With powerful next-gen consoles waiting at the gates, Gearbox reminds us that just because something is possible doesn't mean it should be done.
Speaking to Ausgamers in a recent interview at PAX Australia, Borderlands 2 creative director Paul Hellquist touched on a few topics relating to future Gearbox franchises and how next-gen tech will affect gameplay. One item of interest is co-op limitations in the Borderlands series, specifically why they have been limited to four players. As it turns out, the main reason was to keep bandwidth low enough so gameplay remained fast and furious. Because a slow turn-based Borderlands would just be... lame.
With Xbox One and PS4 on the horizon, this begs the question "How about upping that player limit?". Hellquist thinks that might ruin the close-knit feeling of teamwork the series has managed to capture, turning a good co-op experience into a chaotic free-for-all:
We do have a little bit of a worry that if we go to eight or sixteen or something crazy, that everyone will spread out, and you'll kind of actually lose that more intimate "We're working together" kind of experience. So there's an interesting balance there that we'll need to investigate.
It isn't a flat-out "no shut up go away leave me alone", but he makes some compelling arguments. Most of the charm with co-op Borderlands is that feeling of teamwork. Imagine a group of 16 players all shooting and screaming and fighting over the orange weapon that flew out of a splattered skag. Groups of players would break off into smaller teams just to avoid the chaos, turning that "working together" experience into something else entirely. In the case of Borderlands, it seems, more isn't necessarily better.