Borderlands is an expansive yet storied franchise. It's almost impossible to cover the entire chronological timeline of this action role-playing FPS that sways back and forth between western science and fantasy.
Created by Gearbox, Borderlands has a faithful following that has built up over the years with every new release of the game. Here’s a timeline of some of the main events in the life of the franchise.
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Release date: October 20, 2009
Supported platforms: Mac, Xbox 360, Xone, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
The plot starts with a vault and people who spend their lives chasing the legend of the Vault without knowing whether it was true or not.
It so happened that four vault hunters with help from a mysterious guardian angel found a piece of the Vault key.
To find the other fragments of the key, the Vault Finders had to fight their way through skags, psychos, and soldiers.
The finders were able to finally piece the key together with assistance from the angel. But the key was stolen by the Crimson Lance which was a personal army of the Atlas Corporation.
The Army opened the Vault and in it found unimaginable riches which include heavy weapons, and alien technology. In the Vault, a nightmare emerged—an Alien with lasers and whose tentacles threatened to consume the universe.
Other than the ground-breaking content generation system, the game has an intriguing weapons system with unlimited weapons and item drops.
The game introduces players to multiple characters who include Mordecai, Roland, Lilith, and Brick. Each of the players has different roles in the game.
To complement the story, the game has a unique art style in which the player becomes a treasure hunter. You can choose to engage in the four-player co-op online or go for a two-player split-screen option that you can play locally.
Like most other long-running gaming franchises, Borderlands' first release was quite the success and was an immediate hit within the gaming and critics circles.
Why not play it on your Fierce Gaming PC.
The Border Lands
Release date: August 23, 2012
Supported platforms: Browser-based
The Border Lands was a prequel to the release of the upcoming Borderlands 2 game. The game has an intention retro-feel, and the game pretends that the Border Lands has originally come out on home consoles in the '80s.
While the game has a retro style, the characters in the game are the default playable characters that players will use in the upcoming Borderlands 2.
The game features a top-down shooter theme with four characters, each possessing a different set of attributes.
Each character starts the game with a stock pistol that can be upgraded through the chests that appear when you kill certain enemies.
The game requires the player to survive through multiple waves of enemies while collecting enough cash to earn a high score before their life runs out.
For a marketing gimmick, the game is well put together, which is an indication of what players can expect in the upcoming Borderlands 2.
Release date: September 18, 2012
Supported platforms: Xbox 360. PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Network (Vita), Linux,
PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation3, MacOS, Android
The third edition of the Borderlands from Gearbox was Borderlands 2 – an open-world first-person role-playing shooter game.
The new game featured a variety of new additions and upgrades from the first edition which include new characters, skills, weapons, enemies, environments and equipment. It’s also impossible not to notice the brand new storyline with several returning characters.
The story of Borderlands 2 takes place five years after the release of the original game. The primary antagonist of the game is Handsome Jack who wants to rule over Pandora.
Handsome Jack hires four new vault hunters to discover the Vault. Jack betrays them while they are travelling by train.
The most intriguing part about Borderlands 2 is the loot. There’s always something better waiting for the player every time they take down a boss with guns making up the majority of the loot.
The game also allows you to try out skills and then reassign skill points over and over. The combat has a slightly different feel, and the new ranking system in the game gives you numerous ways to customize even further.
Release date: October 31, 2012
Supported platforms: iPhone, iPad
Borderlands Legend is an edition for the iOS platform. The game borrows heavily from the original Borderlands and even uses the original characters from the game. Like in Borderlands, each of the characters has unique weapons and ranges within which they can kill enemies.
In the game, players take up strategic locations on the map to help them handle the waves of enemies that come their way. Some pieces of the missions are randomly selected, giving the game an element of surprise with every try.
There's no doubt that legends take inspiration from the original Borderlands. Still, it does just enough to make an identity for itself and most importantly provide an interactive and immersive time for gamers.
On December 12, 2013, Borderlands added something special to their collection. This was Borderlands LootTheWorld. It was not a game, or an expansion or even a collection but rather a QR Code mobile app for iOS and Android that allowed players to scan barcodes and QR codes which unlocked items that could be transferred to the game using the SHiFT account. However, the exciting app was discontinued on October 18, 2015.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
Release date: October 14, 2014
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Mac, Android, PlayStation 4, Linux, Xbox 360
The Pre-Sequel is set between the end of Borderlands and before Handsome Jack became the CEO of Hyperion in Borderlands 2.
The game features new Vault Hunters, who employ a humble programmer named Jack consequently helping him (the programmer) in his dark and secret hunger for power.
In addition to the new storyline, there were other interesting facts about The Pre-Sequel as well. These included it being the first game whose lead developer was not Gearbox. Instead, the game was mainly developed by 2K Australia with help from Gearbox.
The Pre-Sequel plays very similar to Borderlands 2 sharing some features first-person shooter RPG, and the cooperative play of up to four players.
Equally, there are some features and additions that set this apart from Borderlands 2. These include the setup of the game being Elpis (Pandora’s moon), high jumps and better air control for players (because there’s no gravity) and the cool butt slam attack manoeuvres.
Playing on the moon presents a unique challenge for players. There’s not enough oxygen when exploring around except for one character ‘Clap Trap’ who is a robot.
