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Who Inspired Borderlands?

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Borderlands is a space western first-person shooter with role-playing elements, set on the planet of Pandora. Lured by its apparent vast deposits of minerals, several colonization ships sponsored by the Dahl Corporation journey to the planet and build settlements there. The mining operations are cost-effectively manned by large amounts of convict labor brought to the planet by Dahl.
Creator(s): Gearbox Software
Type: Games
Genre(s): First-person shooter, action role-playing
Year Released: 2009

Call of Duty 4

inspired Borderlands' control scheme. The developers started with a system that was closer to Halo, but they lacked a method for handling iron sights. The traditional system couldn't accommodate Borderlands' wide variety of scopes. The developer said, “I was looking for a better way to handle it when Call of Duty came out and pretty much answered the question for me.”[1][2]

Co-founder Randy Pitchford has stated that “Diablo is certainly a huge influence on the items system,with all the iterations of the things you can do there...” The way Diablo handles game balance, as well as its rules governing leveling, influenced Borderlands. Balance is critical with the high number of item drops.[3][4]

Borderlands' item system uses color codes to distinguish between rare items from elite items from normal items. This isn't particularly innovative, and the developers admitted as much, stating that Blizzard created the system. And added that the reason it's so popular is because it works. Said Pitchford, “why reinvent the colours when you're just going to confuse people?”[5][6]

Pitchford says the co-operative mode took its main inspiration from Brothers in Arms. The developers were trying for something similar to the squad system.[7]

Mel Gibson's post-apocalyptic action film clearly inspired Borderlands. Its art direction and setting in a desert wasteland played key roles in the game's development and there are several allusions to the movie throughout the game. This ranges from a boss named Mad Mel, to a beast named the Skag (similar to slang used in Mad Max).[8]

Code Hunters, a cel-shaded, animated short film chosen as the theme for MTV Asia's movie awards in 2006, inspired Borderlands. Gearbox actually thanked the media for promoting Code Hunters, adding that it's “great content and one can no doubt imagine that a number of artists and designers at Gearbox were inspired and influenced by it.” Company head Randy Pitchford hoped that a short like Code Hunters would gain recognition the way the Incredibles did for inspiring Team Fortress.[9]

The Berserk mode in Borderlands is inspired by id Software's legendary shooter.[10]

Early in the development of Borderlands, the game's creators decided to reach beyond the traditional RPG archetypes. Interestingly, they went for first-person shooter archetypes, maybe the first time a game has done this. This gave them essentially a range of three types – the super, the sniper and the manipulator. Max Payne fit into the manipulator category.[11]

When it comes to FPS, few are as large as Halo. This game was the inspiration behind the “super” archetype in a FPS – the guy who is built to take a lot of damage, and deliver a lot of damage.[12][13]

Counter Strike exemplifies the third FPS archetype – the sniper. It demands a tactical way of playing. The creators of Borderlands looked to Counter Strike and games like it when filling out the third archetype.[14]