Borderlands 4 Needs To Drop One Major Part Of The Series

Borderlands 4 needs to change up the game's villain and move away from Handsome Jack and the corrupt CEO template, especially following the disappointing Calypso Twins in the third game.

By Jason Collins | Published

There’s only a handful of villains who have proven more popular among the gaming community than Far Cry 3‘s Vaas Montenegro—who might even get his own movie—and Borderlands 2‘s Handsome Jack. The latter was a truly menacing and fear-inducing overarching antagonist, as he continued the series’ trend toward corrupt CEO antagonist, which is likely to continue in Borderlands 4. But should it?

Game Rant argues that the hypothetical Borderlands 4 should avoid having the franchise’s main villain since the series latest mainline installment failed to capture the magic Handsome Jack brought to the franchise. Sure, the Calypso Twins featured in Borderlands 3 was a refreshing change and a considerable threat to the entire in-game universe, but they weren’t as well-received as the ol’ Jack, which is perhaps a point in the argument that Borderlands 4 should really step away from the corrupt CEO recipe in favor of a unique villain or drop the concept entirely.

We agree that a Bond film is only as good as its villain, and that can be said for nearly every narrative in cinematography and gaming. However, Gearbox Software shouldn’t focus on recreating a villain as bad and interesting as Jack. Instead, they should focus the sequel on one thing Borderlands players like doing the most: looting vaults. However, we’re not discussing Vaults containing the secrets of the universe or untold treasures, but vaults with content worth looting—worth the gamers’ time.

To be honest, the Borderlands gaming series has good writers, and they already proved they’re capable of creating compelling additional content mirrored by the quality of Borderlands’ many DLCs. These features both have compelling storylines that are or aren’t connected to the main narrative and vaults that provide players with a ton of interesting loot that make the gameplay easier in the short and more entertaining in the long run.

The concept of corrupt CEOs as the main antagonist, such as Handsome Jack, isn’t a novelty, and Borderlands 2 certainly pulled it off nicely, giving us a protagonist we won’t forget. However, this concept has run its course within the game series, and it’s time for some refreshment in Borderlands 4. The Destroyer from Borderlands 3, the same one Tyreen Calypso fused with, was a massive threat to the entire in-game universe, and going from that back to a corrupt CEO as a villain is akin to exploring a backyard puddle instead of uncharted waters.

The Borderlands franchise introduced gamers to massive narratives and stories, and perhaps Gearbox Software should think about dropping the idea of an overarching villain altogether and focus more on creating an overarching narrative instead. The DLCs and spin-offs, such as Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, are a great indicator that the franchise could pull something like this off and introduce even more interesting characters with unique storylines to the gaming series.

Besides the hypothetical Borderlands 4, the franchise is currently expecting a cinematic release with Cate Blanchett as Lilith, Kevin Hart as Roland, and the iconic Jack Black as the series’ most iconic character—the mouthy robot named Claptrap. Unfortunately, the movie still doesn’t have a release date past the release window of 2023.