Tales from the Borderlands
Release date: November 25, 2014
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac, PlayStation 3, Android, iPad, iPhone, Xbox One
Tales from the Borderlines takes a slightly different but equally delighting angle from the usual Borderlands theme.
The game is a five-part Sci-Fi point and adventure game that features a reluctant group of civilians who try to strike it rich in the hostile world of Pandora.
Once again, Gearbox looked for some assistance in developing the game and this time. They got it from Telltale who did an excellent job on the new release.
The plot of the game takes place in the same universe as Borderlands' series of first-person shooters. The game has two protagonists: Rhys and Fiona. Each of the episodes provides an insight into the escapades of the two protagonists.
Episode 1: Zer0 Sum (released November 25, 2014)
A deal goes horribly wrong and Rhys, a Hyperion employee, must make an alliance with an infamous con artist (Fiona) to track down the money they both believe is theirs.
Episode 2: Atlas Mugged (released March 14, 2015)
Rhys attempts to break free from Handsome Jack’s grapple and tries to learn more about Gortys Project while Hyperion and the August are hot on their heels.
Episode 3: Catch a Ride (released June 23, 2015)
While navigating through the jungles of an Atlas terraforming facility search for the next clue that will help them find the Vault, Rhys and Fiona come face to face with Queenpin Vallory, the criminal.
Episode 4: Escape Plan Bravo (August 18, 2015)
Queenpin Vallory forces Rhys and Fiona to travel to Helios to get the next Gortys upgrade.
Episode 5: The Vault of the Traveller (release date October 20, 2015)
The location of the Vault and the stranger is finally revealed when Handsome Jack takes control of the Hyperion. It's a déjà vu moment.
Initially, the game had high projections. For some reasons, the developer revealed the game did so poorly the last episodes were worked on by a skeleton crew.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Release date: March 24, 2015
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, XONE, Microsoft Windows
The Handsome Collection is not really a mainstream event, but it was a significant one and earned itself the stripes of being here.
The game is an enhanced remaster of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. It also features all DLC for both games released as of March 24, 2015, into one package for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
In the remaster, players have a few pleasant surprises in store for them. These include the four-player split-screen as well as a cross-save functionality that allows players to save games from other devices and platforms into the current game.
The Handsome Collection provides players with an immense volume of the playthrough. It might not be a good idea to try and engage in everything. Instead, focus on the best content, and that means the primary story campaigns or go for heavy-weight add-ons like Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep or the Claptastic Voyage.
One downside about The Handsome Voyage is that players need to have a decent level character to be able to take the enemies on. If you go in with a weak arsenal, you’re just setting yourself up for slaughter.
After the Handsome Collection, there was another Borderlines collections game that was slated for release in 2015 called Borderlines Online. The said collection was supposed to be a China-exclusive shooter game for PC and mobile devices developed by 2K China in conjunction with Gearbox. However, late in November 2015, the game was cancelled because of profitability concerns.
Release date: September 13, 2019
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, XONE, Google Stadia
Before its release, Borderlands 3 was the worst kept secret ever. The launch build-up was littered with Twitter rands, an unending feud with Claptrap and even a misplaced USB stick.
The plot of the game retains a familiar surrounding in Pandora which is now being overrun by bandits and on the verge of collapse.
The only difference is, this time around, there are several varied and stunningly beautiful planets that you can venture into as well.
Like previous Borderlands, even the deepest and darkest cracks in every planet is rich with chests and collectables that make you want to keep exploring.
The game presents you with four characters as protagonists, each with an impressive array of skill trees and different abilities to level up. At the same time, at your heels, you have antagonists Tyreen and Troy Calypso.
If you love guns, you're going to love Borderlands 3. The game is littered with guns. Finding the right rifle for you is easy, though, with so many options to pick from, you might not even be sure what the right gun is anymore. The game is exceptionally wild and action-filled, allowing it to feed the hunger of any gamer.
On the flip-side, for a game in the 21st century, the technical level of Borderline 3 is subpar, especially with regards to inventory management. The interface is slightly cluttered and has too many numbers which might easily take your concentration of the game.
Some gamers have also complained about the stutters on the inventory screen. Even though it seems like a minor problem at first, it worsens when you split the screen.
Despite the several hiccups, this is still an excellent game and one that every player should give a try.
Borderlands: Legendary Collection
Release date: May 29, 2020
Supported Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Recently, Borderlands announced the release of its newest edition into the franchise, Legendary Collection an action-packed FPS game.
The release will be a bundled port of Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and is designed for Nintendo Switch.
The game is anticipated to run at 1080p resolution packing 30 frames per second complete with motion control support.
The legendary collection promises three times the mayhem, triple the action and even more loots. There will be bandits and beasts to slay as well as powerful weaponry to loot.
The new collection is expected to add up to 100 hours of gameplay, making it quite the catch among gamers that appreciate value.
Gearbox looked to another developer, 2K, to bring the classics to Switch in HD without downgrading the assets. There's no doubt that the new release is going to be one for the ages.
Since this has only been announced and not yet released, it’s impossible to highlight any wrinkles in the game just yet.
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Borderlands has had a smooth and successful franchise. By constantly tweaking the game and playing around with the aesthetics and the storylines of the game, the developers have averted disaster having a single game that underperformed. Still, even that did not operate at a loss.
It's going to be interesting to see what the Legend Collection will have for Borderlands lovers. Will there be new characters, a new planet, new loots or even some new exciting technical features?