Borderlands is best-known for its loud sense of humor and multitude of guns, but it does have some pretty strong lore behind it. And according to co-lead writer Sam Winkler, at least one significant chapter of that universe will be concluded with Borderlands 3.
"In a lot of ways, yes," Winkler told USgamer when asked if Borderlands 3 served as a resolution for the plot points setup in previous games. "At the end of Borderlands 3, I think you can look at the three as a solid trilogy. Where we go from there, I have no idea, but I think that there are a lot of resolutions, and definitely some questions answered from previous titles."
Among the subjects Borderlands 3 will delve into is Atlas, a major weapons manufacturer that served as one of the primary villains from the first game. It is currently run by Rhys, one of the protagonists from Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands series.
"We go into the history of Atlas pretty significantly," Winkler says. "Now we have a reformed Atlas under Rhys, who genuinely thinks that a corporation can be a force for good, and is promptly rewarded for this optimism with a corporate war on his own planet. We go into some details about what Atlas was before, and whether you have to deal with the sins of the past, or you can just move on."
Borderlands 3 will also delve into the relationship between Zane, one of the game's playable characters, and his brothers from the previous games—the villains Captain Flynt and Baron Flynt.
"The first question might be, 'Why does [Zane] have an Irish accent where the others don't?' And that's a good question that may or may not have an answer," Winkler says. "But we wanted to connect them to the rest of the Flynt family. I think it came from someone going, 'All right, who's our Flynt' very early on. And then we decided to make him a player character."
As for what questions Borderlands 3 might tackle from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Winkler says cryptically, "Hope you're a basketball fan."
Borderlands 3 greatly expands the canvas for the series, allowing players to journey from the familiar desert of Pandora to new locales like the jungle planet Eden-6. Winkler says players will get to be an "active member of the story" as they see where well-known Borderlands 2 characters end up, and contend with the villainous Children of the Vault, who are busy "burning a swath" through the system.
Want more hints? Well, you might want to take a closer look at Borderlands 3's cover art, which Winkler says has some "interesting coded messages on it." Hmmm.
We'll get a fuller picture when Borderlands 3 releases on September 13 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. You can also check out my previous hands-on, where I talk about how it borrows a surprising amount from Mass Effect.