it in the full package for $60 a la Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII? Should the studio release it for free alongside the new game and potentially cannibalize its own sales?

No, we have a better idea: create the battle royale mode separately from the main game, then release it as the game’s demo. Instead of giving us a random mission or two with only one of the available classes, load the battle royale mode with BL3’s new mechanics and guns and let us learn how to play Borderlands 3 in a free-for-all battle royale setting. We understand this is a mighty undertaking and likely won’t happen, but the idea fits right into the Borderlands canon, does it not? Chaos on Pandora, and a heap of players that would love every second of it. Think about it Gearbox!

Check out some more great Twin Galaxies content, including a look at HypeZone Apex Legends and how a Japanese slot machine may have revealed the future of an iconic fighting game character.


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