Strategy Informer recently tracked down Gearbox's Randy Pitchford and Steve Gibson for a quick discussion about their upcoming shooter/RPG Borderlands.
Strategy Informer: Which games would you credit as the primary inspiration for Borderlands?
Steve Gibson: I think it's pretty easy identifying some elements. For example, the items system where you see colour codes, like grey, green or purple, which is like the nomenclature these days for normal, rare (and) elite. So World of Warcraft does that, but tons of games do that, right? But I believe Blizzard were the ones who really created that system and everybody's followed suit, because why reinvent the colours when you're just going to confuse people?
So on that side, it would be Diablo, World of Warcraft but on the shooter side, the core mechanic and the controls, looking down the barrel, things like that, we get that from all the first-person shooters out there. Your Halos, Call of Duty and games like that. A lot of the things that we're trying to implement in co-operative mode come from Brothers in Arms, with the squad stuff. But an RPG shooter is what we're calling it, so it fits both those roles.
Diablo is certainly a huge influence on the items system with all the iterations of the things you can do there and certainly there are much bigger challenges involved with the system we've created because we've modelled millions of these crazy guns now. As you guys have probably seen, they're all over the place and you haven't even seen the alien technology, but there's also a whole lot more still to come. You might pick up a quad rocket launcher that fires four projectiles that spiral towards their target if you're lucky. But it's random every time.