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Published on September 5th, 2019 | by minshewnetworks

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Could Borderlands 3 Be Redemption for Gearbox?

August is at an end, and September is upon us. If you’re an avid video gamer, there’s probably one new release you’ve been keeping an eye out for all year, and that’s Borderlands 3, from Gearbox Software. On the face of it, it’s the first new Borderlands game since 2014. If you’re a purist, it’s actually the first new Borderlands game since 2012. That’s because Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – the 2014 release, wasn’t actually developed by Gearbox.

Much has changed since the last wholly Gearbox-made Borderlands game was released. The popularity of the Borderlands franchise hasn’t diminished – hence the strong level of interest in the forthcoming release – but it hasn’t exactly been a great few years for Gearbox themselves. They’ve released a couple of games since the last Gearbox; Battleborn, and Aliens: Colonial Marines; which were supposed to be knockout hits. Instead, they were miserable failures in terms of commercial performance. That would be disappointing enough, but the development company has also found itself in the mainstream news for all the wrong reasons.

Randy Pitchford’s Legal Issues

The man at the top of the free inside Gearbox is Randy Pitchford. He’s the co-founder of the company, and he currently holds the title of CEO. He’s also embroiled in an ugly-looking legal scandal which currently shows no signs of going away. Among the less troubling things he’s been accused of is awarding himself a $12m personal advance against future profits, which has hurt the development of the new Borderlands game. The less palatable end of the scale is a suggestion that he had indecent photographs of minors on a USB stick. Pitchford has denied both allegations, but no resolution is expected until the case proceeds to trial.

With the company having endured poor returns on games which were expected to sell well, and the suggestion that their founding father has deprived them of twelve million dollars, Gearbox needs a big hit to put the rough few years they’ve had behind them and shift the focus back onto what it is that they do best – making video games. They won’t have a better opportunity to do so than with the latest Borderlands game – so is it up to the task?

What Should We Expect In The Game?

The biggest news for long-term Borderlands fans is probably that Shift Codes are back. For those who haven’t come across the term before (or have forgotten it in the many years since Borderlands 2), shift codes are basically what Borderlands has instead of loot boxes. They enhance the gameplay experience, but don’t cost you anything. All you need to get a shift code is a sharp eye.

In the past, Gearbox has released shift codes either via their social media accounts, or at other promotional events. Some of them remain valid forever, while others are time-limited, so you’re rewarded for paying attention to their output! It’s a clever promotional tactic, but it also improves the game. Shift codes can give you ‘golden keys.’ which can be unlocked to gain access to powerful weapons. Sometimes, a shift code will just give you a neat cosmetic effect, like a special outfit or a new skin. They’re not all as effective as each other, but as they’re free, we shouldn’t complain.

Does This Mean There Won’t Be Any Loot Boxes?

We really, really hope so. We’re tired of beating the drum about loot boxes now, and by this point, we hope that all major game developers are getting the message that it’s unacceptable to put paid-for loot boxes in games that people have already paid full retail price for. To reiterate the point one more time:- Loot boxes are gambling. Loot boxes work like mobile slots do; you pay money to take a chance on a positive return. In a mobile slots game, that positive return is a winning combination, or a jackpot. With a loot box, that positive return is an item or another benefit that’s worth more than you paid for it. You know what you’re getting yourself involved with when you play mobile slots in related casinos or their sister sites but loot boxes hide behind the guise of being part of the game. They aren’t, and shouldn’t be treated as such.

Gearbox has said that there will be no ‘microtransactions’ in the game, which sounds like confirmation there are no loot boxes to us. They’re certainly finding other ways to cash in, though. The game will cost $60 as a vanilla release, but there are also versions available at $80, $100, $120, and $250, all with various perks and pieces of DLC to distinguish them. If part of the game is hidden behind a paywall that only those willing to pay three figures are able to access, we’ll feel the same about that as we do about loot boxes. We won’t know that for sure until the game is released, though, so we’ll reserve judgment.

Will It Be A Hit?

We expect it to sell in big numbers in the first few days of its release. How it fares after that will depend on the quality of the game. We must say we don’t feel as excited as we should do from the trainers; the graphics look slightly last-gen, and don’t appear to have come on all that much since the previous game. We’ve also been told that the single-player story mode is thirty hours long, which is less than we’d expect from a big-time game release which has spent this long in development.

The co-op mode, which involves four players, might add more depth to the game. The online features could yet prove to be a game-changer, too. Also, we have to admit we like the idea of being in space, and that base-camp is basically a giant spaceship which we can use to fly wherever we please. That should give the game an open-world feel, and perhaps a few distractions from the comparatively short storytime. The proof, however, will be in the playing – and it’s still a couple of weeks before we’ll be able to do that. You know where to look for our thoughts on the finished product – right here on this website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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