Gearbox has a Secret Sauce for making Borderlands games

At Borderlands 3’s recent hands-on session, Lorien Meggersee (Associate Animations and Cinematics Producer) and Matthew Higgins (Level Designer) were in attendance. I had a chance to chat to them and find out more about something the referred to as the Borderlands Secret Sauce.

According to Meggersee and Higgins, the Borderlands Secret Sauce is a mixture of Story, Characters, FPS/RPG and Co-op/Single Player. During my hands-on session, the mission set on Eden-6 and starring Balex felt like a perfect encapsulation of this idea.

It features strong and interesting characters, an emphasis on story, great gunplay and huge potential for single or co-op gameplay. I wanted to delve more into this Secret Sauce idea so I probed Meggersee and Higgins for some more specifics.

Borderlands 3 Secret Sauce

I mentioned to them that the mission with Balex and GenIVIV was pretty hectic and very full-on and asked if that’s what we can expect from Borderlands 3 in general.

“On the mission side, it’s definitely what we’re here for, for sure,” Higgins told me. Meggersee added, ” Yeah, definitely taking everything up to the next level. Just making Borderlands 3, building it and making it more excellent.”

Both Higgins and Meggersee refer to Balex as an example of where Borderlands 3 is headed;

That mix of crazy story, and characters, and the actions that the players are going to progress the mission forward

Having just played Balex’s mission and seeing the over-the-top action, story and characters, I was struck by how much fun I had and just how silly the whole experience was. It felt like the antithesis of gaming in a lot of ways. Games are often self-serious, sombre affairs so it was refreshing to play something that didn’t take itself, or anything, too seriously.

Mentioning this to Higgins, he told me, “I think people remember moments which are either very serious and very funny and Borderlands always has a bit of both throughout the games.

“I think the funny and the serious compliment each other really well. If it’s funny all the way through it would start to get boring. If you’re serious all the way through it would start to get boring.

“We struck a good balance there. Those ones will stand out more to players we think.”

Meggersee is excited by the work that’s gone into Borderlands 3 and thinks that Gearbox has really nailed the Secret Sauce this time around.

I’m really excited and sort of proud of the characters that we’ve created, and the characters that are familiar faces. It’s really interesting to see, it’s just that it’s been several years since the previous games, what these guys have been up to in the time between.

So yeah, I’m really a lover of NPCs, they’re very near and dear to my heart.

Borderlands 3 will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on September 13.

Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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