Borderlands Legends: Gearbox Software brings its shooter franchise to iOS

Borderlands Legends Based on how well it sold, it seems pretty likely that a good number of you reading this are currently working your way through Borderlands 2. We don’t blame you either: The game is an addictive mix of open-world exploration, first-person shooter action and Diablo-esque item collection. We gave it a 9.5 in our recent review, and according to Metacritic the majority of gaming news outlets agree with our assessment.

However, if Borderlands 2 has one major flaw it’s that the game is almost totally stationary. Without some serious hacking and clever workarounds, if you want to play Borderlands 2 you’re either going to be sitting on your couch, staring at a TV, or chained to a PC. This makes it incredibly hard to line up headshots on psychos during your morning commute, but what if the franchise offered a truly mobile option that captured the same spirit and basic gameplay tropes of the two main entries in the Borderlands series while removing the need for players to remain sedentary?

That seems to be the question developer Gearbox Software posed to itself immediately before coming up with the plan for Borderlands Legends, an iOS Borderlands adventure scheduled to hit Apple devices on October 31. Legends, which drops players into the shoes of the original vault hunters seen in the first Borderlands, seemingly attempts to replicate the gameplay found in its console predecessors. “Like the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Borderlands Legends blends two popular genres, action RPG and strategy, to create addictive, isometric gameplay that lets players level up their characters while fending off relentless waves of Skags, Bandits and other baddies,” reads the official 2K Games blog entry on the title.

That aforementioned blog entry directs readers to an Entertainment Weekly article — apparently Entertainment Weekly gets exclusive gaming scoops now — which is excitedly described as “the world’s first look at the game.” It’s not a very informative read if you’ve already seen the 2k Games blog, but it does offer a handful of screenshots depicting the game in action. Here we see the biggest change from earlier Borderlands games: Legends is played from a top-down perspective and seems to focus more on strategy than its predecessors. It’s even got a cover system.

We won’t judge Legends before we’ve played it, but even if it as a total mess, at least it won’t cost you much to figure that out. According to 2K Games, Borderlands Legends will set iPhone users back $5 while iPad users will find a $7 price tag on their iteration of the game. Whether Gearbox continues its tradition of bolstering Borderlands titles with huge swaths of additional downloadable content with this iOS game remains to be seen, but if Legends is a success we doubt that Gearbox would leave the game alone. If nothing else, the studio has an extra five character classes introduced in Borderlands 2 that should fit alongside Mordecai, Roland, Brick and Lilith quite nicely.