Gearbox strives for better single-player story in future Borderlands

As far as Mad Max-ian multiplayer shooters go, Gearbox Software’s Borderlands was a fantastic co-op gaming experience, but the single-player stuck a little too closely to the post-apocalyptic reality. Solo players faced a lonely slog through a lifeless wasteland, without much in the way of story to break up the monotony. It’s a mistake that won’t be made in the sequel, according to producer Stephen Palmer.

“I think we can do even better on the single-player front,” said Palmer. “By doing a bit better on the storytelling aspect and focusing a little more [on] iterating on our AI systems, and I think by doing those two things we can bring even the single-player experience up to the level of the co-op play.”

Borderlands was clearly designed to be played with friends, with the story taking a back seat to the jump in, jump out co-op gameplay, admitted Palmer. “It’s very clear that just the ability to jump in the game with three of your friends and explore in this world and have fun with the combat and everything – that is almost all you need and it’s so chaotic and so over-the-top, it’s a great experience in and of itself,” he said. “But when you’re alone in the world, I think we do need more hooks there to pull the player through. I think we made the right decisions for Borderlands this time around and we’ll just continue to improve going forward.”

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