Borderlands is an action role-playing first-person shooter by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It first came out in 2009 and has continued to flourish because of the humor as well as being one of the first games in the looter shooter genre.
The franchise currently has three games published by 2K, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel along with a spin-off game from Telltale Games (RIP) – Tales from the Borderlands. With Borderlands 3 set for release just around the corner, we thought it would be a great time to catch up on the action of the series so far.
This will definitely have spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
Borderlands puts you in the planet of Pandora as a Vault Hunter who was drawn to the planet by alien riches. Megacorporations first sent colony ships to capitalize on the belief that the planet is rich with minerals. But after they find undecipherable alien artifacts from the local race called Eridians, they soon abandon the workers which in turn become bandits and raiders.
The artifacts, upon further study, actually lead to the discovery of Vaults filled with treasure and wealth. This is what brings back the corporation and military forces. This is what starts the inner conflict on Pandora, the search for the artifacts and the Vaults.
The first four Vault Hunters – Lilith, Roland, Brick, and Mordecai find Pandora after being guided by a mysterious Entity named the Guardian Angel. They are successful in collecting pieces of the Vault Key and informed that it can only be opened every 200 years, which was soon approaching.
Upon opening the vault, a giant monster – The Destroyer comes out which the Vault Hunters (well the players) fight off and keep Pandora safe. This is Borderlands 1, in a nutshell.
Borderlands 2 introduces four original new Hunters – Maya, Salvador, Axton, and Zer0 along with two DLC Hunters – Gaige and Krieg to find a new Vault, guided by the Guardian Angel and Lilith her Vault Hunters. The sequel also introduces a new character Handsome Jack who uses the resources of the megacorporation Hyperion to stop the new hunters. Guardian Angel is revealed to be Handsome Jack’s daughter is being used to charge the Vault Key to skip the 200-year wait. Along with this, she was also being used to trick the heroes to open the Vault in Pandora to gain access to eridium, a material of untold properties.
In an act of mercy, the Vault Hunters kill Angel to put a stop in Jack’s plan. Jack retaliates and kills Roland. Lilith teleports the Vault Hunters to safety but soon after is captured by Jack to charge the Vault Key. With the Vault Key fully charged, Jack opens the Vault which unleashes another monster – The Warrior. The heroes, of course, band together to kill The Warrior and Jack as well.
The story ends with the ending of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and after Borderlands 2 with Athena, a former Atlas assassin who helped Jack open the second Vault. Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai captured her and was ready to execute her. However, the unknown alien in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel informs Lilith and the other Vault Hunters of an incoming war and that “You will need all the Vault Hunters that you can get.”
Borderlands 3 takes place after all the games, including Tales from the Borderlands. Albeit, Gearbox hasn’t confirmed which ending the game will continue from. Tales from the Borderlands tells the story of a Hyperion company man, Rhys and his adventures. After finding an ID drive on a dead scientist, Rhys, with his cybernetics plugs the drive into his eye implant. The drive has an AI version of Handsome Jack. The game ends with either Rhys destroying the implant, and Handsome Jack or left him hanging out.
That was quite the doozy of a catch-up but that’s pretty much the story. As one of the more compelling antagonists, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Handsome Jack in Borderlands 3. The remaining Vault Hunters will also surely play a role. As for the war, and what will happen to the Vaults, we’ll just have to wait for September 13 and see.