During a recent panel at the Game Developers Conference, Gearbox Software – of Borderlands fame – gave those in attendance a sneak peak at a special tech demo.
While this tech demo is emphatically not an actual look at gameplay footage of any kind, it does show off some of the techniques that will be used in future Gearbox games – such as Borderlands 3.
While Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford was keen to stress on multiple occasions that what we were seeing was definitely just a tech demo, the talk did go into the approach Gearbox has used previously to build the Borderlands games’ distinct look.
In short, if what we’re seeing isn’t in any way an indication of how Borderlands 3 turns out visually, I’ll eat my AX300 Pearl Aries.
You can check out the tech demo for yourself below, courtesy of IGN:
Pitchford starts by talking about those distinctive black edges that gives Borderlands such a unique feel, saying that the team are working to ‘evolve’ this look, seeking ways to make it ‘more natural and basically next-gen.’
He also talked up some of the new tools being used by the Gearbox artists:
[One] allows the scene to simulate in real time as time of day changes or conceivably we have different physics, if we, for example, were to explore different planets. There might be different physics, and the sun and the moons might be in different positions than we’re used to on Pandora.
At no point does Pitchford himself confirm that the footage has anything to do with Borderlands but… well, just look at it.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.