What made Borderlands so great? Some may say it was the shooting, or the looting, or the deft combination of both. However, when I think about what I loved about the games, I always think about the characters. Not just the eclectic cast of maniacs like Handsome Jack or T.K. Baha, but the playable characters as well. In previous games, the cast of vault hunters was expanded with paid DLC. However, it seems that the traditions could stop with Borderlands 3.
It’s an unexpected decision on developer Gearbox’s part. Studio head Randy Pitchford seems just fine and dandy with providing cosmetics at DLC — despite once claiming there will be no microtransactions. But it appears that cosmetics are currently the only content on the agenda. At least, that’s the plan at the moment. Pitchford has taken to Twitter, explaining that the studio will focus on the current vault hunters introduced in Borderlands 3, instead of creating new ones.
We are focused on the main game for now, but my feelings are that it might be better for us to put our time into expanding what the existing vault hunters can do and how interesting their future growth is instead of adding new ones to start over with. Data seems to support this.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) May 4, 2019
Pitchford explained the reasoning in a later reply. In response to DLC vault hunters arguing that more characters result in additional playtime, Pitchford said that it’s only “true for some users.” Instead, he says that the “analysis of the data suggests the vast majority of players would benefit from expansion to existing characters ahead of the creation of new characters.”
Three’s a Crowd, Four’s a Party
It’s would be a shame not to see the game receive some fresh blood later down the line. While the original Borderlands didn’t come out with more vault hunters, both its sequel and The Pre-Sequel introduced us to some new personalities. Borderlands 2 had both Gaige the Technomancer, and Krieg the Psycho. The Pre-Sequel saw both Jack the Doppelgänger, and Aurelia the Baroness.
My argument here is that all four characters were clever, unique, and great to play. Say what you want about Gearbox (there are some nice things, perhaps), the team knows how to make memorable and one-of-a-kind characters. While we have yet to see what Amara, FL4K, Moze, and Zane bring to the table in Borderlands 3, I’m hoping they’ll be just as remarkable. It’s just a shame they’ll be the only playable vault hunters around — it’s kills me that I can’t play as Brick or Zer0 again.
Borderlands 3 launches for PC on September 13 as a limited time exclusive for the Epic Games Store. It will be available on the Steam platform starting in April 2020.
Cam has been shooting for high scores since his days playing on the Atari 2600. Writing about video games since 2005, Cam has also worked with GameSpot, GamesRadar, and PlayBoy.