Borderlands 2 to contain a “richer, larger world” along with new UI

Tuesday, 20th September 2011 14:31 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Gearbox’s art director, Jeramy Cooke, is of the opinion that in Borderlands, players were stuck in the desert a lot. Because this was a bit “monotonous,” his team decided to focus on a “richer, larger world,” for the sequel: Borderlands 2.

Get out and explore

Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Cooke said the developer wanted to widen the world and provide a huge space in the game, along with a larger variety of enemies populating it.

“It felt like you were seeing the same enemies too often [in Borderlands],” he offered, “I mean, that’s my personal experience. And we really wanted to just widen that and give you this sense of a huge space, which is why you can see the other maps from the maps you’re in.

“You look over there, and you see this dam off in the distance, and you know ‘Oh, that’s where I was,’ and vice-versa when you’re on top of the dam and you look down into Zone 1 and see all of the ice spread out. It’s about that sort of large-scale, large-scope experience.”

Cooke said the studio wants the player to get out and explore the world more, which adds to the fun of the core gameplay experience.

“Borderlands is not a rail shooter, it’s not a corridor shooter,” he said. “The world’s job is to be enticing, to convince you to go out there and find cool stuff, to dig around in the corner and find cool loot or a miniboss you didn’t know who was there or whatever.

“We felt like in a lot of maps [in Borderlands], even inside of a map, it wasn’t necessarily clear where you were a lot of the time because you’d see the same brown rocks. We’re working really hard to have these really great landmarks as you go through the space. Changing the color values, if you’re heading into a miniboss lair let’s bring the saturation down and increase the contrast and pull out the reds or something like that. Really try to have a distinct emotional flavor inside every area.

“As you go through the ice world, it’s not just ice everywhere. There’s hot springs, there’s open rolling hills and stuff. And that was part of our mission for every map.”

Ditching the old UI

Cooke also discussed other changes besides the larger, more detailed world: the new UI.

According to him, Gearbox has “scrapped the old UI,” while carrying over the concepts from it which worked, while focusing on making splitscreen work.

“PC and splitscreen were like a huge focus for us,” he said, “so we wanted to make sure that those users got the same awesome experience.

“We’re building an entire custom UI for PC, and the whole UI supports splitscreen. So we redesigned all the screens to be vertical and narrow so you don’t have to do that weird pan-around thing from the first game.

“Nobody liked that, including us, and we knew we wanted to do better. We knew we could. We kind of ran out of time last time, but this time we’re going to hit it hard.”

Borderlands 2 hits during 2012, on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and will feature a gazillion guns and improved AI.

Thanks, SI.



  1. KAP

    I didnt buy Borderlands for the very reason he stated.. just felt like a game with no real story except for the fact that your stafing around folks continuosly shooting one another.

    Sounded as much fun as grating my fingertips to the bone.

    Hope this one is better.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Maximum Payne

    Splitscreen on PC ?!
    I love you Gearbox ^_^

    #2 3 years ago
  3. RandomTiger

    Sounds good, more spoken dialog for quests would be good too.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    Split-screen full stop nowadays is a minor miracle.

    Good job, Gearbox.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    SPlitscreen for PC? Doesn’t make much since I can nderstand it for the TV being most people have lots of real estate (36+ inch) but for PC? Seems like wasted effort and resources that could be used somewhere else.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    @5 You can plug a computer into the vast majority of HD TVs using a VGA cable.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    @5 Are you kidding me ? Effort and resources for split screen for PC? that is like one of easiest thing to do because you have lot power on PC unlike console.
    Also for example I have lcd TV in same room with PC which is connected of course so really really not big problem.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight


    I get that. I just think all these years of game having no Split screen option that its a foreign concept now. I personally won’t be using this with my friends having their own connection and internet there is no reason for them to not play on their own screen. And if they are over here its rare that we actually play video games.


    If you think the reason why companies don’t do Splitscreen on the console is because of lack of power, you are a tool.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Maximum Payne

    @8 Split Second for example had split screen on PC.

    #9 3 years ago

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