The next entry in the Borderlands series is closer than you’d think, with an all new game just two months away.
Borderlands is a Mad Max-esque western world mixed with space fantasy, where every character has their own dark or whacky story to tell.
The first Borderlands game was released in 2009, and everything thereafter has been a hit.
Earlier this year, Gearbox Software and 2K released a Dungeons & Dragons inspired first-person shooter/adventure game, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which is set within the Borderlands universe.
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The reception to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands further cemented the fan’s love for the franchise.
Come October 21 we’ll get our next Borderlands fix in the form of New Tales from the Borderlands, a narrative-driven adventure game.
This is not a first-person shooter.
New Tales from the Borderlands, much like the earlier Tales from the Borderlands (2014), is a choice-based, story-heavy game where every decision you make makes an imprint. This time around there are five chapters to play through.
9News.com.au sat down with the team at Gearbox Software to learn more about the game and how decisions made effect the story experience.
“We worked with the philosophy that all of the choices in this game are important. All of them have have immediate consequence,” said Lin Joyce, head writer for the game.
“If you are picking one of four choices, you are opting out of three, right? And that one that you chose is is unique, and it is going to inform your experience in a way that the other three choices wouldn’t have.
Joyce says there aren’t just immediate consequences in the player’s decisions, some of them have lasting effects.
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During the interview, the Gearbox Software team played through a demo of the game which saw the three main characters, Octavio, Fran and Anu, navigate their way through a sewer to reach a “Vault”.
Moments throughout the playthrough the player was faced with a series of questions that will all paint the path forward – some of them with fatal consequences.
Some decisions in the game can lead you to a “hard fail”, where a character is more than likely killed as a result of the player’s decision.
Director of Production for New Tales of the Borderlands, James Lopez, told 9News.com.au in the case of a hard fail, the player must go back and try again.
“We want to encourage people to try everything. And that is the general phrase that I came up with – so, copyright, trademarks, all that sort of stuff,” Lopez laughed.
If you make a decision and you’re not too happy with the outcome, players will need to reload the checkpoint and try again.
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We asked the question; If you want to play out each decision, can you skip the cutscenes up until that choice is made? As expected, the answer is no.
“The cutscenes are actually our delivery mechanism that gets you to the choices, you know, and unlike some games, where the cinematic sequences are something that’s like a break from the action or a moment for you to take a sip of water or whatever, it’s the train tracks that are delivering you to the next choice.” Lopez said.
“If you try to see whether you will live or die, you might stumble across a soft fail. That unlocks like a new narrative chain that you might not ever discover if you’re just always constantly playing to win or playing to live.”
Narrative choices, while the main gameplay mechanic, aren’t the only way forward. Player’s will face Quick Time Events (QTEs) that will see them test their concentration and timing skills.
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One other unique gameplay elements shown in the demo was Vaultlanders, a collectable based battle system that sees two character face off with little action figures.
It was hilarious to watch these two characters battle it out with toys like children.
Borderland’s comedy never misses.
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