Boss fights have been an integral part of the Borderlands experience since the first title launched in 2009. That, of course, will not change with Borderlands 3. In fact, boss fights will receive an even deeper integration into the franchise in the upcoming new installment. There exists an “absurd number” of boss battles this time around, according to Gearbox Software developers. So intensive and important are these boss fights that the studio had to develop a separate team dedicated exclusively to Borderlands 3’s boss sequences.
Borderlands 3’s Lead Enemy Designer, Josh Jeffcoat, spoke of this during a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz. Jeffcoat told the publication that boss fight sequences for the new installment are far more expansive than in any other iteration. He explained,
And the number of bosses in the game and those really big set piece moments [where the bosses are introduced] is much more than in any other Borderlands game. Just an absurd number. It was so big that my department built a brand new department only for those mega-moment bosses. My friend Matt Cox runs the boss team, and his only job is that every huge, major boss fight in the game goes through him. That’s how we solved that problem – we got more people and piled onto it.
A few examples of these boss battles were shown during the gameplay reveal event for Borderlands 3. Based on the footage alone, such sequences certainly seem more dynamic than ever. Interestingly, bosses weren’t the only aspect of development that altered the way in which the teams at Gearbox function. The studio’s desire to create worlds beyond Pandora also informed how different departments worked together. According to Producer Chris Brock,
We’ve done Pandora over three games. We wanted to do new things and push things in a different direction environmentally, and that meant we needed to go to new planets. Pushing into those new planets created a need for more art, more flora and fauna, and more environmental storytelling. It can’t be all Pandora stuff, that doesn’t make sense. Establishing all this world building for lots of worlds has been probably the biggest struggle.
[To accomplish that,] we had to change the way we worked. We had to become scalable. We had to work across teams.
Fans won’t have to wait long to experience the boss fights for themselves. Borderlands 3 will come to the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One later this year on September 13th. Preorders for the title are already live, as are preorders for its three special editions.